Japanese doggie drama: loved it!
French / Vietnamese director Tran Anh Hung (The Scent of Green Papaya) adapts Haruki Murakami's novel about love, sex, loss, and insanity, set in 1960s Japan. Long, but beautiful cinematic romantic drama.
"Beat" Takeshi Kitano returns to hardcore yakuza action: lots of violence and brutality. Not a great film but worth it if you love his messed-up face, gangsters and imaginative murders.
Pay attention; this film has it all; characters, story, authenticity, great performances. Artistically executed: beautifully portrays the end of an era. Hiroyuki Sanada is awesome: love him!
A young geisha seeks retribution for the murder of her father and battles to carry on the tradition of a powerful double-edged sword tradition. Kick-ass fight scenes, beautiful subjects and photography, brief, imperfect. BTW, a geisha is a woman trained in the arts: not a ho.
Re-make of a classic from Japanese filmmaker Takashi Miike (Ichi the Killer.) Starts slow, but delivers a satisfying ending. Violent, mesmerizing. Okay, yes, I like violent films... somebody please tell me the flaming cattle were CG.
Official Site: http://www.13assassins.com/
Probably the greatest Japanese screenwriter, Shinobu Hashimoto, contributes to a brilliant anti-authoritarian, anti-samurai masterpiece. If there's room for only one subversive samurai movie in your library, make it Harakiri.
Official Site: http://www.criterion.com/films/743-harakiri
Adorable Japanese animated film suitable for young kids and adult too. A treasure in frequent play here at our home! No other animated film has captured the attention of our two year-old.
More info: http://www.nausicaa.net/miyazaki/totoro/