Best Japanese films

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Best Japanese films

Postby john-5 » Thu Apr 11, 2002 3:32 pm

I particularly love Mizoguchi and Japanese cinema.So would like to list >60 essential films(quite a few i've not seen,i must admit).My 10 favourites are asterisked:
Mizoguchi:Sansho the Bailiff*,Ugetsu Monogatari*,Story of the Late Chrysanthemums,The Life of Oharu*,Tales of the Taira Clan*,Sisters of the Gion,Chikamatsu Monogatari,The Loyal 47 Ronin,Yang Kwei Fei.
Kurosawa:Seven Samurai*,Rashomon,Ran,Throne of Blood,Yojimbo,Ikiru,Hidden Fortress*,High and Low,Dersu Uzala,Kagemusha
Ozu:Tokyo Story*,Late Spring,I was Born But,Early Summer,An Autumn Afternoon,Early Spring
Oshima:Ai no Corrida*,Death by Hanging,The Ceremony,Night and Fog in Japan
Imamura:The Ballad of Narayama,The Eel,Vengeance is Mine,Profound Desire of the Gods,Intentions of Murder
Ichikawa:The Burmese Harp,Fires on the Plain,An Actor's Revenge,Enjo
Miyazaki:My Neighbour Totoro,Princess Mononoke,Laputa;Castles in the Air
Naruse:Floating Clouds,Wife be Like a Rose,Repast
Kobayashi:Kwaidan*,The Human Condition
Koreeda:Maborosi*,After Life
Kinugasa:Page of Madness,Gate of Hell
Teshigahara:Woman of the Dunes
Shinoda:Double Suicide
Kinoshita:Twenty Four Eyes
Yamanaka:Humanity and Paper Balloons
Takahata:Grave of the Fireflies
Suzuki:Tokyo Drifter
And Resnais' Hiroshima Mon Amour might count?
Which other films should i have included?Have i got the number of films per director about right?Opinions on the best/worst of those i've listed would be appreciated(No doubt Kurosawa will do well?).

Re: Best Japanese films

Postby rmf2001br » Sun Aug 18, 2002 2:32 am


I agree with your list, though I didn´t see many of the films you wrote down.

You forgot to add, in my opinion:
Shohei Imamura´s Insect Woman: the second best japanese film I saw
Akira Kurosawa´s Ikiru (to live): the best japanese film I´ve ever seen in my life. Just forgive me, but I don´t consider Seven samurai the best Kurosawa´s... (though I like this film too, of course)

By the way, can I ask you a question? Where did you see these films: twenty-four eyes, humanity and paper balloons, page of madness, the ceremony, death by hanging, night and fog in Japan and profound desire of the gods? I´ve been looking for them (and other rare japanese films) for a long time and I just didn´t find them!

Re: Best Japanese films

Postby jason-3 » Sun Aug 18, 2002 7:33 am

Have you seen Gion bayashi (aka A Geisha)? It's an excellent film but rather hard to find. Mizoguchi is one of the greatest filmmakers of all time. It's a shame that so few of his films are available on DVD.

Re: Best Japanese films

Postby bjornam » Fri Aug 30, 2002 8:47 pm

Would like to add:
Eureka, Shinji Aoyama, 2000.

What are your opinions on this one?

Re: Best Japanese films

Postby john-5 » Mon Sep 16, 2002 5:19 am

rmf2001br; i did include Ikiru. I should see it again, as i don't think i gave it proper respect and attention when i saw it some years back. Some of the films i haven't seen- i think i said this- but have included from my reading on the subject. There was a limited season of Mizoguchi films, including 3 unavailable on video/dvd, which did the rounds in Britain. Unfortunately i didn't get to see A Geisha; i was told, incorrectly, they would be coming out on video, so didn't make the 90 mile round trip for it. Occasionally some films have popped up on TV here, which are otherwise inaccessible. I remember Channel 4 started off in the early 80's with a season of Japanese films. Some films (a minority) not on video can be obtained for screening- for instance as we've done at our film society. I understand Imamura's Ballad of Narayama is to be released on dvd next year.

bjornam; Eureka (which i did include) is a tremendous film, imo. Worth an asterisk.

Insect Woman; point taken. I've not seen it, but have noticed it's cropped up in a couple of critics' top 10 lists recently.

2 recommended books; Japanese Film directors, by Audie Bock. A little outdated now, but still essential coverage of the great names- detailed sections on 10 directors. Also A Hundred Years of Japanese Film (2002) by Donald Richie.

I'm particularly looking forward to seeing Miyazaki's animated Spirited Away, which has had raves.

So many great films- a splendid tradition! I'm very interested in the subject but i'm absolutely not an expert.I'd be delighted if greater accessibility of the films in the West gave me the opportunity to be!

Re: Best Japanese films

Postby catalao » Thu Sep 19, 2002 12:14 pm

Should add Miike's Ichi the Killer. Maybe not a masterpiece but interesting for all addicts of japanese films

Re: Best Japanese films

Postby bigpoppa_2059 » Thu Oct 03, 2002 6:53 am

To sum up, pretty much anything by Miyazaki (anime master), Ozu, Mizoguchi, and Kurosawa.

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