Help with Japanese movies

Japanese, general discussion on the language
Takeo Saeki
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Help with Japanese movies

Post by Takeo Saeki » Sun 02.12.2006 4:38 am

I recently got into Japanese movies. I only have four so far, though. The Ju-on trilogy. I also have ordered the Ringu movies and Premonition and The Locker. I think that watching Japanese movies could also help me to learn the Japanese language, so I would like to see more. Now, I know that some of you listen to Japanese music (saw a thread about that a little bit ago), so surely some of you have seen some Japanese movies. I was wondering which Japanese movies you would recommend and which Japanese movies were crap so I know what to get and what not to get. Any suggestions?

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Harisenbon
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RE: Help with Japanese movies

Post by Harisenbon » Sun 02.12.2006 5:30 am

If premonition is 洛セ, then I'm sorry, but it sucks. ;/
I actually walked out of the theatre because it was so bad.

Everyone's tastes for movies are different, but it seems you like the horror genre. Most of the horror I watch is korean, but 着信あり is very good.

As for non-horror movies, here are a bunch of movies that have been very popular in the past couple of years
世界の中心に愛を叫ぶ
誰も知らない
電車男
今、愛にゆきます
妖怪戦争
踊る大捜査線
Want to learn Japanese the right way? How about for free?
Ippatsu // Japanesetesting.com

Machina Maw
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RE: Help with Japanese movies

Post by Machina Maw » Sun 02.12.2006 5:39 am

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. *nods violently*
Oh, also, Spirited Away is a good movie, with the DVD version you can listen to it in either English or Japanese.

Timo_Styles
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RE: Help with Japanese movies

Post by Timo_Styles » Sun 02.12.2006 5:59 am

I like the old Chanbara [ちゃんばら] films. They were made at the height of the Japanese film industry during the fruitful post-war period and probably represent Japan's greatest contribution to world cinema prior to anime. Based on the movies you've mentioned I'm not sure how open you are to watching older movies but if you're interested browse the Japanese films put out by the criterion collection: http://www.criterionco.com/asp/browse.asp
Anything directed by Akira Kurosawa would be a good place to start.
There are also a few crime related films in that list as well.
If indeed you are interested in older films I can mention titles but otherwise I won't because there are so many of them.

In terms of contemporary Japanese cinema any anime by Hayao Miyazaki is really fun to watch and also helpful for learning Japanese because the dialogue is simple.
Other than Miyazaki's stuff I would reccommend the cyber-punk classics Akira and Ghost in the Shell [Kokaku kidotai]

If you like Ringu watch Dark Water [Honogurai mizu no soko kara] it's similar to Ringu. And in a similar vein I have heard Audition [Ôdishon] is a good horror/thriller, but have yet to see it. I'll add Ichi the Killer [Koroshiya 1] too which I have not seen either but seems to come recommended with Audition.

Other recent Japanese movies that are good:
Kamikaze Girls [Shimotsuma monogatari] - Deals with eccentric Japanese girls fashion/subculture
Dolls - Art house movie about obsessive love
Café Lumière [Kôhî jikô] - Interesting look at life in Tokyo
The Twilight Samurai [Tasogare seibei] - The only good Chanbara like film to come out in recent years.
All About Lily Chou-Chou [Riri Shushu no subete] - Interesting teen drama about some of the negative aspects of growing up in modern Japan
Suicide Club [Jisatsu Circle] - Horror/Drama/Mystery - A drama about mass teen suicide.
Battle Royale [Batoru rowaiaru] - It may be difficult to find unless you have Netflix.. [but well worth trying to find it] it was never released on DVD in the states because of what happened at Columbine. It looks just like a gore fest but it's actually an interesting human drama about what someone would do if they had to kill their friends to survive.
The Sea is Watching [Umi wa Miteita]

I could probably go on all day :D


Harisenbon mentioned Nobody Knows that's a good one too, though sad.
Last edited by Timo_Styles on Sun 02.12.2006 9:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

Takeo Saeki
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RE: Help with Japanese movies

Post by Takeo Saeki » Sun 02.12.2006 6:11 am

Hmmm..... You guys sure brought up some interesting suggestions. I'll check some of those out ASAP. Yeah, I don't mind older movies. I am considering the idea of renting Tokyo Story which I heard is very good. Oh, and I did order Dark Water on Netflix, I just forgot to mention it. There are a few more that I forgot to mention as well. I'll be sure to order some of those movies you guys suggested. They sound intriguing. Thanks for the suggestions! :D

P.S. Harisenbon: Hmmm... Well, I already ordered Premonition and it is currently in the mail on its way to my home, so I guess I don't have a choice but to at least give it a chance since it's gonna be here in a couple days anyway.

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Mukade
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RE: Help with Japanese movies

Post by Mukade » Sun 02.12.2006 10:33 pm

Just thought I'd add a few to the list. I do like more 'artsy' films, whatever that means, so if you're not into that, then ignore these suggestions.

As for newer films that I've enjoyed:
Stereo Future - a quirky tale about a struggling actor, his mute estranged girlfriend, her environmentalist journalist sister, and a over-the top friend newly released from prison. This movie has some hip dialogue, a great selection of music and a very entertaining appearance from Takenaka Naoto.

Wonderful Life (not related to the 1946 Jimmy Stewert film) - a surreal story about a sort of purgatory where people go after they die. It is here that they are told they must select one memory (and one only) to take with them to the 'next level.'

Swallowtail - tells the tale of a group of foreigners trying to get by in Japan's less-publicized underworld. It gets a little wacky at the end, but very entertaining.

Kikujiro - a real departure for Beat Takeshi, and my favorite Takeshi film. A wanna-be gangster tries to help a young boy find his estranged mother.

Hana-bi - considered one of Takeshi's best, my interest in this film is with the auto-biographical aspect. The character of Horibe is paralyzed and is saved from suicide by a kindled interest in art - which is exactly what happened to Takeshi after a near-fatal drunken scooter accident in (about) 1985.

Older classics:
Tampopo - a funny collage of short scenes woven around a broader story of a woman trying to run a successful ramen shop. Itami (the director) drops references (sometimes honoring, sometimes ridiculing, sometimes both) to previous directors' works throughout the film. A must-see.

Ikiru - in my opinion, one of Kurosawa's best. The classic Shimura Takashi tries to come to grips with terminal cancer. It is a very slow-paced, deliberate film, but also very heart-wrenching.

Stray Dog - another Kurosawa great. Shimura Takashi and Kurosawa's favorite, Mifune Toshiro, play cops in post-war Japan. An interesting look at some of the psychological effects of Japan's defeat.

Tokyo Story - do check this out. Ozu is considered one of Japan's masters for a reason. Pay attention to the extremely low level of the camera. This is considered a very Japanese technique in film, as it puts the audience at about eye-level with people seated on tatami.

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CDarklock
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RE: Help with Japanese movies

Post by CDarklock » Mon 02.13.2006 2:47 pm

Takeo Saeki wrote:
I recently got into Japanese movies. I only have four so far, though. The Ju-on trilogy.
There are four movies in the Ju-on trilogy? That's not a trilogy.

Of course, there are *five* novels in the Hitchhicker's Guide trilogy... but that's supposed to be funny.

There seems to be a lot of East Asian horror coming out now that is truly frightening, as opposed to the crap we currently get in Europe and America. I saw "Infection" recently and it was REALLY creepy. Definitely one for the buy list.

Takeo Saeki
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RE: Help with Japanese movies

Post by Takeo Saeki » Wed 02.15.2006 11:46 pm

Yes, there are four Ju-on movies, and there's a fifth that is either going to be filmed soon or is being filmed already. It's just that the first two are very hard to come by.

And i'll be sure to rent Infection.
Last edited by Takeo Saeki on Thu 02.16.2006 12:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Dierdre
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RE: Help with Japanese movies

Post by Dierdre » Thu 02.16.2006 6:09 pm

Mukade wrote:
Just thought I'd add a few to the list. I do like more 'artsy' films, whatever that means, so if you're not into that, then ignore these suggestions.
You have a wonderful taste in movies!^^


If you're going for the blood,girls screaming,kinda thing? check out japanese gore movies,they're funny most of the time,and when they're not,they look amazingly real and the stories are most of the time very original.
Then again,you might just like a little bit of blood,not to see someone get his eye pierced with a needle hmm..
The only names i can come up with right now,and they're not close to be great movies,are Memento Mori and Suicide Club(not exactly gore though) ,if you're interested then i'll go check which others i own..im too lazy right now^^
-This world is not made for you and I
It\'s built on blood and a million lies-

queshaw
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RE: Help with Japanese movies

Post by queshaw » Sat 04.29.2006 5:54 pm

"A taxing woman" and "A taxing woman's return" are directed by the same person that did Tampopo, and with the same lovely actress. They are very funny and charming. They are about a woman collecting taxes from people and how they try to avoid paying taxes.

Ooh:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0411631/bio

it says he was attacked after releasing one of his films for how it portrayed the mob.

"In the realm of the senses" is good, but it has graphic sex in it. I've seen it in the foreign movies section of video stores, even though it has everything that would technically make it adults only, in it. It's about a servant and employer who become obsessed with each other, and begin to lose their perspective with ultimately tragic consequences. It's romantic and beautiful and distrubing.

"Tetsuo the iron man" is about a guy who starts incorporating iron into his body while having a psychotic break. It's not very pleasant to watch, but is very interesting if you can get past that.

"Uzumaki" about a guy who starts seeing spirals and becomes obsessed by them.

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RE: Help with Japanese movies

Post by AJBryant » Sat 04.29.2006 7:28 pm

Tampopo - a funny collage of short scenes woven around a broader story of a woman trying to run a successful ramen shop. Itami (the director) drops references (sometimes honoring, sometimes ridiculing, sometimes both) to previous directors' works throughout the film. A must-see.
I cringed when you called that one "old" -- I was there when it came out. :)

I'd recommend ALL of Itami's films. Ososhiki ("The Funeral") is an incredible, sardonic slice-of-life that gives some good insight into Japanese culture which most people don't get to see.

Tony

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Shibakoen
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RE: Help with Japanese movies

Post by Shibakoen » Sat 04.29.2006 9:01 pm

I really liked "Kagemusha" by Akira Kurasawa. "Yume" is on right now. His colors are awesome. The Cowboy Bebop movie is awesome. My personal fav. Miyazaki's movies are too weird for me and I'm not a big fan of horror. I really don't like anime, either, too freaky.
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RE: Help with Japanese movies

Post by coco » Sat 04.29.2006 9:01 pm

I'd recommend ALL of Itami's films. Ososhiki ("The Funeral") is an incredible, sardonic slice-of-life that gives some good insight into Japanese culture which most people don't get to see.
ehehe, Tony-chan, you are not alone.
I saw "お葬式 Oso(u)shiki" in the movie theater too.
Some of us never believe that he had killed himself. Because before he died(1997), Itami was attacked by member of yakuza, had to spend 3 months in a hospital. He supervised the movie "ミンボーの女 Minbo(u)-no Onna"(1991). It was a story the citizens who fight against yakuza( or 沫ヘ団員/bo(u)ryoku-dan-in).
When "大病院 Dai-byo(u)in"(1993) was screened, "right-wing man" cut the screen in one theater.

His younger sister is wife of famous novelist 大江健三郎 (Kenzaburo(u) Ooe) who won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1994.
伊丹庶O himself published some books including translation of Mike McGrady's novel.
Last edited by coco on Sat 04.29.2006 10:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Takeo Saeki
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RE: Help with Japanese movies

Post by Takeo Saeki » Sat 04.29.2006 9:08 pm

Wow, I forgot I even made this thread. There are some great suggestions on here. The only one i'm not interested in is "In the Realm of the Senses". I saw some movie still pictures of it, and... Well, usually sex scenes don't bother me at all. But that one is just a bit much for my taste.

I'm going to write you guys' suggestions down. :)

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AJBryant
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RE: Help with Japanese movies

Post by AJBryant » Sun 04.30.2006 1:17 am

Some of us never believe that he had killed himself.
I'm one of them. He did have some enemies among the "yatchan". (I remember a REALLY odd movie called 恐怖のヤッちゃん... very strange movie.)

I met him once at a press screening of one of his films. I don't recall if it was Tanpopo or O-soshiki, but he was a very nice man. Great sense of humor, and not much ego on display.

Tony

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