Essentials From Eastern Asia Cinema

Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand,
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1.
The Eel (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A businessman kills his adulterous wife and is sent to prison. After the release, he opens a barbershop and meets new people, talking almost to no one except an eel he befriended while in prison. (117 mins.)
Director: Shôhei Imamura
 
2.
The Ballad of Narayama (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
In a poor 19th century rural Japanese village, everyone who reaches the age of 70 has to climb a nearby mountain to die. An old woman is getting close to the cut-off age, and we follow her last days with her family. (130 mins.)
Director: Shôhei Imamura
 
3.
Vengeance Is Mine (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Chronological exploits of Iwao Enokizu, a murderous thief on the lam. (140 mins.)
Director: Shôhei Imamura
 
4.
Black Rain (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The story of the aftermath of the Hiroshima bombing, based on Masuji Ibuse's novel. (123 mins.)
Director: Shôhei Imamura
 
5.
Woman in the Dunes (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
An entomologist on vacation is trapped by local villagers into living with a woman whose life task is shoveling sand for them. (123 mins.)
 
6.
Ugetsu (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A tale of ambition, family, love, and war set in the midst of the Japanese Civil Wars of the sixteenth century. (96 mins.)
Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
 
7.
The Life of Oharu (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Follows a woman's fight and survival amid the vicissitudes of life and the cruelty of the society. (148 mins.)
Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
 
8.
Sansho the Bailiff (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
In medieval Japan, a compassionate governor is sent into exile. His wife and children try to join him, but are separated, and the children grow up amid suffering and oppression. (124 mins.)
Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
 
9.
Tokyo Story (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
An old couple visit their children and grandchildren in the city; but the children have little time for them. (136 mins.)
Director: Yasujirô Ozu
 
10.
Late Spring (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Noriko is twenty-seven years old and still living with her widowed father. Everybody tries to talk her into marrying, but Noriko wants to stay at home caring for her father. (108 mins.)
Director: Yasujirô Ozu
 
11.
Good Morning (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Two boys begin a silence strike to press their parents into buying them a television set. (94 mins.)
Director: Yasujirô Ozu
 
12.
Bakushû (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A family chooses a match for their daughter Noriko, but she, surprisingly, has her own plans. (125 mins.)
Director: Yasujirô Ozu
 
13.
Seven Samurai (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves. (207 mins.)
Director: Akira Kurosawa
 
14.
Ikiru (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A bureaucrat tries to find a meaning in his life after he discovers he has terminal cancer. (143 mins.)
Director: Akira Kurosawa
 
15.
Yojimbo (1961)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A crafty ronin comes to a town divided by two criminal gangs and decides to play them against each other to free the town. (110 mins.)
Director: Akira Kurosawa
 
16.
Ran (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
In Medieval Japan, an elderly warlord retires, handing over his empire to his three sons. However, he vastly underestimates how the new-found power will corrupt them and cause them to turn on each other...and him. (162 mins.)
Director: Akira Kurosawa
 
17.
Rashomon (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A heinous crime and its aftermath are recalled from differing points of view. (88 mins.)
Director: Akira Kurosawa
 
18.
Throne of Blood (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A war-hardened general, egged on by his ambitious wife, works to fulfill a prophecy that he would become lord of Spider's Web Castle. (110 mins.)
Director: Akira Kurosawa
 
19.
The Hidden Fortress (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Lured by gold, two greedy peasants escort a man and woman across enemy lines. However, they do not realize that their companions are actually a princess and her general. (139 mins.)
Director: Akira Kurosawa
 
20.
Kagemusha (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A petty thief with an utter resemblance to a samurai warlord is hired as the lord's double. When the warlord later dies the thief is forced to take up arms in his place. (180 mins.)
Director: Akira Kurosawa
 
21.
Sanjuro (1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A crafty samurai helps a young man and his fellow clansmen save his uncle, who has been framed and imprisoned by a corrupt superintendent. (96 mins.)
Director: Akira Kurosawa
 
22.
Dersu Uzala (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
The Russian army sends an explorer on an expedition to the snowy Siberian wilderness where he makes friends with a seasoned local hunter. (142 mins.)
Director: Akira Kurosava
 
23.
High and Low (1963)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
An executive of a shoe company becomes a victim of extortion when his chauffeur's son is kidnapped and held for ransom. (143 mins.)
Director: Akira Kurosawa
 
24.
The Human Condition I: No Greater Love (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
A Japanese pacifist, unable to face the dire consequences of conscientious objection, is transformed by his attempts to compromise with the demands of war-time Japan. (208 mins.)
“ Trilogy ” - mikieg
 
25.
Kwaidan (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A collection of four Japanese folk tales with supernatural themes. (183 mins.)
 
26.
Harakiri (1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
An elder ronin samurai arrives at a feudal lord's home and requests an honorable place to commit suicide. But when the ronin inquires about a younger samurai who arrived before him things take an unexpected turn. (133 mins.)
 
27.
Samurai Rebellion (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
The mother of a feudal lord's only heir is kidnapped away from her husband by the lord. The husband and his samurai father must decide whether to accept the unjust decision, or risk death to get her back. (128 mins.)
 
28.
Onibaba (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Two women kill samurai and sell their belongings for a living. While one of them is having an affair with their neighbor, the other woman meets a mysterious samurai wearing a bizarre mask. (103 mins.)
Director: Kaneto Shindô
 
29.
Godzilla (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
American nuclear weapons testing results in the creation of a seemingly unstoppable, dinosaur-like beast. (96 mins.)
Director: Ishirô Honda
 
30.
Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Depicts the early life of the legendary warrior Musashi Miyamoto; his years as an aspiring warrior, an outlaw and finally a true samurai. (93 mins.)
Director: Hiroshi Inagaki
 
31.
Samurai II: Duel at Ichijoji Temple (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Musashi Miyamoto returns to Kyoto after years of absence. After a series of fights against the Yoshioka School, he challenges its master to a duel. (104 mins.)
Director: Hiroshi Inagaki
 
32.
Samurai III: Duel at Ganryu Island (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Musashi Miyamoto is challenged to a duel by a confident swordsman Sasaki Kojiro. He agrees to fight him in a year's time. (105 mins.)
Director: Hiroshi Inagaki
 
33.
Samurai Spy (1965)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
The legendary samurai Sasuke Sarutobi gets caught in a web of political intrigue, deception and espionage during the early 17th century. (102 mins.)
 
34.
Double Suicide (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A doomed love between a paper merchant and a courtesan. (142 mins.)
 
35.
Shogun Assassin (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
When the wife of the Shogun's Decapitator is murdered and he is ordered to commit suicide by the paranoid Shogun, he and his four-year-old son escape and become assassins for hire, embarking on a journey of blood and violent death. (85 mins.)
 
36.
The Sword of Doom (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Through his unconscionable actions against others, a sociopath samurai builds a trail of vendettas that follow him closely. (119 mins.)
Director: Kihachi Okamoto
 
37.
After the Rain (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
During a downpour, a generous ronin and his supporting wife are stranded at a country inn. The ronin comes to the attention of a lord who wants to hire him as an instructor for his men, who treat the ronin with disrespect. (91 mins.)
Director: Takashi Koizumi
 
38.
The Twilight Samurai (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A 19th-century samurai tries to protect a battered wife. (129 mins.)
Director: Yôji Yamada
 
39.
Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
The story of a Ronin (i.e. a masterless samurai) who wanders the countryside of Japan with his small child, having various adventures. (83 mins.)
Director: Kenji Misumi
 
40.
Sword of the Beast (1965)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
After killing a counselor of his clan, a fugitive samurai befriends a couple poaching the shogun's gold in the mountains. (85 mins.)
Director: Hideo Gosha
 
41.
Battle Royale (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
In the future, the Japanese government captures a class of ninth-grade students and forces them to kill each other under the revolutionary "Battle Royale" act. (114 mins.)
Director: Kinji Fukasaku
 
42.
Zatoichi (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
The blind masseur/swordsman comes to a town in control of warring gangs, and while bunking with a farming family, he meets two women with their own agenda. (116 mins.)
Director: Takeshi Kitano
 
43.
Kikujiro (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A young, naive boy sets out alone on the road to find his wayward mother. Soon he finds an unlikely protector in a crotchety man and the two have a series of unexpected adventures along the way. (121 mins.)
Director: Takeshi Kitano
 
44.
Dolls (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Three stories of never-ending love. (114 mins.)
Director: Takeshi Kitano
 
45.
A Scene at the Sea (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
The lives of a young, hearing-impaired and gloomy couple are fulfilled after the boy holds interest in surfboarding. (101 mins.)
Director: Takeshi Kitano