From the Criterion Collection: "Among the first Japanese films to deal directly with the scars of World War II, this drama about a group of rank-and-file Japanese soldiers jailed for crimes... 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 »
The story takes place in feudal Japan, when any commerce with the rest of the world was strictly prohibited. An idealist suddenly appears in an isolated inn (the one that the title refers ... See full summary »
An elder ronin samurai arrives at a feudal lord's home and requests an honorable place to commit suicide. But when the ronin inquires about a younger samurai who arrived before him things take an unexpected turn.
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Cute and innocent family comedy that really managed to charm me
Kobayashi's debut is not only the anti-thesis of the films he's most known for - It's warm, bubbling and charmingly innocent - but also an thoroughly impressive first film. Though constantly threading close to the silly this romanticized drama comedy about an average Japanese family and their son who is becoming a man, was just too irresistible. I can easily see why many wouldn't consider it a great work however, and some contrivances were pushing it. It's saving grace here is the consistent style that allows this. Can't see any veteran doing this better, and my, in hindsight, the contrast to his latter work is as if planned. Having yet to discover most of his early films I can't wait to see the rest of his evolution and how he went from this to Black River, that until now was the earliest film I had seen from him. The change could not be greater, the only thing they have in common is his craftsmanship.
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