In a small village in a valley everyone who reaches the age of 70 must leave the village and go to a certain mountain top to die. If anyone should refuse he or she would disgrace their ... See full summary »
Shiba, a wandering ronin, encounters a band of peasants who have kidnapped the daughter of their dictatorial magistrate, in hopes of coercing from him a reduction in taxes. Shiba takes up ... See full summary »
This sensuously beautiful film chronicles the activities of four sisters who gather in Kyoto every year to view the cherry blossoms. It paints a vivid portrait of the pre-war lifestyle of ... See full summary »
Kinoshita's first film after the end of World War II is a wrenching, superbly wrought tale about a liberal-minded Japanese family torn apart by war and imperialist politics. Morning for the... See full summary »
There's a rare sense of epic artistry in this unusual and striking medieval saga, directed by Keisuke Kinoshita as more of an aesthetic experience than a conventional drama. The film was designed to resemble a decorative 16th century Japanese scroll, painting spare brushstrokes of vivid color across each panoramic, wide-screen black and white image. It can be difficult (and not really worth the effort) to follow the endless progression of characters, and the manner in which the film unfolds is often more involving than the story it presents. Each leap forward in time approximates the turning of another page, usually to the next in a series of pointless, bloody battles between feudal warlords, with each conflict properly labeled beforehand, identifying the date, location, and principals involved. The battle scenes serve as punctuation, following successive generations of peasant soldiers to their doom, with the repetition suggesting that war is the only eternal aspect of the human condition, and passive resistance is futile.
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