Japanese cult cinema thread

China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Thailand, etc.
Guro Taku
Flirting Scholar
Posts: 473
Joined: 29 Apr 2014, 16:37

Re: Japanese cult cinema thread

Unread post by Guro Taku » 11 Jan 2019, 16:27

One of the all-time great youth films, Miyoji Ieki's Love is in the Green Wind (恋は緑の風の中, 1974), will finally receive a home video release from Happinet on April 2nd! Ieki's final film before his death in 1976 was never even available on VHS but was recently broadcast in HD on TV. Truly a marvellous film and also the debut from Mieko Harada, who was only 15 at the time.

Image

User avatar
HungFist
Bruce Lee's Fist
Posts: 10774
Joined: 14 Dec 2005, 15:50
Location: Japan
Contact:

Re: Japanese cult cinema thread

Unread post by HungFist » 12 Jan 2019, 12:12

I haven't seen that one. I've been meaning to. Good to see a DVD is coming!

User avatar
HungFist
Bruce Lee's Fist
Posts: 10774
Joined: 14 Dec 2005, 15:50
Location: Japan
Contact:

Re: Japanese cult cinema thread

Unread post by HungFist » 18 Feb 2019, 06:08

Guro Taku wrote:
06 Jul 2018, 19:32
HungFist wrote:
06 Jul 2018, 13:57
And no, Sato hasn't died (as far as I know).
A lot can happen in the 5 months before the DVDs come out. Maybe Toei's higher ups know something we don't.
And he's gone :(

R.I.P.

User avatar
HungFist
Bruce Lee's Fist
Posts: 10774
Joined: 14 Dec 2005, 15:50
Location: Japan
Contact:

Re: Japanese cult cinema thread

Unread post by HungFist » 18 Feb 2019, 06:14

Also, R.I.P. Arrow's rumored Wolves, Pigs, and Men release, it seems.

Image
- https://twitter.com/outcastmarc/status/ ... 4447514624

User avatar
HungFist
Bruce Lee's Fist
Posts: 10774
Joined: 14 Dec 2005, 15:50
Location: Japan
Contact:

Re: Japanese cult cinema thread

Unread post by HungFist » 24 Feb 2019, 06:41

Organized Crime 2 (続組織暴力) (1967)
Superb proto-jitsuroku type yakuza film by Junya Sato. Fumio Watanabe (in his best role) is a wonderfully untypical crime boss who says he hates the yakuza but acts like one, actually cares for his men, and is the first one to barge into a fist fight when rivals come knocking on the door. Powerful political figure Eijiro Yanagi becomes his consultant, after which short tempered boss Ryuhei Uchida starts feeling the fire under his arse, especially after Watanabe takes a Ginza gambling joint from Chicago mafia with the assistance of machine gun happy lone wolf Noboru Ando. Add Tetsuro Tanba, Hideo Murota and Rinichi Yamamoto (wonderfully cast against type) as a detective squad in desperate battle against red tape while trying to bring the gangs down. The story is fictional, but the film feels like a jitsuroku movie. Like Fukasaku in many of his films, Sato draws an entire underworld map with cops, gangsters and political players all placed on the chess table. The film is talkative, but never boring, feels extremely matter of fact.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

The screencaps above are from a TV broadcasting; the recent Toei DVD surely comes with better encoding.

User avatar
HungFist
Bruce Lee's Fist
Posts: 10774
Joined: 14 Dec 2005, 15:50
Location: Japan
Contact:

Re: Japanese cult cinema thread

Unread post by HungFist » 23 Mar 2019, 06:46

Blow the Night (“BLOW THE NIGHT ! " 夜をぶっとばせ) (1983)
Incoherent, yet fascinating youth docu-drama from Japan's golden era of educational problems. The film opens with live recording of The Street Sliders performing their rock hit "Masturbation" and then proceeds cut back and forth between two tales for the rest of the movie. The first features a band-affiliated girl exploring the ambivalent Tokyo in a strictly specified 24 hour timeframe in mid November, the other a transfer student (real delinquent Namie Takada) being a bully bitch in different, loosely specified place and timeframe spanning about one year. There's a bit of director Chusei Sone's own rock film Red Violation here, then there are youth doc style parts that actually resemble Shinji Somai's divine Taifu Club (1985). It's realistic and bleak with an unsympathetic lead, challenging partly because it's so confusingly told in places, and yet utterly fascinating in its documentation of youth, era, and location. It feels like the flawed work of a genius who wasn't in full control of his device. Sone produced this via his own company Film Workers as their first picture, following the thematically close but far more high flying sun tribe modernization The Young Ramblers (1981) for Toei Central.

Best studio logo ever
Image

The Street Sliders
Image

Kazumi Kawai
Image

Image

Image

Namie Takada
Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Screencaps from the recent R2J DVD release. Great print, not great compression. Anyway, the label (DIG) deserves all the support as they've been putting out some seriously interesting films.

Guro Taku
Flirting Scholar
Posts: 473
Joined: 29 Apr 2014, 16:37

Re: Japanese cult cinema thread

Unread post by Guro Taku » 24 Mar 2019, 18:53

HungFist wrote:
23 Mar 2019, 06:46
Anyway, the label (DIG) deserves all the support as they've been putting out some seriously interesting films.
I second this! DIG (DIMENTION) have unearthed some real gems over the past two years, including previously unavailble films by Koji Wakamatsu and Atsushi Yamatoya. I got this one too, just haven't gotten around to watching it yet.

User avatar
HungFist
Bruce Lee's Fist
Posts: 10774
Joined: 14 Dec 2005, 15:50
Location: Japan
Contact:

Re: Japanese cult cinema thread

Unread post by HungFist » 27 Mar 2019, 04:18

Just bought A Pool Without Water and Blow the Night from Amazon. I thought I was late with this, but both still came with the scaled down theatrical pamphlet relicas. I though they'd be gone already for Pool (and that's what Happinet's site claims as well).

Image

Guro Taku
Flirting Scholar
Posts: 473
Joined: 29 Apr 2014, 16:37

Re: Japanese cult cinema thread

Unread post by Guro Taku » 31 Mar 2019, 17:16

I have 7 of their discs so far. Only BTN has the scaled down pamphlet. That must be something they started doing recently. I skipped all the Wakamatsu reissues of films I already owned.

Image

User avatar
HungFist
Bruce Lee's Fist
Posts: 10774
Joined: 14 Dec 2005, 15:50
Location: Japan
Contact:

Re: Japanese cult cinema thread

Unread post by HungFist » 01 Apr 2019, 15:36

Guro Taku wrote:
31 Mar 2019, 17:16
I have 7 of their discs so far. Only BTN has the scaled down pamphlet. That must be something they started doing recently.
Perhaps, but the older Wakamatsus wouldn't have them available anyway. I think Japan only started producing them in the late 70s. I've seen some for older films, like Bruce Lee movies, but I'm pretty sure those were made at the time of re-release.

I own a few original pamphlets... G.I. Samurai, Ninja Wars, Taifu Club, Sailor Suit and Machine Gun, Lost Chapter of Snow: Passion , P.P. Rider etc.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

User avatar
HungFist
Bruce Lee's Fist
Posts: 10774
Joined: 14 Dec 2005, 15:50
Location: Japan
Contact:

Re: Japanese cult cinema thread

Unread post by HungFist » 03 May 2019, 17:21

Distant Justice (DISTANT JUSTICE 復讐は俺がやる) (Japan/USA, 1992) [TV] - 3/5
Vacationing cop Bunta Sugawara goes to USA and within 24 hours his car has been hijacked, daughter kidnapped and wife killed. And those are two unrelated incidents! George Kennedy is the useless police chief buddy, David Carradine a rotten politician in green knickers. Relatively good Toei V-Cinema by Toru Murakawa, who also helmed the slightly slicker New York Cop (1993), another one of Toei's mid 90s America ventures. The build up is slow, but the film is fun in a B-way with old man Sugawara (aged 59 here) punching and shooting people, occasional boobs, wooden acting and a score cheaper than a cheese burger. Sugawara's role is almost entirely in English and he does alright. He's trying too hard and doesn’t sound natural, but he remains quite understandable.

Sugawara!
Image

John F. Kennedy!
Image

Carradine!
Image

"No, it wasn't me!" Some beautiful acting here
Image

Image

Image

Now I have an uzi. Ho ho ho
Image

As you see, the film is in widescreen. Perhaps because it was a co-production. But it is a Toei V-Cinema really.

momojiro-1star
Jackie Chan's Little Toe
Posts: 2
Joined: 08 May 2019, 00:01

Re: Japanese cult cinema thread

Unread post by momojiro-1star » 08 May 2019, 00:16

i just saw "Distant Justice" on sunday on Amazon Prime Video. Been wanting to see that forever since Bunta is my favorite actor.
Having said that, i wanted to jam hot pokers in my eyes watching it.
i'm no stranger to trash or b-films, but this was brutal to sit through. I couldn't even laugh at the terrible-ness.
Listening to bunta talk, along with the shitty script made me sad, bc he's was such a super (and hammy) actor in a shit ton of films i love.
Credit amazon for having it. And double credit amazon for satisfying my Bruceploitation fix.

But Distant Justice......sucks :(

User avatar
HungFist
Bruce Lee's Fist
Posts: 10774
Joined: 14 Dec 2005, 15:50
Location: Japan
Contact:

Re: Japanese cult cinema thread

Unread post by HungFist » 01 Jun 2019, 12:39

Director Yasuo Furuhata passed away just recently. I was not necessarily the biggest fan of his work, but he did have some films that I enjoyed greatly, like Shogun's Shadow and Modern Yakuza: Outlaw's Code.

Here's one more of his films:

Pretty Devil Yoko (非行少女ヨーコ) (Japan, 1966)
Easily bored, but still innocent and naive countryside girl Mako Midori discovers partying in Tokyo is a ton of fun. Yakuza-to-be Ichiro Araki is an acquaintance who tries to rape her, and the typically bland but very-good-here Hayato Tani the first boyfriend. Director Yasuo Furuhata (his first picture) lets his camera roll in trendy clubs amongst partying youngsters in a way that could've been out of 60s England or a Nikkatsu film if it wasn't shadowed by dated 60s Toei conservatism. The resulting film is a bit confused, either a rebellious youth tale chained by moral concerns, or something conceived as a morality tale trying to break free from its chains. It's notable that this, like most Midori films, got slapped with an 18 rating despite featuring nothing graphic, as if out of fear of how it might influence the teenagers. Lavishly filmed with striking B&W compositions, the film retains its visual cool even during the more moralizing moments. For a superb 70s counterpart, see Tooru Murakawa's Delicate Skilful Fingers (1972), also with Araki.

I rented the Toei DVD, and had a copy of it on my HDD which went up in smoke as my laptop exploded. The screencaps below are from a re-encode that I had on my tablet and are hence not entirely representative of the DVD.

Image

Image

Image

Ichiro Araki
Image

Thunderball!
Image

Tani
Image

User avatar
HungFist
Bruce Lee's Fist
Posts: 10774
Joined: 14 Dec 2005, 15:50
Location: Japan
Contact:

Re: Japanese cult cinema thread

Unread post by HungFist » 01 Jun 2019, 12:43

Guro Taku wrote:
11 Jan 2019, 16:27
One of the all-time great youth films, Miyoji Ieki's Love is in the Green Wind (恋は緑の風の中, 1974), will finally receive a home video release from Happinet on April 2nd! Ieki's final film before his death in 1976 was never even available on VHS but was recently broadcast in HD on TV. Truly a marvellous film and also the debut from Mieko Harada, who was only 15 at the time.
I read that Harada had to switch to night school because of all the fuzz her nude scene in the film was causing...

User avatar
HungFist
Bruce Lee's Fist
Posts: 10774
Joined: 14 Dec 2005, 15:50
Location: Japan
Contact:

Re: Japanese cult cinema thread

Unread post by HungFist » 11 Jun 2019, 18:10

The Most Suitable Profession for Women (女がいちばん似合う職業) (1990)
Interesting, off-kilter neo noir with mentally off-the-rails detective Kaori Momoi entering relationship with murder suspect. It's neither lust nor a grand plan; she just ain't got all the Moomins in the valley and figures in her lonely misery that that might get the investigation moving. Charmingly odd film with director Naosuke Kurosawa's trademark city existentialism, more than a bit of Takashi Ishii influence (they collaborated on the Dream Crimes failure five years prior) and a great Momoi performance. And all the songs on the soundtrack are in French and… Arabian? Persian? I’m not sure. It still falls short of greatness by lacking consistency and a dynamic overall touch - the storyline especially is something of an excuse for mood and character segments - but the film's got several good scenes and it's pleasingly an unorthodox.

The Japanese Pioneer DVD is out of print but obtainable for reasonable price. It's non-anamorphic and bare bones without even a menu (two original trailers trailers play after the film), but then again, it came out 19 years ago (!).

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

The trailer is one of the best I've seen recently:
https://vimeo.com/341579769

Post Reply