Japanese Cinema: texts and contexts

by sh0-358-291202 | created - 28 Dec 2012 | updated - 28 Dec 2012 | Public

Book ISBN: 978-0415328487

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1. I Was Born, But... (1932)

Not Rated | 100 min | Comedy, Drama

91 Metascore

Two young brothers throw a tantrum when they discover that their father isn't the most important man in his workplace.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu | Stars: Tatsuo Saitô, Tomio Aoki, Mitsuko Yoshikawa, Hideo Sugawara

Votes: 4,017

2. Osaka Elegy (1936)

90 min | Comedy, Drama

A young woman becomes a mistress of her boss in order to support her family.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi | Stars: Isuzu Yamada, Seiichi Takegawa, Chiyoko Ôkura, Shinpachirô Asaka

Votes: 1,672

3. Humanity and Paper Balloons (1937)

86 min | Drama

The lives of two slum neighbors, one of a happy-go-lucky gambler and the other of a poor ronin, converge when the two get involved with the affairs of a powerful samurai official and his gangsters.

Director: Sadao Yamanaka | Stars: Chôjûrô Kawarasaki, Kan'emon Nakamura, Tsuruzô Nakamura, Chôemon Bandô

Votes: 1,464

4. Kanzashi (1941)

70 min | Drama

At a rural spa, a soldier accidentally cuts his foot on a hairpin. Soon enough he tracks down its lovely owner and finds himself smitten.

Director: Hiroshi Shimizu | Stars: Shin'ichi Himori, Kanji Kawahara, Hiroko Kawasaki, Koji Matsumoto

Votes: 446

5. Late Spring (1949)

Not Rated | 108 min | Drama

Noriko is twenty-seven years old and still living with her widowed father. Everybody tries to talk her into marrying, but Noriko wants to stay at home caring for her father.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu | Stars: Chishû Ryû, Setsuko Hara, Yumeji Tsukioka, Haruko Sugimura

Votes: 11,444

6. The Life of Oharu (1952)

Not Rated | 133 min | Drama

Follows a woman's fight and survival amid the vicissitudes of life and the cruelty of the society.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi | Stars: Kinuyo Tanaka, Tsukie Matsuura, Ichirô Sugai, Toshirô Mifune

Votes: 5,058

7. Gojira (1954)

Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

78 Metascore

American nuclear weapons testing results in the creation of a seemingly unstoppable, dinosaur-like beast.

Director: Ishirô Honda | Stars: Takashi Shimura, Akihiko Hirata, Akira Takarada, Momoko Kôchi

Votes: 23,137 | Gross: $2.42M

8. Seven Samurai (1954)

Not Rated | 207 min | Adventure, Drama

98 Metascore

A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Keiko Tsushima, Yukiko Shimazaki

Votes: 271,723 | Gross: $0.27M

9. Bangiku (1954)

101 min | Drama

What is the life of a Geisha like once her beauty has faded and she has retired? Kin has saved her money, and has become a wealthy money-lender, spending her days cold-heartedly collecting ... See full summary »

Director: Mikio Naruse | Stars: Haruko Sugimura, Ken Uehara, Sadako Sawamura, Chikako Hosokawa

Votes: 792

10. Enjô (1958)

99 min | Drama

Goichi Mizoguchi, an aspiring Buddhist monk who became involved in the temple that was owned by his father, through a series of flashbacks, framed as a police interrogation, Mizoguchi ... See full summary »

Director: Kon Ichikawa | Stars: Raizô Ichikawa, Ganjirô Nakamura, Tatsuya Nakadai, Yôichi Funaki

Votes: 599

11. Giants and Toys (1958)

95 min | Comedy, Drama

In the middle of a fierce commercial competition between three caramel companies, an executive builds up a ditsy teenage girl as a mascot while simultaneously trying to uncover the rival companies' plans.

Director: Yasuzô Masumura | Stars: Hiroshi Kawaguchi, Hitomi Nozoe, Osamu Abe, Kôichi Fujiyama

Votes: 658

12. Seishun zankoku monogatari (1960)

Not Rated | 96 min | Drama

A harsh young man seduces a freeloading young woman and eventually takes advantage of her knack for hitch-hiking to rob middle-class men.

Director: Nagisa Ôshima | Stars: Miyuki Kuwano, Yûsuke Kawazu, Yoshiko Kuga, Fumio Watanabe

Votes: 1,673

13. Woman in the Dunes (1964)

Not Rated | 123 min | Drama, Thriller

An entomologist on vacation is trapped by local villagers into living with a woman whose life task is shoveling sand for them.

Director: Hiroshi Teshigahara | Stars: Eiji Okada, Kyôko Kishida, Hiroko Itô, Kôji Mitsui

Votes: 14,033

14. Branded to Kill (1967)

Not Rated | 91 min | Action, Crime, Drama

After a badly done assignment, a hitman finds himself in conflict with his organisation, and one mysterious and dangerous fellow-hitman in particular.

Director: Seijun Suzuki | Stars: Jô Shishido, Mariko Ogawa, Annu Mari, Kôji Nanbara

Votes: 6,618

15. Double Suicide (1969)

Not Rated | 105 min | Drama

A doomed love between a paper merchant and a courtesan.

Director: Masahiro Shinoda | Stars: Kichiemon Nakamura, Shima Iwashita, Shizue Kawarazaki, Tokie Hidari

Votes: 1,751

16. In the Realm of the Senses (1976)

NC-17 | 109 min | Biography, Drama, Horror

A passionate telling of the story of Sada Abe, a woman whose affair with her master led to a sexual obsession which then came to a violent end.

Director: Nagisa Ôshima | Stars: Tatsuya Fuji, Eiko Matsuda, Aoi Nakajima, Yasuko Matsui

Votes: 15,730

17. Vengeance Is Mine (1979)

Not Rated | 139 min | Crime, Drama

Chronological exploits of Iwao Enokizu, a murderous thief on the run.

Director: Shôhei Imamura | Stars: Ken Ogata, Rentarô Mikuni, Chôchô Miyako, Mitsuko Baishô

Votes: 4,975

18. Kazoku gêmu (1983)

107 min | Comedy, Drama

A sendup of the stereo-typical Japanese family: dad is a salaryman jerk, unable to relate to anyone; mom is a hopeless housewife; the older son is a moderate academic success; but the ... See full summary »

Director: Yoshimitsu Morita | Stars: Yûsaku Matsuda, Jûzô Itami, Saori Yuki, Ichirôta Miyakawa

Votes: 671

19. Himatsuri (1985)

126 min | Drama

The villagers in a beautiful remote area of Japan are divided into the woodsmen, who worship the mountain goddess, and the fishermen, who worship the goddess of the sea. These traditions ... See full summary »

Director: Mitsuo Yanagimachi | Stars: Kin'ya Kitaôji, Kiwako Taichi, Norihei Miki, Junko Miyashita

Votes: 218

20. Tampopo (1985)

Not Rated | 114 min | Comedy

A truck driver stops at a small family-run noodle shop and decides to help its fledgling business. The story is intertwined with various vignettes about the relationship of love and food.

Director: Jûzô Itami | Stars: Ken Watanabe, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Nobuko Miyamoto, Kôji Yakusho

Votes: 12,515 | Gross: $0.22M

21. Maborosi (1995)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama

94 Metascore

A young woman's husband apparently commits suicide without warning or reason, leaving behind his wife and infant.

Director: Hirokazu Koreeda | Stars: Makiko Esumi, Takashi Naitô, Tadanobu Asano, Gohki Kashiyama

Votes: 3,485

22. Fireworks (1997)

103 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

Nishi leaves the police in the face of harrowing personal and professional difficulties. Spiraling into depression, he makes questionable decisions.

Director: Takeshi Kitano | Stars: Takeshi Kitano, Kayoko Kishimoto, Ren Osugi, Susumu Terajima

Votes: 24,044 | Gross: $0.23M

23. Ringu (1998)

Not Rated | 96 min | Horror, Mystery

A reporter and her ex-husband investigate a cursed video tape that is rumored to kill the viewer seven days after watching it.

Director: Hideo Nakata | Stars: Nanako Matsushima, Miki Nakatani, Yûko Takeuchi, Hitomi Satô

Votes: 56,818

24. Spirited Away (2001)

PG | 125 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

96 Metascore

During her family's move to the suburbs, a sullen 10-year-old girl wanders into a world ruled by gods, witches, and spirits, and where humans are changed into beasts.

Directors: Hayao Miyazaki, Kirk Wise | Stars: Daveigh Chase, Suzanne Pleshette, Miyu Irino, Rumi Hiiragi

Votes: 527,295 | Gross: $10.06M



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