broad request for suggestions: recent Japanese films

Alexander Jacoby a_p_jacoby
Sun Sep 24 01:14:29 EDT 2006

Interesting that no one so far has mentioned Mitsuo Yanagimachi - shows how far he's dropped into obscurity since the days in the eighties when he was sort of regarded as a major younger talent. I saw Fire Festival quite recently and think it definitely merits attention both for its imaginative imagery and as a record of social and cultural change in rural Japan.
  Of very recent directors, most people seem to have fastened on the more generic talents such as Miike and the younger Kurosawa - both, I should add, directors who have made some films I admire (especially Kurosawa's Pulse/Kairo). Of the more "arty" directors of recent years, only Koreeda seems to be widely appreciated (an appreciation I share, of course). I'd like to put in a word for Tomoyuki Furumaya, maker of four features during the last decade or so. His second film, Bad Company / Madabuchi struck me as a truly exquisite little film about the emotional lives of children who don't fit in - not perhaps comparable to the best of Ozu or Mizoguchi, but rather in the mould of their only very slightly less distinguished contemporary, Hiroshi Shimizu.

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