This valiant melodrama is the brilliant debut as a moviemaker of the great Japanese actress Kinuyo Tanaka, who also has a small role in the story. Based on a screenplay by Keinosuke Kinoshita, Koibumi explores the wounds of war, the limits of love and the need to forgive. A sad and troubled man, Reikichi Mayumi finds a new job five years after the end of WWII. He will write love letters for other people, which was not uncommon in post-war times His ideas about love and his personal principles will be tested when he reconnects with his former girlfriend, Michiko, a woman with a dark past marked by war and the further occupation of her country by the US military forces.
A runaway cat-loving girl begins a love triangle with a reckless older man and a young biker in high school. The film follows their subsequent chaotic relationships.
Mr. Kenmochi is older and loss of sexual potency. He discovers that jealousy is the remedy, reviving his loss of sexual vigor. To do so, he forces his wife Ikuko to take an interest in young Kimura, his daughter Toshiko’s fiancé.
Yuriko works at home all day as a tape transcriber, while her husband, Takashi, works as a school teacher. Yuriko’s behavior grows stranger and more distant and she starts spending all day “patrolling” the neighborhood. Takashi follows her one afternoon and begins to suspect that she may be suffering from schizophrenia.
A helter skelter of late 60’s counter-culture psychedelia played in two separate screens, images of student riots, drag queens getting ready for a night in town, fires, juxtaposed against swinging hippies, Japanese women casually arranging their wardrobe, people commuting to work, and various cartoon strips, all this played over a collage of news report snippets telling about the Communist threat, radio recordings, Rolling Stones, Japanese pop tunes, and Hitler speeches, while flickering images of fires and disfigured babies flash over the screen now and again. It’s all pretty anarchic and adds up to no concrete narrative but it all makes sense in a purely audiovisual way.
The solemn, intent faces of the Japanese schoolboys playing video games in Jun Ichikawa’s “No Life King” bespeak a new type of modern horror. Addicted to their favorite new game (from which the film takes its title), these children have become seriously estranged from the real world. The film’s constant emphasis is on the ways in which this has been allowed to happen, and on how emblematic it is of larger attitudes in a technological society. When a young boy trying to converse with his mother must compete with a home computer for her attention, it’s not hard to see why the boy has retreated into his own computer-dominated world.
Never one to shy away from uncomfortable topics, Kei Kumai adapted Shusaku Endo’s 1957 novel The Sea and Poison into one of the most complex studies on film of medical ethics. The movie (sometimes graphically) describes the use of eight downed American fliers as subjects of experimental surgical techniques at Kyushu University’s medical school and hospital in the summer of 1945, in the course of which all eight prisoners were murdered.
A strange, homeless motorcyclist named Kaze who is suffering from amnesia finds himself in a Shinjuku slum with no recollection of who, or where he’s from. Impervious to pain and fear he soon strikes up an odd friendship with Yamazaki, a local mid level yakuza having trouble with rivals over drug territory.