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Mr Cat Dog
March 15th, 2011, 04:52 PM
What's everyone's experience with non-animé Japanese films? While I'll be the first to admit I know very little about the matter, I've started getting delving deeper underneath the surface, with Tokyo Story and - just last week - Rashomon.

Tokyo Story is certainly a grower. Cinematically re-released last year in London, I had to review it for my university newspaper and wrote a positive, but heavily qualified, review. Over time, however, the images, tone and general emotional sentiment have washed over me and stayed in my mind long after more obvious pleasures have faded. I think I need a proper rewatch to truly assess my feelings for it.

Rashomon, on the other hand, I understood immediately why it is so revered as it is, even if I don't necessarily agree with the majority in finding it a teensy bit overrated. That's not to say it's bad by any means, but it had a massive burden of expectations that only perfection would have ended up justifying. Again, maybe a rewatch will change my mind...

What about everyone else?

Weeaboo Name
March 15th, 2011, 05:33 PM
Sorry but I can't comment on any of those, i'll check them out though.

Lets see, one of my favourite films off all time comes from Japan, Battle Royale (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0266308/) is just awesome. It's brutal but has enough substance to make it enjoyable. Other titles i've loved include Audition and Ju-on (the grudge).

The L - Change The World (Death Note) Live actions were also good, much preferred the ending to them over the anime/manga finale.

Unsurprisingly they have a lot of films that make you wonder what the directors were on. Titles like Tokyo Gore Police, Ichi the Killer, Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl, Robogeisha (you thought Tokyo Gore Police was messed up?) and Suicide Club. I have to admit I have a bit of a softspot for Japanese cult films, they just seem to do madness better than any other country.

Rainy Day
March 15th, 2011, 05:54 PM
Haven't watched Tokyo Story, but I must disagree with you on Rashomon. Of the four Kurosawa films I've seen, that one was the weakest. I'd recommend Shichinin no Samurai or Ran if you want a good period film.

Esper
March 16th, 2011, 10:46 AM
It's hit and miss for me. I've seen some very good movies and several disappointing ones. Most of my disappointment comes from movies that have predictable endings and cliche characters types/motivations. You know, the kind of movie where not a lot happens and then near the end one of the characters finally decides what they're going to do and it's a little bit bittersweet because maybe someone died or two lovers have to separate, but there's no great feeling or resolution by the time you finish watching.

As for the good movies, I mostly know dramas and horror/suspense ones. And that's horror, not gore or slasher films, by the way. I understand that for people who like that kind of movie there's a lot of great stuff out there, but it's not something I go for. Anyway.

For dramas I'd recommend Sekai no Chuushin de Ai wo Sakebu and Taiyou no Uta as good character-driven and emotional stories that I think (I hope) anyone could enjoy. They're not classic or artsy or whatever it is that makes people want to see Kurosawa films and not anything modern, but they're still good. Another good one is Go which is something akin to Rebel Without A Cause only with Korean youths living in Japan.

On the scarier side, Ringu and Dark Water are pretty gripping if you like scary movies which are more atmospheric and character-driven scary than surprise! scary. The kinds of movies you have to pay attention to.

So, yeah. If you want to find good movies - especially more recent ones - that aren't already known outside of Japan a little trial and error is necessary unless you know someone who watches Japanese movies. But even then you'd want to know what their tastes are so you don't end up watching something that doesn't interest you at all.

pagsureoyy
March 16th, 2011, 06:21 PM
Correct me if I am wrong but is The Ring and
The Grudge Japanese films? If that's so, well
they are my favorite non-anime films.

Mr Cat Dog
March 17th, 2011, 10:02 AM
Haven't watched Tokyo Story, but I must disagree with you on Rashomon. Of the four Kurosawa films I've seen, that one was the weakest. I'd recommend Shichinin no Samurai or Ran if you want a good period film.I agree with you! In my own convoluted way of talking, I think my dis-satisfaction with the film didn't come across properly. I want to see Seven Samurai, but I have a thing against long films; according to Wikipedia, it's 3 hours 20 minutes (!!), as long as Godfather II, which I still haven't gotten around to watch.

With regards to other Kurosawa, I've heard very good things about Ran and Kagemusha (as well as the aforementioned Seven Samurai), and stupidly passed up the chance to see Ikiru when it was re-released in cinemas a few months ago. My own stupid fault...

Esper
March 17th, 2011, 11:30 AM
I thought Ikiru was a good movie, but it felt longer than it actually was. Maybe that was just when I saw it though. I still liked it, but it's not one I'd watch again soon because of the subject matter being a downer.

Correct me if I am wrong but is The Ring and
The Grudge Japanese films? If that's so, well
they are my favorite non-anime films.
If you mean "The Ring" that's an American remake of "Ringu" (which is really just called "Ring" in Japanese, but because of the languages and whatnot gets called Ringu to help differentiate it from the remake). "The Grudge" is also a remake, of a movie called "Ju-on" (or "Ju-on: The Grudge") which is alo Japanese. In my humble opinion the originals of both are better.