• Kaisha Monogatari: Memories of You

    Kaisha Monogatari: Memories of You

    Once Kaisha Monogatari: Memories of You, Jun Ichikawa's 2nd feature, is over, a feeling consumed me. This feeling is the same one felt after watching Tony Takitani (2005) for the first time: wanting to see more films from Ichikawa. Unfortunately for English speaking audiences there seems to be few releases abroad that can satisfy. Apart from a few Hong Kong DVDs and some from Japan, the man's work has very few chances of reaching an audience.

    The descriptions of Kaisha…

  • A Bride for Rip Van Winkle

    A Bride for Rip Van Winkle

    It's been around twelve years since Shunji Iwai shot a feature in Japan. He has kept busy though with the English language Vampire, the animated prequel to Hana and Alice, and some short/omnibus work concerning 3/11. But his return to the Japan-set feature film is a major one: a three hour journey that is riveting, intricate, and emotionally complex. Despite deriving its name from a work of short fiction, the film more so resembles the tomes of masters, destined for…

  • The Magnificent Nine

    The Magnificent Nine

    During the Tokugawa era much cultural shift began to take place. Not only was it the beginning of the changes to the role that samurai would play in society following the sengoku era, but shifts toward matters of business seemed to be underway. Stories depicted in ukiyo-e and elsewhere usually had some sort of financial aspect to them. It's this aspect that dominates the latest film from Fish Story and The Snow White Murder Case craftsman Yoshihiro Namakura, which takes…

  • The Sion Sono

    The Sion Sono

    2015 was a busy year for Shion Sono with five movies being released. It was the year he pulled a Miike and with that quantity comes variable quality. Arata Oshima's portrait of Sono reveals which projects were labors of love and that Sono does indeed believe quantity over quality. Following him during the making of The Whispering Star we get a closer look at the director who has become an international staple for what people program for Japanese film. The…