Japanese Films In '99
Mon Sep 13 21:49:59 EDT 1999
Even though I review films, I still don't feel comfortable about making
up best ten lists and stuff like that. There's always movies you haven't
But even so, I do like to recommend films if they are particularly
interesting. These, of course, come from my own warped sensibilities, so
you can take them with a grain of salt.
>"After Life" is a favorite, actually '98.
Actually, it wasn't released in Japan until 1999 so it will be eligible
for all the 1999 awards here. As with much of Koreeda's work, I find it
emotionally quite powerful but intellectually dissatisfying. Koreeda, in
my mind, is a very skilled director who is not always original--and not
always good at pursuing the cinematic problems he sets up for himself.
OK, call me a warped intellectual....
Disappointing and a mess in many parts.
> So my question basically is: what Japanese films, old or new, did
>everyone see for the first time this year that they feel are especially
>noteworthy and would recommend? I'm especially interested in opinions of
>anyone in Japan (any thoughts, Aaron or Mark Schilling?) as well as Europe
>and anywhere in Asia.
Looking over my notes from this year, the films I particularly liked are:
_Shady Grove_ (Aoyama Shinji)
_M/Other_ (Suwa Nobuhiro)
_Mikazuki_ (Mochizuki Rokuro)
On a lower rung are:
_Adrenaline Drive_ (Yaguchi Shinobu)
_Moonlight Whispers_ (Shiota Akihiko)
A great film, but still not fully digested (even though I reviewed it
_Gemini_ (Tsukamoto Shinya)
Since I always like to recommend old movies, some good ones I recently
_Kyonetsu no kisetsu_ (Kurhara Koreyoshi, 1960), aka _Weird Love Makers_
Great use of jazz, youth alienation, the desire to escape, the
_Kenju buraicho: Ashita naki otoko_ (Noguchi Hiroshi, 1960).
Jo and Akai's repartee is classic.
Yes, we should all see more Nikkatsu.
There's much more, but got to go.
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