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9 items from 2010


Legendary Art Director, Kimihiko Nakamura, Passes Away At 94

15 July 2010 7:00 AM, PDT | CriterionCast | See recent CriterionCast news »

Now, in much sadder news, legendary art director Kimihiko Nakamura, whose work can be seen in films like Twenty-Four Eyes, and films like The Insect Woman, Pigs and Battleships and Intentions of Murder (with the latter three being able to be found in the Pigs, Pimps, and Prostitutes collection), has passed away at the age of 94. He passed away on Tuesday of last week from renal failure.

While I’m not massively familiar with his work, I have seen The Insect Woman, and I must say, his work is impeccable, and visually stunning. He helped craft major films within the world that was the Japanese New Wave, particularly with director Shohei Imamura, and is a truly legendary figure within the world of Japanese film.

This is truly a sad bit of news, but since he hasn’t been too busy prior to this, this is definitely a time to remember »

- Joshua Brunsting

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This week's new DVD and Blu-ray releases

18 June 2010 4:06 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Profound Desires Of The Gods

Eureka, Blu-Ray

With most films you can guess when they were made, to within five years, just by looking at them. Some films, however, are so locked into their own little world, so perfectly and unwaveringly delivered, that you'd be hard-pressed to date them with any accuracy. This near-forgotten classic from Shohei Imamura (better known for Pigs & Battleships and the incredible 1979 serial killer film Vengeance Is Mine) slides easily into the latter category. Released to mass bafflement and public indifference in 1968 after an indulgent 18-month production schedule, it looks and feels as if it could have been made any time within the past five decades. Set on a fictional island near Okinawa, the tale concerns a Tokyo engineer sent to oversee the construction of a well for a sugar mill. His encounters with a shamed local family provide a story that touches on both farce and allegory. »

- Phelim O'Neill

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Cannes film festival: Apichatpong Weerasethakul wins Palme d'Or

24 May 2010 12:59 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives is first Asian Palme d'Or win since 1997

Asian cinema tonight emerged as the surprise winner of this year's Cannes film festival when a lyrically beautiful and often surreal Thai movie took the Palme d'Or.

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, already had the best title of the 19 films in competition. Tonight jury chairman Tim Burton named it best film, seeing off films from an impressive roster of film makers that included Mike Leigh, Ken Loach and Abbas Kiarostami.

It is the first Asian Palme d'Or winner since Kiarostami shared it with Japanese film maker Shohei Imamura in 1997.

And it came after the veteran South Korean director Hong Sangsoo on Saturday won the prestigious Un Certain Regard sidebar prize for Hahaha.

The Asian clean sweep took most Cannes watchers by surprise. Just as surprising »

- Mark Brown

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Politically charged finale as jury honours Thai and Binoche stages protest

23 May 2010 4:00 PM, PDT | The Independent | See recent The Independent news »

The Thai film Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives was a surprise winner of the Palme D'or last night, as the Cannes Film Festival closed. It is the first Asian winner of the prize since Abbas Kiarostami shared it with Japanese film-maker Shohei Imamura in 1997. And the veteran South Korean director Hong Sangsoo on Saturday won the prestigious "Un Certain Regard" sidebar prize for Hahaha. »

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Black Rain d: Shohei Imamura

7 April 2010 6:12 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Kuroi ame / Black Rain (1989) Direction: Shohei Imamura Screenplay: Shohei Imamura and Toshirô Ishidô; from Masuji Ibuse’s novel Cast: Yoshiko Tanaka, Kazuo Kitamura, Etsuko Ichihara, Shoichi Ozawa     Animego’s DVD release of Shohei Imamura’s Black Rain includes as a bonus feature a selection of World War II-era anti-Japanese propaganda films.  Sponsored by various U.S. government bureaucracies, most of these shorts traffic in the usual sort of wartime racism and paranoia which, depending on your sensibility, you will find either disturbing or amusing.  The most egregious of these is something called My Japan, which features an actor in yellow-face hectoring the American audience into buying more war bonds by boasting that Japan won’t be defeated [...] »

- Dan Erdman

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Japan At War DVD Box Set Looks at World War 2 From a Different Angle

5 April 2010 9:50 PM, PDT | Screen Anarchy | See recent Screen Anarchy news »

AnimEigo has released a massive DVD box set titled Japan at the War. The set compiles four previously released AnimEigo titles with the intent of providing a Japanese perspective on the Second World War. Kihachi Okamoto's Japan's Longest Day (1967) and Battle of Okinawa (1971) are featured as are Kosaku Yamashita's Father of the Kamikaze (1974) and Shohei Imamura's highly acclaimed Black Rain (1988). Detailed synopses (courtesy of AnimEigo) and full technical specs are featured below.

Japan's Longest Day

On August 15th, 1945, the Japanese people faced utter destruction.  Millions of soldiers and civilians were dead, the rest were starving, and their cities had been reduced to piles of rubble--two of them vaporized by atomic bombs. The government was deadlocked.  To break the impasse, the cabinet took the unprecedented step of asking the Emperor to decide the fate of the nation.  Toshiro Mifune leads an all-star cast in a powerful film about »

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勝手にしやがれ #4: Resistance is Futile (Post-Berlin)

10 March 2010 8:39 AM, PST | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

As Japan enters another season of social-economic woes which fail to find a filmic voice to address the state of affairs, instead releasing a number of vacuous titles, the recent Berlinale rewards seem to further underscore things. Two veteran filmmakers, the figurehead of Japanese independent cinema Koji Wakamatsu, and mainstream helmer of nearly fifty Tora-san films, Shochiku favorite Yoji Yamada, summoned us to take a closer look at the country’s film industry.  Each took home awards; prize for best actress was awarded to Shinobu Terajima, starring in Wakamatsu’s Caterpillar, the tale of a village wife expected to care for a husband who returns from war a mutilated hero, and a lifetime achievement award went to Yamada, on hand with his latest tear-fest, Ototo (About Her Brother), in which a man abuses his older sister’s generosity, until she cuts him off, and discovers him later dying in a hospital. »

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勝手にしやがれ #4: Resistance is Futile (Post-Berlin)

10 March 2010 8:39 AM, PST | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

As Japan enters another season of social-economic woes which fail to find a filmic voice to address the state of affairs, instead releasing a number of vacuous titles, the recent Berlinale rewards seem to further underscore things. Two veteran filmmakers, the figurehead of Japanese independent cinema Koji Wakamatsu, and mainstream helmer of nearly fifty Tora-san films, Shochiku favorite Yoji Yamada, summoned us to take a closer look at the country’s film industry.  Each took home awards; prize for best actress was awarded to Shinobu Terajima, starring in Wakamatsu’s Caterpillar, the tale of a village wife expected to care for a husband who returns from war a mutilated hero, and a lifetime achievement award went to Yamada, on hand with his latest tear-fest, Ototo (About Her Brother), in which a man abuses his older sister’s generosity, until she cuts him off, and discovers him later dying in a hospital. »

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An artist of the unhurried world

8 January 2010 4:06 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Of the films made during Japan's cinematic golden age, those of Yasujiro Ozu are seen as most typically Japanese. But as studies in character and domestic life, they are universal, argues Ian Buruma, and they reveal beauty where we don't usually look for it

Akira Kurosawa made great samurai films. Kenji Mizoguchi filmed the lives of courtesans and geishas with the feel of classical Japanese painting. Yasujiro Ozu made films about middle-class families in Tokyo. Of these three masters of Japan's cinematic golden age, which lasted from the 1930s till the 1960s, Ozu is considered to be the most typically Japanese. So much so that Japanese producers refused at first to release his films abroad. Foreigners wouldn't understand. They might laugh at Japanese in business suits sipping green tea on tatami mat floors. They wouldn't get the subtlety of Japanese family relations. Ozu's style would surely strike action-loving westerners as boring and slow. »

- Ian Buruma

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2017 | 2016 | 2013 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 1997

9 items from 2010


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