Posts Tagged 'japan'

Japanese cinematic outlaw Nagisa Oshima dead at 80

Iconoclastic filmmaker Nagisa Oshima, best known internationally for his wildly controversial movie “In the Realms of the Senses” died today at the age of 80 in a hospital outside of Tokyo.

A former law student and radical activist, Oshima made his directorial debut in 1959 with “Town of Love and Hope.” The movie established him as a leader of the budding Japanese New Wave, which also included directors like Shohei Imamura and Masahiro Shinoda. Continue reading ‘Japanese cinematic outlaw Nagisa Oshima dead at 80′

Indie Roundup: ‘Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai’

Japanese director Takashi Miike is one of the wildest, most extreme filmmakers around. His notorious 2001 movie “Ichi: The Killer” is a surrealist-fever dream of blood, bowels, and dismemberment. His 2003 flick “The Happiness of the Kataguris” is a strangely sweet comedy about zombies and murder, and it’s also a musical. And the latter half of his terrific 2011 samurai epic, “13 Assassins,” is so bloody its main characters ended the movie looking like Carrie after the prom. So when it was announced last year that Miike was going 3D for his next film, a remake of Masaki Kobayashi’s classic “Hara-Kiri,” one could be forgiven for expecting it to be a gorefest with lots of eye-gouging 3D gimmickry, a shogun-era “Piranha 3DD” with katana instead of fish. Continue reading ‘Indie Roundup: ‘Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai’’

Indie Roundup: ‘Jiro Dreams of Sushi’

The best way to see this film is accompanied by an omakase dinner of world-class sushi.

If that’s impossible, as it was with me, who watched it while trying to choke down a deeply unsatisfying microwaved frozen burrito, you’ll find “Jiro Dreams of Sushi,” directed and shot by David Gelb, to be sumptuous torture. As you might expect, Gelb packs the film with one image after another of glistening morsels of raw fish photographed artfully on black lacquer plates; it edges on the pornographic in the best possible way. Continue reading ‘Indie Roundup: ‘Jiro Dreams of Sushi’’

Hayao Miyazaki: The Greatest Director You’ve (Probably) Never Heard Of

Hayao Miyazaki might very well be the best regarded filmmaker working today. He is worshipped by animators everywhere; John Lasseter, the head of Pixar and director of “Toy Story,” called him “one of the great filmmakers of our time.” He is by far the highest-grossing filmmaker in Japan; in his home country, his 2003 Oscar-winning masterpiece “Spirited Away” proved to be a bigger box-office draw than “Titanic.” Miyazaki-themed merchandise has filled toy boxes of Japanese children for a generation. And a few years ago, he even opened the Disneyland-like Ghibli Museum on the outskirts of Tokyo. Yet in the States, he remains a relatively obscure name.

This week that might start to change as Miyazaki’s latest movie, “Ponyo,” is finally getting its American release. Boasting the voice talent of Liam Neeson, Matt Damon, Tina Fey along with Miley Cyrus’ little sister Noah and the Jonas Brothers’ younger sibling Frankie, “Ponyo” is an exceedingly loose adaptation from Hans Christian Andersons’s “The Little Mermaid.” Continue reading ‘Hayao Miyazaki: The Greatest Director You’ve (Probably) Never Heard Of’

Kaiten Sushi Movie

Someone put a camera on the  conveyor-belt in a kaiten sushi joint. It’s simple but fascinating. I wish I thought of it.

Links (10/30/08)

From my regular trolling of the interwebs:

A shocking alleged hate crime by those evil-doers at Fox.

Weird lego men washing up on the shores of Britian. A sure sign of the apocalypse.

Supposed diaries from the Great Depression that prove to be scarily, suspiciously prescient.

Not a link for the psychologically fragile.

Terrible porn movie ideas.

The entire cast from The Wire is campaigning for Obama in North Carolina.

New sexy Halloween costumes for women, including the ever popular Sexy Elephant man costume.

The freakish, apparently true tale of Brian Peppers — internet meme, pedophile, Toledo native.

Christian loonies worship before the golden bull of Wall Street. Literally. Isn’t this the sort of thing that brought plagues of locust in the Bible? [h/t Ted]

Did you know that some Christian dingbat has dubbed today the “Day of Prayer for the World’s Economies?” Well here they are, at the Wall Street bull statue thing, praying to Jesus for money. The dingbat has explained, “We are going to intercede at the site of the statue of the bull on Wall Street to ask God to begin a shift from the bull and bear markets to what we feel will be the ‘Lion’s Market,’ or God’s control over the economic systems.” Don’t they know that God taking over the economic systems would be SOCIALISM from SPACE?

And here’s a super geeky site where some Japanese guy photographed all the locations from Edward Yang‘s masterpiece A Brighter Summer Day.

And finally, a clip from Troll 2. You won’t believe how bad it is.

Naked Pursuit (1968)

This independently produced pink eiga has all the hallmarks of a Koji Wakamatsu movie, like Go, Go Be a Virgin A Second Time — namely radical politics and naked women — but little of its poetry. The plot, as such, is a 60s radical sees a girl on the beach, he tries to rape her, and — after a whole lot of flailing around on the sand — she escapes missing a couple articles of clothing. Repeat until naked. Throw in some news footage of student protests and the Vietnam war and that’s pretty much the movie. It’s a pretty thin plot to be stretched for 73 minutes, and though the director, Toshio Okuwaki, does his best to pad it out with trippy sound effects, excessive use of slow motion, and bizarre unmotivated zooms. At it’s moments, it has a unhinged dream-like quality that reminded me a bit of Woman of the Dunes (perhaps it was all that sand) but for the most part it’s a dull, poseurish flick that pretensions of art, but in reality is flaccid crap.

Links (10/17/08)

From my regular trolling of the tubes of the interweb:

There’s this weirdly elaborate flash depiction of Sarah Palin’s presidency.

Post debate McCain hilarity. I love the internet.

Gourmet cannibal found guilty.

Product placement movie posters.

An article about how most traditional Japanese hotels refuse to let gaijin stay there. And here why those motel’s might be right in having such a policy.

I will never look at Ewoks in the same way again.

And then there’s this utterly bizarrely clip from Song of Norway.

Links (9/22/08)

Fruits from my attempts at work-avoidance on the interwebs:

This video illustrates the current banking crisis. Discuss.

A list of comic strips that need to end. Strangely Hi & Lois isn’t on this list.

Drawn from memory from an autistic kid with a photographic memory. Amazing. [h/t Joan]

Five historically important people you’ve never heard of.

The latest fashion weirdness from Japan. That’s right, weaves shaped like animals.

The great Pop vs. Soda map of the U.S.

Keith Olberman hates Subway. [h/t Ted]

The immensely disturbing tale of the Mongolian death worm.

Tales of a botched Real Doll disposal.

The richest men in history. A lot of them are American.

And then there’s this amazing display of performance, computer graphics and lab rats:

Links 9/12/08

A collection of links found while trolling the interweb, trying to not freak out about the polls:

I’m getting mighty sick of Sarah Palin. Look at the news, look at the blogs, looks at the freakin’ tabloids and it’s Palin, Palin, Palin. No discussion of the economy, various wars, healthcare etc etc. Yesterday Palin faceplanted with she struggled to explain what the Bush doctrine is. Here’s another clip.

A 22 year-old woman auctions off her virginity to pay for her Master’s Degree. She graduated with a BA in Women’s Studies, which is kinda funny.

A 27-year old writer takes one for the team and personally tests different brands of adult diapers.

A cool collection of jam comics from Flickr. [h/t Ted]

An interesting article about the psychology of creative folks.

And here’s a nice bit of animation about Japanese artist Hokusai.


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