Blog Archives

Villon’s Wife (2009)

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”Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

Otani (Asano Tadanobu) does not know what love is, but his wife Sachi (Matsu Takako) certainly does. He is a talented writer, but … (read more)

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K-20 (Kaijin niju menso den) (2008)

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It was bound to happen; in fact, it actually hails from a fairly respectable lineage. Films like Jet Li’s The Black Mask, a whole swag of masked kamen riders and power rangers too numerous to name, as well as legendary thieves like Lupin and A.J. Raffles are definitely where K-20: Legend of the Mask draws some of its narrative quirks. But there’s a strong Western feel to the film too; the way it looks and plays out are a … (read more)

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Brave Story (2006)

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Based on a novel by writer Miyuki Miyabe, the Brave Story movie is produced by the animation house Studio Gonzo, a major force in the anime industry today. It is essentially a fantasy adventure. Giant monsters, wizards with magical powers, and young characters who become heroes all feature in the film.

The story begins when young Wataru, the main character of the movie, accidentally sees a mysterious young child disappearing through a floating door. It turns out that the mysterious … (read more)

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The Hidden Blade (2005)

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Yohji Yamada’s second film is soft with the same rural beauty that made Twilight Samurai such a remarkably refreshing period piece. It is a personal story, unconventional perhaps because its subject matter seems so very conventional, and Yamada is becoming something of a thematic auteur with his quiet, realistic portrayals of the samurai way of life, his harmless non-heroes, his uncomplicated humour and his slow sense of inevitable conclusion.

Munezo Katagiri (Masatoshi Nagase) is an unmarried samurai indentured to a … (read more)

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