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Japanese Movies

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Well, we've got a thread for horror movies and movies you last saw, but why not a thread just for Japanese movies? (i'm sure there isn't already one) This is a community centered around Japanese music after all so I'm sure some of us have seen at least one or a few Japanese movies. I got back into the mood of watching Japanese movies so I thought it'd be neat to have a specific thread to discuss about favorites, least favorites, or any recently seen movies. Discuss about anything Japanese movie related here! Feel free to include anime or live-actions as well~

 

I often hear people say that Japanese actors can't act, which I can agree with sometimes, but watch Dare mo Shiranai (Nobody Knows) and you'll probably think otherwise. Heck, the protagonist even won a best actor award. But be warned that it's not a movie for everyone. If you've seen enough Japanese movies you may recognize that most Japanese movies are slow-paced, tragic, and depressing (depending on what you watch I guess). But a lot of them are very good so I keep watching them, haha. Plus, I do love tragic films.

 

Other than Dare mo Shiranai, another favorite of mine is All About Lily Chou-Chou. A powerful and harrowing film revolving around the complexities of teenagers and the role of music as a salvation. I think it's a film quite relatable to many of our teenage selves. It also has an amazing soundtrack contributed with Japanese singer Salyu, and a few of Claude Debussy's pieces. Unfortunately, the film is rather lengthy and it may be hard for some to sit through, but I still like it nevertheless.

 

I must also mention Kokuhaku (Confessions) because it was probably the movie that got me into watching other Japanese movies. It's a pretty well-known movie outside of Japan too. Great dark psychological thriller based on a novel (which I've still yet to read).

 

I can talk about more of my favorites, but I'll mention one last movie. It's called Fish Story and is perhaps the first uplifting Japanese movie that I really enjoyed. IMO it has a well thought-out storyline and has some good character development. Plus, you get a glimpse on some of the struggles within the music industry through a punk band. Just a fun movie to watch~ (also based on a novel)

 

Okay~~ What Japanese movies have you seen?? Any recommendations?

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1 hour ago, plastic_rainbow said:

If you've seen enough Japanese movies you may recognize that most Japanese movies are slow-paced, tragic, and depressing (depending on what you watch I guess). But a lot of them are very good so I keep watching them, haha. Plus, I do love tragic films.

 

 

I have no idea about how many Japanese films I've seen, but if I were to guess I'd say I've seen something like 3-400 or more films and I'll admit that I've never noticed anyhing like that. Japanese films are like films for any other country, America included. Some are slow-paced, some are fast-paced, some tragic, some uplifting or whatever and so on. It just depends on what type of films you see.

 

Love Japanese cinema, just like I love Chinese, Korean, French, American, Danish, Swedish and so god damn on. Got their ups and downs, just like other countries. Got some huge names as far as directors goes too, and I think names like Akira Kurosawa, Hayao Miyazaki, Seijun Suzuki, Yasujirô Ozu, Kaneto Shindô, Masaki Kobayashi, Kenji Mizoguchi, Kihachi Okamoto, Eiichi Kudô, Hiroshi Teshigahara, Isao Takahata, Kenji Misumi and Ishirō Honda, just to mention a few, should be familiar to anyone with a genuine film interest, and I'm not even joking. Huge, huge names!

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Suicide Club, Battle Royale, Cold Fish, Lesson of the Evil, Rainbow Song, Outrage, Hana-bi, Cure, Gohatto, Tag, Sway, The World of Kanako... and many, manu more.

 

Hard to pick a favorite, but I'd say Battle Royale was pretty unique at its time. Too bad it has been dumbed down by The Hunger Games (which I like, but took out the "uniqueness" BR had).

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47 minutes ago, Bear said:

 

I have no idea about how many Japanese films I've seen, but if I were to guess I'd say I've seen something like 3-400 or more films and I'll admit that I've never noticed anyhing like that. Japanese films are like films for any other country, America included. Some are slow-paced, some are fast-paced, some tragic, some uplifting or whatever and so on. It just depends on what type of films you see.

 

Love Japanese cinema, just like I love Chinese, Korean, French, American, Danish, Swedish and so god damn on. Got their ups and downs, just like other countries. Got some huge names as far as directors goes too, and I think names like Akira Kurosawa, Hayao Miyazaki, Seijun Suzuki, Yasujirô Ozu, Kaneto Shindô, Masaki Kobayashi, Kenji Mizoguchi, Kihachi Okamoto, Eiichi Kudô, Hiroshi Teshigahara, Isao Takahata, Kenji Misumi and Ishirō Honda, just to mention a few, should be familiar to anyone with a genuine film interest, and I'm not even joking. Huge, huge names!

 

Yeah, that's true, hence it really depends on what kinds of films you see. Just about every Japanese film I've seen had a very heavy subject matter so I always had the impression that most of them were depressing and slow-paced.

 

You're clearly more knowledgeable about Japanese cinema than me! I've seen a few of Akira Kurosawa films and most of Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata's films only. I've heard Yasujiro Ozu's name before, but haven't seen his stuff yet.

 

4 minutes ago, Licio123 said:

Suicide Club, Battle Royale, Cold Fish, Lesson of the Evil, Rainbow Song, Outrage, Hana-bi, Cure, Gohatto, Tag, Sway, The World of Kanako... and many, manu more.

 

I really liked Suicide Club and Battle Royale back then, but I feel like if I watch them again I may change my mind, haha.

I actually just watched Rainbow Song recently, good movie! And I think quite relatable.

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I loved all of Shion Sono's movies I've seen so far. Really enjoy Tsukamoto's stuff as well. Miike's always been quite hit-or-miss for me, but the majority of his stuff that I've watched has been nice. I really love Shuji Terayama for his imagery, the only western director I can think of at the moment with such visually striking films is probably Jodorowsky.. Sogo Ishii's cool. I'm also a fan of those schlocky Japnese action movies like Tokyo Gore Police et al, as well as stupid ''people in rubber suits beating the shit out of each other'' tokusatsu stuff, even though they're not anywhere close to ''quality'' cinema or whatever. Fuck that.

 

Also, Survive Style 5+ is that good shit. LOVE that movie.

 

I've been meaning to check out some of Kitano's movies, but I don't know where to start..

Edited by Tokage

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16 hours ago, Tokage said:

I've been meaning to check out some of Kitano's movies, but I don't know where to start..

 

That's a hard pick, but I'd say you should start with Sonatine, Boiling Point, Battle Royale, Violent Cop, Brother or Hana-bi. Those are great films and you can't go wrong with any of them. He's got other films like Tokyo Eyes, Dolls and Zatoichi too that is amazing.

 

 

 

 

And as far as Japanese and unique cinema goes I'd have to agree with Tokage on the New Wave of Japanese Splatter which really ystands out. They took the whole genre to a new level of weirdness with a lot of these films. The 80's and early-mid 90's Cyberpunk scene was pretty unique and of course samurai/chambara cinema. But that's it as far as I can think of.

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17 hours ago, Tokage said:

I loved all of Shion Sono's movies I've seen so far.

 

As far as I know the only movie I've seen of his is Suicide Club. I've thought about watching Noriko's Dinner Table before but are there others that I should particularly check as well?

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The 3 I've seen so far are Suicide Club, Himizu and Cold Fish. All 3 of them were good in my eyes. I don't know why, but I get this ''Ryu Murakami if he ended up being a film director instead of an author'' vibe from his movies.

 

I've seen Battle Royale already, but I wanted to check out the films Kitano actually directed himself. Guess I'll have to go troll around for some torrents again soon...

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12 minutes ago, Tokage said:

The 3 I've seen so far are Suicide Club, Himizu and Cold Fish. All 3 of them were good in my eyes. I don't know why, but I get this ''Ryu Murakami if he ended up being a film director instead of an author'' vibe from his movies.

 

Cool, I'll keep them in mind~

I was just randomly recalling about a film adaptation of Ryu Murakami's novel called Karaoke Terror/The Complete Showa Songbook. I wonder if you've seen it? I haven't read any of his novels though, but it's a fun and amusing movie. One of my favorites.

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I've read the novel that one's based on, In The Miso Soup, Piercing and Coinlocker Babies, and tbh the only one out of all those that i REALLY liked was Coinlocker Babies, I could totally see Sono doing a film adaption of that one. The other ones were alright enough, I guess, but sort of had the 'Chuck Palahniuk' effect on me where it feels like the author's trying too hard to be edgy and shocking...

 

Himizu's interesting, it takes place in the time after the whole Fukushima disaster and the whole trouble surrounding it, I suggest you check it out!

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1 hour ago, Tokage said:

I've read the novel that one's based on, In The Miso Soup, Piercing and Coinlocker Babies, and tbh the only one out of all those that i REALLY liked was Coinlocker Babies, I could totally see Sono doing a film adaption of that one. The other ones were alright enough, I guess, but sort of had the 'Chuck Palahniuk' effect on me where it feels like the author's trying too hard to be edgy and shocking...

 

Himizu's interesting, it takes place in the time after the whole Fukushima disaster and the whole trouble surrounding it, I suggest you check it out!

 

That Himizu part isn't completely right. The story itself already existed as a manga and was adapted by the director to fit the Tsunami/Fukushima disaster. But it doesn't revolve around it!

 

54 minutes ago, Bear said:

You need to watch Strange Circus, Love Exposure, Guilty of Romance and Himizu for sure. Quality films!

 

Ah, Love Exposure and Himizu are still two of my fave movies ever. Really great leads for both as well.

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Well, yeah, i didn't say it revolves around it, it just takes place during that time. Didn't know it was based on a manga though, huh, interesting. Anyway, point is the movie's good.

 

For those who've seen both, which do you like more?

Miike's Happiness of the Katakuris or the Korean original?

Edited by Tokage

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19 minutes ago, Tokage said:

For those who've seen both, which do you like more?

Miike's Happiness of the Katakuris or the Korean original?

 

If I had to choose I'd go with... fufuck it, I have to say both. They're hard to compare and they're two very different movies too. The Happiness of the Katakuris is only loosely based on The Quiet Family, which makes both worth seeing. The Quiet Family has a darker and more serious tone than The Happiness of the Katakuris and its absurdity. The Quiet Family has a lot of Hitchcockian quality to it, and i f that's your thing you should totally see it ASAP.

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Damn, Noriko's Dinner Table, how could I forget? Another masterpiece! Love Exposure is also great, but not as much as the other SS films I listed above.

 

Other ones I remembered:

 

I Just Didn't do It (the best courtroom movie ever)

Lakeside Murder Case

Noroi (the best handheld camera horror ever XD)

Vengeance Can Wait

Shady (unknown but great)

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Noroi is pretty great, but the bad CGI sort of killed some of the ''atmosphere'' for me.

Although I guess if you take it as some kind of homage/pastiche of those Japanese ghost story tv shows it's BRILLIANT.

 

And yeah, I can't really choose between Katakuris and The Quiet Family myself either, although at the moment I'm feeling the latter a bit more 'cuz I saw it more recently and it's more fresh in my mind. I only remember a few key scenes from Miike's version.. Should rewatch it at some point

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2 hours ago, Kaye said:

 

That Himizu part isn't completely right. The story itself already existed as a manga and was adapted by the director to fit the Tsunami/Fukushima disaster. But it doesn't revolve around it!

 

Yeah, I thought it had been connected with the manga. Thanks for clarifying!

 

Seems like a lot of Shion Sono's movies are great. I'll just have to watch all of those listed myself, starting with Himizu first~

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On 6/6/2016 at 3:51 PM, plastic_rainbow said:

 

Other than Dare mo Shiranai, another favorite of mine is All About Lily Chou-Chou. A powerful and harrowing film revolving around the complexities of teenagers and the role of music as a salvation. I think it's a film quite relatable to many of our teenage selves. It also has an amazing soundtrack contributed with Japanese singer Salyu, and a few of Claude Debussy's pieces. Unfortunately, the film is rather lengthy and it may be hard for some to sit through, but I still like it nevertheless.

 

 

Love this movie! The tone and general aesthetic of the film really captures me, but it's not one that I can watch too often. And I agree about the soundtrack being amazing - for me it's one of the best things Salyu has ever done outside of her collaboration with Cornelius.

 

I haven't seen a ton of Japanese movies, but I also really enjoyed Shiki-Jitsu. I think the tone of it is similar to that of lily chou-chou, as it has a really artsy "indie" vibe if you will.

 

Others I've enjoyed are Memories of Matsuko, which is a tragic comedy, and features cameos from several Jpop stars. The cinematography is also really colorful and vibrant.

 

The One Million Yen Girl was pretty pleasant to watch, although the plot isn't the most enthralling, it did kind of have an open-ended feeling to it that I enjoyed. Plus Aoi Yu is pretty great - she had a role in lily chou-chou when she was much younger btw.

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It's been a long time since I last saw it, but Laundry (2001) left a strong impression on me. It's a kind of subdued love story about a young man with brain damage that helps run a laundromat and a mysterious girl he meets. I can't even remember much of the plot, tbh, but something about the overall vibe of it still stands out in my mind.

 

Plus I'm a big Yosuke Kubozuka fan.

 

 

Edited by violetchain

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Since we already have a thread like this I thought I'd put up a list of my favourite Japanese films, and films I consider quintessential as far as Japanese cinema goes.

 

Kwaidan (Masaki Kobayashi)

Onibaba (Kaneto Shindo)

Ninja Scroll (Yoshiaki Kawajiri)

Akira (Katsuhiro Otomo)

Lady Snowblood (Toshiya Fujita)

Gojira (Ishiro Honda)

The Street Fighter (Shigehiro Ozawa)

Boachi Bushido: Code of the Forgotten Eight (Teruo Ishii)

Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa)

The Magic Serpent (Tetsuya Yamanouchi)

Castle of Owls (Eiichi Kudo)

Sword of Doom (Kihachi Okamoto)

Sex and Fury (Noribumi Suzuki)

Stray Dog (Akira Kurosawa)

Samurai Rebellion (Masaki Kobayashi)

Harakiri (Masaki Kobayashi)

Female Prisoner 701: Scorpion (Shunya Ito)

Female Convict Scorpion: Jailhouse 41 (Shunya Ito)

Female Convict Scorpion: Beast Stable (Shunya Ito)

Howl's Moving Castle (Hayao Miyazaki)

Ikiru (Akira Kurosawa)

The Hidden Fortress (Akira Kurosawa)

Lone Wolf and Cub (all 6 films!)

Ugetsu (Kenji Mizoguchi)

Jigoku (Nobuo Nakagawa)

Hausu (Nobuhiko Obayashi)

Ghost Story of Yotsuya (Nobuo Nakagawa)

Evil Dead Trap (Toshiharu Ikeda)

Kuroneko (Kaneto Shindo)

Ringu (Hideo Nakata)

The Snow Woman (Tokuzo Tanaka)

 

 

Mu thought was to keep it at a maximum of 15 movies, but that was just too hard. Japanese cinema is too good to keep it at such a low amount. And even now I feel like I left out way too many movies and I can think of at least 25 samurai films that should be on a list consisting of what one think of as quintessential. But I feel like I managed to cover everything I wanted to cover, ranging from classic Japanese samurai films to classic Japanese horror films, trashy horror films, exploitation and anime. It's a little something for everyone. But I could go on forever to be honest.

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Best. Crime. Movie. Ever. Made:

 

High and Low (directed by Kurosawa)

 

One of my all-time favorite movies also. The third act is definitely the weakest part of the movie but still 10/10!

 

Edited by indigo

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17 hours ago, CAT5 said:

 

Love this movie! The tone and general aesthetic of the film really captures me, but it's not one that I can watch too often. And I agree about the soundtrack being amazing - for me it's one of the best things Salyu has ever done outside of her collaboration with Cornelius.

 

I haven't seen a ton of Japanese movies, but I also really enjoyed Shiki-Jitsu. I think the tone of it is similar to that of lily chou-chou, as it has a really artsy "indie" vibe if you will.

 

Others I've enjoyed are Memories of Matsuko, which is a tragic comedy, and features cameos from several Jpop stars. The cinematography is also really colorful and vibrant.

 

The One Million Yen Girl was pretty pleasant to watch, although the plot isn't the most enthralling, it did kind of have an open-ended feeling to it that I enjoyed. Plus Aoi Yu is pretty great - she had a role in lily chou-chou when she was much younger btw.

 

To tell you the truth, that movie introduced me to Salyu but I haven't listened to any of her other stuff since. xD I'm not real familiar with her and I feel that her other stuff might be too pop for me, or otherwise have a different vibe.

 

I have Shiki-jitsu bookmarked! Seems like it'll be something I'll enjoy.

The other two movies you mentioned seem interesting too. I've been growing a bit fond of Aoi Yu lately~

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This thread needs som Japanese insanity:

 

The Machine Girl

1275389722_machine-girl-ass-machine-gun.

 

Tokyo Gore Police

keBgmjB.gif

 

Mutant Girls Squad

giphy.gif

 

Meatball Machine

Meatball-Machine-2005-1.gif

 

Robo Geisha

TxUP2YQ.gif

 

Helldriver

giphy.gif

 

Yakuza Weapon

tumblr_lzkslkQ77j1qzr8nao2_500.gif

 

Samurai Zombie

tumblr_m6e8ieYMP61qlh9eeo1_500.gif

 

Alien vs Ninja

ninja.gif

 

 

 

 

Haha! Hellz fuckin' yeah, baby! I just love these trashy films. Only thing that could've done them even more enjoyable is if the CGI were dropped for ONLY practical special effects. Other than that these are hard not to enjoy as long as you have a few beers, a friend or two and love trash cinema.

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No way of knowing if it's been mentioned already but on my flight back from Japan a few weeks ago, I watched a movie called "Grasshopper" which was really cool. Good action thriller. I enjoyed the new Exile movie too but maybe that's just me.

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Watched Himizu a few days ago and it was quite good~ Although, the female lead annoyed me a little too much to enjoy it fully. But in the end, she had an important role in the movie so I couldn't totally hate her. I think it would've been interesting to see more of her side of the story too though.

 

And thanks @Bear for adding those awesome gifs to the thread. xD

I like looking at them for laughs, but as for sitting through a whole movie I am not so sure. Well, if it's a horror/thriller than yeah, maybe.

 

Speaking of gifs, there's a lot of weird shit going on in Naisu no Mori (Funky Forest). One of the strangest movies I've ever seen.

tumblr_m7qreihv4d1qh20x6o1_500.gif

 

tumblr_mmftdzl3Kz1rhd1xfo1_500.gif

Edited by plastic_rainbow

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