Japanese Cinema etc: quick hits/notes

Shintaro Katsu as Zatoichi, wanders – blind with cane-sword, ready for massage

Consider this a sloppy and not complete by any means roundup for Japanese and Japan-related cinema and other visual entertainment. 

Just quick hits, a few links, please take the time to add to it if you have something to say.

First, buddy Banghi puts forth:

a quick and dirty list focusing on directors highlights or favs rather than spamming a list of Kurosawa…

* Tokyo Story
* Tampopo
* High and low
* Castle of Cagliastro
* In the realm of the senses
* Kwaidan
* Akira
* Any/all Zatoichi
* Ballad of Narayama
* Rodan
* The Burmese harp
* Battle royale

Next, I made a little list of Japanese and related for folks coming to wedding as a primer – a few ideas to load up on your device for plane viewing to get ya in the spirit:* Lost in Translation – Bill Murray is a confused actor promoting whiskey in Tokyo, hijinks ensue
* Isle of Dogs – Wes Anderson’s stop motion about well, dogs and friendship
* Zatoichi – classic Edo-period-set films about a blind masseur/master swordsman
* Tanpopo – not a spaghetti western, a ramen western and ode to food and love – See also Minba, a film lampooning the yakuza which (likely) got director Itami killed (yikes!)
* Seven Samurai – before the Magnificent 7, came Kurosawa’s B&W masterpiece
+ TV dramas like Long Vacation, Tokyo Love Story, Pride, Beach Boys are subtitled all over Youtube for cheesy fun

Amazon has a few quirky series like Ramen Loving Girl, Sunshine Sento Sake, Tokyo Girl (subtitled) for a funtime

Third, an article from Japan Times about film scholar/critic MARK Schilling

Fourth, article about 1939 film stars army dogs, the loyal, abandoned war combatants

Pal SW in Guam says: Very hard to find, but one I loved as a young Gaijin in Japan years ago, was ‘Tokyo Pop’ (YT a horrible copy)

Banghi also notes: I cut my teeth reading Donald Richie

Me: Also worth noting Donald Keene, Japanese translator (recently passed on)

A few riffs about Juzo Itami:

Devon in NYC: Damn – I had no idea about Itami Juzo. That is really sad.

 
to which i replied: its an epic and murky story – Jake Adelstein of Tokyo Vice unpacks in more in various places. there are conflicts and confusions all over but it seems screamingly obvious. Also note Itami didn’t make first film until 50 years old. What an amazing collection he produced in short order (even beyond his most known trio).
 
More in Itami’s wild bio here (includes namecheck for Arthur Rimbaud) 
 
Cmdr Magnum adds:  Minbo is one of my favorites, but love A Taxing Woman (Marisa no Onna) even more
 
I add: both fantastic of course but Osōshiki (The Funeral) & A-Ge-Man: Tales of a Golden Geisha totally hit the spot for me as well. I mean, all of them do… though the hardest to watch is “taxing woman returns” due to so many lights and sounds and plot complications.