Ryoichi and Chikako are brother and sister. They live together. Chikako works during the day in a office and at night she prostitutes herself to fund her brother studies in univesity. ... See full summary »
Ayako becomes the mistress of her boss, Mr. Asai, so she can pay her father's debt, and prevent him from going to prison for embezzlement. She also sends money to her brother Hiroshi to pay... See full summary »
This is the story of Mama, a.k.a. Keiko, a middle-aged bar hostess who must choose to either get married or buy a bar of her own. Her family hounds her for money, her customers for her ... See full summary »
Mr. Thank You is the kindly young driver of a local bus traveling from poverty stricken coastal villages, over the mountains, to the town. He thanks everybody when they let his bus pass on ... See full summary »
What is the life of a Geisha like once her beauty has faded and she has retired? Kin has saved her money, and has become a wealthy money-lender, spending her days cold-heartedly collecting ... See full summary »
Perhaps Kobayashi's most sordid film, Black River is an exposé of the rampant corruption on and around U.S. military bases following World War II. Kobayashi spirals out from the story of a ... See full summary »
Andre Laurent, the captain of a tugboat, married Yvonne ten years ago. She has a heart disease but does not want to tell him. She dreams he quits the job for they can live quietly. One ... See full summary »
A touching melodrama about a custody battle. Yoshiko Okada plays an actress who has won fame and fortune making movies in America. She now returns to Japan hoping to reunite with her six year-old daughter, who currently believes her ex-husband's second wife (Yukiko Tsukuba) is her biological mother. The ex-husband is sent to prison for mismanaging his company's funds, and the wealthy actress has an advantage over the now destitute Tsukuba. The film initially comes off as morally simplistic - Okada is the Westernized woman who is palling around with her two criminal brothers (the younger of whom provides some entertaining comic relief, but in general they aren't very useful characters) and Tsukuba is the noble, more traditionally Japanese woman who's willing to throw herself in front of a car to save her stepdaughter - but the characterization is beautifully done. In the end, both Okada and Tsukuba come off as sympathetic. Okada is the clear MVP among the actors - her final moment in particular is incredible. The little girl is absolutely adorable. Some things could be clearer. I was never clear who exactly the guy with the beard who helps Tsukuba was supposed to be. A friend? A brother? I feel like I missed something there. The filmmaking is wonderfully dynamic - tons of pans and tracking shots and perfectly edited. This one is pretty close to great.
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