Tai Katô’s highly stylised & often-seedy tale of revenge is definitely not for the faint hearted! Five women sexually molest a 16-year-old delivery boy & drive him to suicide. Like Oshima’s Violence at Noon & Imamura’s Vengeance is Mine, this legendary exploitation film portrays the disturbing anatomy of a serial killer. Stars Makoto Satô as the revenge-driven killer who sets out to avenge his friend’s suicide by appointing himself judge, jury & executioner.
Yoshishige Yoshida’s first feature follows the lives of young students against a background of jazz, emptiness and boredom. The plot is fairly simple: a “good-for-nothing” from a poor background falls in love with the young secretary of his rich friend’s father. The woman senses good in him and tries to lead him on the right path.
Yoshishige Yoshida returned to feature filmmaking after a hiatus of thirteen years with this brave and moving film about the struggle to maintain dignity in the face of old age and approaching death. The Human Promise reaffirms Yoshida’s ability to deal with difficult and even taboo topics by exploring the question of euthanasia with a profound sensitivity and subtlety. The film’s unusually frank meditation on death is anchored by the restrained performances by its veteran actors.
Based on Kimio Yanagisawa’s popular manga, Shinj Sômai’s directorial debut perfectly evokes the pain and joy of adolescence in its depiction of a high school boy and girl who end up sharing a house after a real estate agent’s mistake. Several techniques that came to characterize Sômai’s approach to direction, such as long takes and long shots, are already abundantly evident in this film.
Kumi lives a hippie-like life in Tokyo’s outskirts. One night while drunk she stumbles into an abandoned industrial site, except in addition to deserted factories, it is full of forests and greenery. She decides to move there, even further away from the civilization she had already left.
A jobless young couple, Yoshigi and Tsutue, wind up at the outskirts of the Suzaki red-light district in Tokyo. Tsutue talks her way into a job pouring sake for male customers at a small bar run by a sympathetic older woman, while Yoshigi is shunted off into a nearby noodle shop, where he gets a job delivering noodles. Tsutue charms and runs off with one of her clients. Yoshigi, ignoring the attentions of a sweet co-worker, pursues Tsutue.
Hymn to a Tired Man uses a flashback narrative to reflect on war and its aftermath. A mild-mannered office worker is driven to recall his past when his son falls in love with the daughter of the commanding officer under whom he served during World War II. Memories of abusive discipline resurface throwing the former soldier’s relatively quiet postwar life into turmoil. Kobayashi offers an unsparing indictment of the lack of accountability for the scars of battle.
Soon after the disparate yet compatible Naoya and Katsuhiro start to settle into a relationship, a slightly unhinged young woman named Asako asks Katsuhiro to father her child. While the couple navigate the implications of this unexpected proposal, they are forced to confront their conflicting understandings of what it means to be gay and in a committed relationship. A landmark work of LGBTQ Japanese cinema by pioneering director Ryosuke Hashiguchi, Hush! humorously and poignantly upends the traditional Japanese genre of the family drama to offer a deeply human story about three people doing their best to be true to themselves.