After failing his university entrance examinations and being left by his girlfriend, Yuki Hirano decides to join a forestry training program only to discover that the job is much harder ... See full summary »
This parody of popular Japanese teenage girls' romances includes slapstick in a comedy of robbers versus robbers. When a gas leak explodes at a yakuza's headquarters, a shy, timid nurse and... See full summary »
A great variety of aviation professionals such as pilots, flight attendants, the ground crew, mechanics, dispatchers, controllers, and the bird patrol crew all support a single flight. They... See full summary »
Three employees of the Kimura Electrical Company are due to present a new robot to an important robot exhibition in the coming days, but after an accident in which the robot is destroyed, ... See full summary »
In a Japanese high school, a class of adolescent geeks joins the new synchronized swimming teacher and takes up the challenge to take part in the competition, in spite of the mockeries of the "real sportsmen".
A mellow drama following the moral decline of a housewife turned bank employee who embezzles a fortune from her customers and indulges in an affair with a younger man. Set in 1994, shortly after the burst of Japan's economic bubble.
A no-budget collection of 14 short (5 min) films shot on video with one fixed camera shot. The directors have collaborated on several features before and here they create a series of shorts... See full summary »
Jason C. Kane,
The day before I watched this, while walking the northern edge of San Francisco's Alta Plaza Park, not far from the multiplex that houses the city's film festival, my eye caught a huge sunlit brown wing, maybe twice the size of the largest seagull's, just as it disappeared into a tall cypress. Year before last, I'd seen the same type bird, huge hawk, golden eagle, whatever it was, in the Presidio. That one swept within a few yards of me, a live squirrel in its talons, dropped the squirrel, dived to retrieve it, failed, then glided away over the bay's edge.
Toward the end of "Down the Drain," without giving anything away, there's a "Miike moment," a maybe gratuitous special effect, followed by a shot of just such a huge bird gliding above the urban site. Maybe the film's are vultures. Don't know. They also put me in mind of Larry Cohen's "Q."
Anyway, Yaguchi, on the evidence of this, "Waterboys," "Adrenalin Drive," and "One Piece!" seems a curious mix of hack and auteur. Judging from the dvd case and a manga section in the dvd "extras," this may be another movie-zation of a comic. More than once it put me in mind of the better comics-originated film "Ghost World." Yaguchi's protagonist's unrelenting bad luck never bores. At best it has the feel of Buñuel or maybe the Godard of "Weekend." But I would rather have seen a film about the thin shadow girl who lives, deliberately, not as victim, in other people's houses.
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