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Posts tagged ‘Japan’

Unforgiven (2013)

Directed by Lee Sung-Il

5 stars

It’s hard to describe in words just how good Unforgiven, Lee Sung-Il’s remake of the 1992 Clint Eastwood movie of the same name, is. The earlier movie was no mean achievement, winning four Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director. This Japanese remake won’t repeat that, because that’s not how the Academy works – and perhaps it’s fair in that Eastwood’s movie forms the very broad shoulders on which this film stands. But the new version climbs up there and doesn’t put a foot wrong. Read more

Smuggler (2011)

Directed by: Katsuhito Ishii

3 stars

No longer-aspiring actor Kinuta (Satoshi Tsumabuki) gambles in the wrong den, and to expunge his debts he’s forced to take up work as a smuggler: a mover/disposer of the bodies of people killed in organised-crime slayings.  When the fantastically-named hit team of Vertebrae and Viscera wipe out a gangland boss, the smugglers find themselves involved in a complex game of gang wars and double-crossing beauties. Read more

Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale (2011)

Directed by: Te-Sheng Wei

3 stars

In 1895, Taiwan was taken over by the Empire of Japan.  Thirty five years later, the Seediq aboriginal people are in a semi-subservient condition, regarded as savages by their Japanese masters, who view Seediq traditions (which include headhunting) as barbaric.  Chief Mona Rudao appears to have accepted this state of affairs, but when a Japanese policeman insults his clan at a wedding, Mona leads a loose coalition of clans in a brief, bloody rebellion. Read more

From Up On Poppy Hill (2011)
(Kokuriko-zaka kara)

Directed by: Goro Miyazaki

2 stars

Umi divides her time between preparing food for her extended family and guests at the boarding house where she lives, and school, where she falls for Shun, a boy a few years older. Together, they fight a campaign to prevent the school’s Club building from being demolished as part of the preparations for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.  Entwined with this struggle is their own growing affection, imperilled by the possibility that they may, in fact, be brother and sister. Read more