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One of a kind
Tampopo is a wonderfully thought-provoking film full of wit, charm, and insightful if not scathing commentary on contemporary Japanese society. I've seen this movie a dozen times and I still find something new every time that makes my jaw drop. One of my all-time favorites. Even after 15 years, Tampopo is still a must-see film for anyone with an interest in Japan.
Minbô no onna (1992)
Juzo Itami at the top of his game
Minbo is Juzo Itami's most outrageous and entertaining film to date. Known as one of Japan's finest directors and one of its harshest social critics, Itami (who died, sadly, in 1997) took the yakuza head on in Minbo and produced a biting satire that packs more punch than a Jackie Chan double feature. Minbo is my second favorite of Itami's works, behind only the classic Tampopo. Unfortunately, I don't believe Minbo has been released on DVD. Try to get a copy on VHS. It's well worth it!
I have so much love to give (don't read if you have not seen the movie)
Magnolia is a movie about loneliness. A movie about regret. A movie about truth and lies, and living with the consequences. A movie about the need to love, and to be loved, and, to be saved. Magnolia reminds us that we are all connected in this world. We are not alone. And, as Claudia's smile tells us as we listen to the closing song, we can all be saved "from the ranks of the freaks who suspect they could never love anyone." In short, Magnolia is a movie about everything that matters, and it is, in my humble opinion, not just one of those things. No, it is not just any movie. It is, dare I say it, the finest American movie since Citizen Kane.