The Ring

M Arnold ma_iku at
Mon Sep 20 22:34:29 EDT 1999

Hi everyone.

>I have to admit, I'm a total "The Ring"-addict.

I'm wondering what you all think (in 'academic' terms and not -- I'm 
interested in hearing any comments) of the recent 'boom' in horror movies in 
Japan.  Ring, Rasen, Ring 2, Cure, Shikoku, Nakata Hideo, etc.  Also the 
Ring TV drama, and could we even include Nemureru Mori?  Of course Japan has 
had it's share of horror movies over the years, but especially within the 
last 2 or 3 years there seems to be some new interest in domestic horror and 
thriller movies.  The films seem to be attracting a bit of attention outside 
of Japan as well.  There's also a similar kind of 'boom' happening in 
America with movies like Scream and I Know What you Did Last Summer (?).  
What kind of reception are those movies getting in Japan?

I read somewhere that Shiryou no Wana was recently released in a few 
American theaters.  People over there seem to be excited by the fact that 
"this kind" of "groundbreaking" movie is (or was -- 10 years ago) made even 
in Japan too.  To tell the truth I didn't see that much in it.

I used to have a lot of fun watching cheesy American horror movies like 
Friday the 13th in my young(er) years, and it's interesting for to see the 
differences between the ways American and Japanese movies make horror.

I haven't been able to locate most of his more recent films so I might have 
missed something, but wasn't Kurosawa Kiyoshi mostly a horror director?  Why 
the shift to drama in his recent work?  Horror or not, frankly I thought the 
very Unagi-ish Ningen Goukaku was a bit of a step down from Cure.

Now on a different topic, a short while ago people were talking about 
bookstores.  I went to Machida in Tokyo last weekend and found a used shop 
that had the best selection of used film-related books I've been able to 
find so far.  They also had some film pamphlets and a variety of old 
magazines.  Unfortunately I don't remember the name -- Something or other 
Book Bazaar, I think.  It was in the 3rd or 4th floor of a building on the 
corner of a block, next to the Odakyu line crossing, very close to Dotour, 
Mr. Donuts, and the small plaza with that strange clock that plays music 
with dancing puppets when the alarm rings.  <:-/  I'll take a look at a map 
a little later and try to get an exact location.

Mike A

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