Set during Japan's Shogun era, this film looks at life in a samurai compound where young warriors are trained in swordfighting. A number of interpersonal conflicts are brewing in the ... See full summary »
A successful doctor, Yukio's picture perfect life is gradually wrecked, and taken over by his avenging twin brother, who bumps off his family members one by one and reclaims his lover who is now Yukio's wife.
Nanni Moretti directs himself playing himself in this wry look at life. Presented in three chapters, Moretti uses the experiences of traveling on his motor-scooter, cruising with his friend... See full summary »
After losing everything in a tsunami, 10-year-old Hana is taken in by 26-year-old distant relative Jungo Kusarino. They live as father and daughter but share a profound sense of loss. Jungo... See full summary »
Members of a cult, modeled on Aum Shinrikyo, sabotage a city's water supply, then commit mass suicide near the shores of a lake. Family members of the perpetrators meet at the lake to observe the anniversary of their loved ones' deaths.
A short (72 minutes), direct and to-the-point media-commentary thriller. A sleazy TV producer trying to exploit a quiet otaku (an obsessive hobbyist) whose hobby is electronic eavesdropping ends up getting a lot more than he bargained for when they eavesdrop on the wrong conversation and he prods said otaku into helping him "investigate" the lead, only to find out that some things (and people) are not always as they seem, when a minor altercation causes things to take a rather nasty turn....
In a relatively quiet, but brutally direct way, this movie is an excellent criticism of the trend towards "reality shows" and "reality news," and how both tend to sensationalize violence and danger and exploit ordinary people in the service of "entertainment."
Adding to its power and feel of authenticity is the fact that it was shot entirely from the perspective of the cinematographer, who also plays the occasionally heard (but never seen) camera man. No sensationalizing; just a brilliant, powerful movie.
Excellent performances all around, but a special mention for Tadanobu Asano, who gives an outstanding performance as the beleaguered otaku, and demonstrates why he is one of Japan's best and most sought-after actors.
The subtitled (Region 2) DVD release is not widescreen, but considering the premise and perspective, the original probably wasn't and shouldn't've been.
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