Japanese Journals - General

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Re: Japanese Journals - General

Postby trevor826 » Sat Aug 06, 2005 6:10 am

Nikutai no Mon (1964) Gate of Flesh

Directed by Seijun Suzuki

Starring Yumiko Nogawa, Jo Shishido

Powerful, angry albeit melodramatic drama set in post war Tokyo, a story told from the perspective of a young girl Maya (Yumiko Nogawa) who is desperately looking for a way to earn some money and survive. Maya teams up with a group of women who work the streets; theyve organised themselves with their own code of conduct to ensure that no other girls work their territory and to keep the pimps at bay.

Their system is disrupted with the arrival of Shin, a small time crook who has been wounded, slowly each of their affections are aroused by him because of his strength, he also reminds them of husbands, lovers or relatives theyve lost because of the war. Maya herself falls for him and they plan to rendezvous at a bridge then make their escape together but the jealousy and rage of the other girls ensures that there will be no happy ending.

Among the things that make this film so good are the actresses, each excellent in their role, convincing as a group of women in sheer desperation who revert to base levels in order to be able to exist. The atmosphere of post-war Tokyo, all hustle and bustle, cramped with a people broken and dispirited by the war and the ensuing US occupation is also convincing.

Thats another point of the story, there is a strong subtext against the US occupation, the stars and stripes flutters proudly in the wind while a bedraggled rising sun floats, mud splattered in the stinking canal. US soldiers find a rape victim in a field, as soon as they realise shes Japanese they drive off leaving her lying there. The US troops run the show with the Japanese police acting as their lackeys and there is a deep-rooted hatred from the girls for them.

There are some scenes that could certainly be deemed as exploitational, these involve the girls doling out the punishment to their own if they break the code of conduct. The accused are stripped and severely beaten, although the scene is lit to ensure the lower region is shadowed, you get the feeling that its purpose is to titillate.

Despite my reservations regarding the beatings, I still think this is a film that is well worth seeing and as such is recommended.

Cheers Trev.

BBFC rated 18

Available on R2 Pal dvd from Hanzibar films and on R1 ntsc from Criterion.

Re: Japanese Journals - General

Postby hengcs » Sat Aug 13, 2005 12:00 pm

Be With You (Ima, Ai Ni Yukimasu) (2004) (Japan)

Director: Nobuhiro Doi
Cast: Yuko Takeuchi, Shido Nakamura, Akashi Takei

The official website (in Japanese) is ...

The Japanese title literally translates to "Now, I'm coming to meet you" ... which I think actually captures more of the essence ...

The story is simple. A father and his son had lost their wife/mother ... She had agreed to visit them during the next rainy season ... The father prayed ... And a woman who looked very much like her appeared ... Who was she? ... Well, watch it and you will know ...

What is commendable ...
-- Frankly ... only until the last 30 minutes of the film did I finally understand why many people like the film so much ... the last 30 min really makes the difference and helps piece everything together ... wow ... you may like to watch a second time to fully understand ...
-- Like "Love Letter" or "Crying Out Love At the Center of the World", the film thrives on one's "experience" of what actually happens and the "feeling" of the mood and love ...
-- The message of the film ... well, to utter it will give the story away ...

What may be problematic ...
-- Hmmm ... please be patient and watch the film ... it may not be what one expects until it ends ... does it meet one's expectation (or the hype)? ... well, it is for you to decide ...
-- Hmmm ... initially, the film may seem too unreal for some people ...

Oh no ... I hear that there is gonna be a Hollywood remake, with Jennifer Garner as the female lead ... In my very humble opinion, can you imagine a Hollywood remake of "Love Letter"?! ... hmmm ... I do not know how to explain ... but I really doubt it will be able to convey the mood and feelings aptly ...

Hmmm ... a good film to watch with someone you love ...

Well, esp. if you like films like "Love Letter" or "Crying Out Love At the Center of the World" ...

Re: Japanese Journals - General

Postby hengcs » Sun Aug 14, 2005 12:58 am

The imdb website ...

Re: Japanese Journals - General

Postby trevor826 » Mon Aug 29, 2005 2:53 pm

Still to come...

9 Souls
Battle Royale 2
The Bedroom
Black Angel
Black Angel 2
Burmese Harp
The Cruel Story of Youth
Desert Moon
Despite All That
Empire of Passion
Empty Rooms
The Geisha House
Gonin 2
Gun Crazy
Hana and Alice
Humanity & Paper Balloons
In the Realm of the Senses
Jam Films 2
Kamikaze Girls
Kanzo Sensei
Love & Pop
Love Letter
The Profound Desire of the Gods
The Returner
Sky High
Strwberry on a Shortcake
Tales of the Unusual
Tokyo Decadence
Triple Cross
Vengeance is Mine
Warm Water Under a Red Bridge
Woman of the Dunes..and more.

Re: Japanese Journals - General

Postby A » Tue Aug 30, 2005 4:00 pm

WOW, that`s a massive lineup! Happy to see some I`m interested in.

Re: Japanese Journals - General

Postby trevor826 » Tue Aug 30, 2005 7:10 pm

Any in particular, I'll push them to the front of the queue? Unfortunately because my videos and DVD's are all over the place I've only listed the ones I could lay my hands on easily.

Cheers Trev.

Re: Japanese Journals - General

Postby A » Tue Aug 30, 2005 7:33 pm

Distance, Vibrator, desert moon, Gates of Flesh.
And I`d be interested in somebody else`s opinion on Avalon. ( hopefully only praise )

Re: Japanese Journals - General

Postby trevor826 » Tue Aug 30, 2005 10:45 pm

No problem, though it'll take a couple of days to go through them.

Cheers Trev.

Re: Japanese Journals - General

Postby arsaib4 » Thu Sep 01, 2005 4:12 am

Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Bright Future.

trevor826: Another director who has been totally ignored by the UK distributors, so far I've only had the pleasure of seeing Kairo/Pulse and would love to see more.

Cheers Trev.
A: I`ve only seen Cure (1997), which was at the time a great discovery for me. I kept reading about him and his films, but no DVDs here in Germany, either.

Re: Japanese Journals - General

Postby trevor826 » Thu Sep 01, 2005 8:20 am

I watched Vibrator again yesterday and will write my comments asap, I would love to read the source novel for this because after watching it I checked some reviews and my take on it appears to be different to any I could find.

Cheers Trev.


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