The Midnight Eye Guide to New Japanese Film

By Tom Mes, Jasper Sharp

An eye-opening portrait of a colourful movie tradition, The dead night Eye consultant to New eastern Film is the main complete learn of the japanese filmmaking scene but written. Tom Mes and Jasper Sharp discover the surprising resurgence of jap cinema, either stay motion and lively, profiling 19 modern eastern filmmakers, from the well known (Kitano, Miike, Miyazaki) to the up-and-coming (Naomi Kawase, Satoshi Kon, Shinya Tsukamoto) and reviewing ninety seven in their contemporary movies. With a hundred+ pictures from at the back of and in entrance of the digicam, it is a publication any movie lover will delight in. Foreword through Hideo Nakata, director of Ring.

Tom Mes (in Paris) and Jasper Sharp (in Tokyo) co-edit Midnighteye.com, the most popular English-language site on jap cinema.

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Solid: M a s u m i H a ru kawa , S h igeru Tsuyu­ guch i , K6 N i s h i m u ra , Yos h i Kat6 , Yuko Kusunoki , H a ruo Itoga . a hundred and fifty m i n utes . RELEASES: VH S , Les Fi l m s De Ma Vie ( France , Fre nch s u btitles ) . N i okay­ kats u ( J a pa n , no s u btit l e s ) . A d u l l-witted housewife is swept from h e r tenu­ ous life while an interloper breaks into the home and rapes her. She quickly unearths herself stuck up i n an adventu re that ends up in betrayal and attem pted m u rder. according to a unique via Shinji Fujiwara, this long mystery marks the main whole consolida­ tion of the information that tell Imamura's preliminary cycle of positive factors within the overdue ' five 0s and early '60s. It additionally places ahead a surprisingly subversive view 33 of "modern" Japan. Its story of a low-caste apartment­ carry drudge who transcends her lowly prestige, now not via any response opposed to it, yet quite by means of accepting her position in the order of items, sits at odds with the extra conventional picture of the relations promoted in different motion pictures of the time. Born of peasant inventory, Sadako (Harukawa), the dull-witted and lumpen lynch pin of the piece, leads a thankless daily lifestyles tending the tumbledown shanty living within the northern provincial urban of S endai that she inhabits together with her unaffectionate common-law husband, K6ichi (Nishimura). right here she performs mom to K6ichi's son, Masaru, a baby from a former marriage whom she cares for as though he have been her personal. Her prostitute grandmother and her lowly cafe waitress mom now lifeless (the latter having hung herself), Sadako dutifully and uncomplainingly accepts her thankless place inside a society that she is just marginally part of, as her shrewish partner's mother frequently reminds her how fortunate she is to were taken into the family . someday, whilst her husband is away at a piece convention, the home is damaged into by way of a thief, Hiraoka (Tsuyuguchi, the investigator trying to find the lacking guy within the Imamura's a guy Vanishes, who later seemed in Eijanaika). The intruder rapes her and leaves with the phrases, "If you inform nobody, not anyone will recognize. " while Hiraoka returns a number of days later, she yields once again. discovering herself pregnant via him, she al­ lows herself to be tempted by way of his supply to depart her cramped and oppressive atmosphere to begin a brand new existence in Tokyo with him. yet is an doubtful destiny with a neurotic fugitive with a middle con­ dition quite what she wants? The dim-witted S adako makes for an un­ most probably heroine, a more often than not unrefined Imamura production working counter to straightforward depictions of the feminine function in the eastern kin constitution: that of both moms or other halves. In­ deed, Imamura's advert hoc unit is the whole antithesis of the middle-class nuclear households being portrayed, for instance, within the well-man- 34 SHOHEI IMAMURA Intentions of homicide nered and immaculately turned-out works of his early mentor, Yasujiro Ozu. but, regardless of her pudgy beneficial properties and her sluggish and unaffected demeanour, the director evidently has loads of recognize and affection for his hon­ est and well-meaning lead.

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