R-18 to G: Are pink films losing their potency?

Jul 30, 2014

R-18 to G: Are pink films losing their potency?

Yuji Tajiri and Shinji Imaoka were two of the “Seven Lucky Gods of Pink” — a group of young pinku eiga (erotic film) directors who were hailed as the genre’s hope after they rose to prominence in the 1990s and early 2000s. That hope ...

Love beyond the realms of erotic cinema

Jul 23, 2014

Love beyond the realms of erotic cinema

The varieties of love are many: From the chaste and platonic, to the sexually uninhibited and emotionally obsessed. In a long career as a pinku eiga (pink film) director Yuji Tajiri has concentrated on the latter end of the scale, but in his latest ...

New Directors From Japan

Jul 23, 2014

New Directors From Japan

Directors: Nagisa Isogai, Hirobumi Watanabe, Kosuke Takaya Language: Japanese (subtitled in English) This innovative project from Third Window Films has been successfully crowd-funded through Kickstarter. The DVD/Blu-ray package will include four films by three new Japanese directors and having seen films by Nagisa Isogai ...

The man who lives for the art of dying

Jul 16, 2014

The man who lives for the art of dying

Interviewing Seizo Fukumoto, the star of Ken Ochiai’s backstage drama “Uzumasa Limelight,” I wished I had brought a video camera, instead of my voice recorder and notepad. As he talks, this veteran kirare-yaku — an actor whose forte is being cut down with a ...

Reflections on the dark side of a tropical island

Jul 16, 2014

Reflections on the dark side of a tropical island

Naomi Kawase was once Japan’s best-known female director abroad; now she is one of its most internationally prominent directors, regardless of gender. This change is largely due to her long association with the Cannes film festival, where her first fiction feature, “Moe no Suzaku ...

Judge!

Jul 16, 2014

Judge!

Director: Akira Nagai Language: Japanese (subtitled in English) Scripted by Yoshimitsu Sawamoto and directed by Akira Nagai — both insiders in Japan’s advertising business — “Judge!” stars Satoshi Tsumabuki as an entry-level adman drafted to impersonate his boss on a TV CM awards jury ...

'Omoide no Marnie (When Marnie Was There)'

Jul 9, 2014

'Omoide no Marnie (When Marnie Was There)'

Since its start nearly three decades ago, Studio Ghibli has been dominated by the creativity of co-founders Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata. But since the turn of the millennium, five of its 10 feature films have been made by other, younger directors. One reason ...

Kaze Tachinu (The Wind Rises)

Jul 9, 2014

Kaze Tachinu (The Wind Rises)

Director: Hayao Miyazaki Language: Japanese, German, Italian, French (subtitled in English) “Kaze Tachinu” (“The Wind Rises”) is Hayao Miyazaki’s last feature film (unless he comes out of retirement) and also one of his most personal. The film is about Jiro Horikoshi, the designer of ...

'Nanpu (Riding the Breeze)'

Jul 2, 2014

'Nanpu (Riding the Breeze)'

Movies about women who fly off to foreign climes to reboot their lives are a thriving subgenre, though the heroines are mostly from well-off countries, Japan included. Women from the more troubled parts of the world may also cross borders to start new lives, ...

'Bilocation'

Jul 2, 2014

'Bilocation'

Director: Mari Asato Language: Japanese (subtitled in English) In Mari Asato’s new shocker, a struggling artist (Asami Mizukawa) finds herself caught in a bizarre life-or-death battle with a double of herself, hived from her troubled psyche and bent on replacing the “original.” Asato constructs ...