Japanese

After Life /1998/Japanese

FiC Rating 4/5
Dir: Hirokazu Koreeda

Why FiC recommends?

1) Its not a movie rather a meditation on a life.
2) Its an ode to Memories and nostalgia and a perfect filmakers movie but only to be set up in surreal scenario.
3) Though Koreeda explores the theme of after life never makes his viewers miss the realistic experience on screen as most of his character behave and act naturally which is very unusual in the movies that deal with similar subject.

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Sen no Rikyu: Honkakubô ibun (Death of a Tea Master) /1989/ Japanese

FiC Rating: 4/5
Dir: Kei Kumai
Why FiC recommends?
1) A magnificent work of Japanese cinematic art starring Mifune Toshiro. It tells the story of what led to the death of Sen no Rikyu, the influential sixteenth-century tea master who served the warlord Hideyoshi. Drawn from the pages of Japanese history! In Kei Kumai’s vision on this subject, a tension can be established between the physical and the spiritual, between the shadow of the forces and the perspective and the acquisition of wisdom when compared to Hiroshi Teshigahara’s Rikyu which leaned more on the political and social context while Death of a Tea Master focused on the philosophy.
2) One of the best films ever made in Japan. One of the greatest productions in world cinema with moderate budget and it captures the very essence of its title, thoroughly justifying it, etches out characters. And this is why the ending plays as the perfect emotional pay-off for a film so full of frustrating inhibitions, a light of hope after an eternity spent.

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Ôkoku (The Kingdom) /1973/ Japanese

FiC Rating: 3.5/5
Dir: Kanai Katsu
Why FiC recommends?
1) This is a Bizarre film that plays with theme of time which serves as the main beams for the exploration of Goku, the poet protagonist of Kanai’s THE KINGDOM who wages war against Chronos, the god of time – against a notion of time as linear, measured, and irreversible.
2) Visually creative (and very beautiful) when it serves the progress of the suggestions contained in the film, it is a film of multiple moments without any of them being detached from the single form or purpose. A must for Experimental and surreal cinephiles.

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The Third Murder/2017/Japanese

FiC Rating 4/5
Dir: Hirokazu Koreeda

Why FiC recommends?

1) This court room drama presents the slice of game about truth and perception.
2) The Third Murder is totally in different spectrum in comparision to Koreeda’s regular family drama.
3) the way Shigemori gets consumed by the case equally absorbs its viewers into its athematic tangle.

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After the Storm/2016/Japanese

FiC Rating 4.5/5
Dir: Hirokazu Koreeda

Why FiC recommends?

1) “Simplicity” is the one word review for this movie
2) Its a soft, breezy story of the character and his perseverance that has lost its tenacity and the way world around him has started to look at his deeds.
3) “Are you who you wanted to be?” – “I am not who I wanted to be YET” – After the Storm

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Still Walking/2008/Japanese

FiC Rating 5/5
Dir: Hirokazu Koreeda

Why FiC recommends?

1) Memories are indeed the most heaviest, this movie is all about that and the way every characters sway with those past memory in present.
2) A proper definition of ‘Slice of Life’, entire movie unveils as the family reminiscent the long lost son as everyone gather and speak, eat and play together.
3) One could connect with those characters irrespective of cultural differene, we have seen similar characters in our life, certain behavioural trait or the reaction are universal.

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Our Little Sister/2015/Japanese

FiC Rating 5/5
Dir: Hirokazu Koreeda

Why Fic recommends?
1) A tale of acceptance and welcoming that beautifully brings varied characters on its canvas reflecting a thorough character study.
2) Koreeda is the master in bringing up intricate nostaligic references in the narration, this piece of work is rich in similar references.

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Shoplifters/2018/Japanese

FiC Rating 5/5
Dir: Hirokazu Koreeda

Why Fic recommends?
1) Powerful story that unveils the immanent power of bond, love and relationship.
2) Movie that depicts the beauty in imperfection, incompleteness and vulnerability in the dysfunctional family which has a dark but not so important truth wthin only untile they fall into the radar of society.
3) Top notch peformance by every cast members uplifts the viewing experience.

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I Wish/2011/Japanese

FiC Rating 4/5
Dir: Hirokazu Koreeda

Why Fic recommends?
1) Unsnarling the world of children Koreeda here explores the innocence and modesty of children in which he has become the master with each of his works.
2) Story that builds its pillar upon the foundation of belief and innocence slowly also touches the innate urge of children to live with family happily.
3) As always child artists in Koreeda’s movie are very natural and effortless with their performance here too.

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Like Father, Like Son/2013/Japanese

FiC Rating 5/5
Dir: Hirokazu Koreeda

Why Fic recommends?
1) Is there something like ‘Good Parenting’ or ‘Bad Parenting’ or is it just a perspective ?
2) Beautiful story that raises questions and decision between valuing moral conflicts and hereditary lineage.
3) Delicate story on how parental figures imapact over child’s personality and behavioural carving meanwhile also sensitively depicting Japan’s competitive upbringing.

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Nobody Knows/2004/Japanese

FiC Rating 5/5
Dir: Hirokazu Koreeda

Why FiC recommends?
1) Honest potrayal of child modesty and innocence and self tackle between chilhood bliss and situational responsibility.
2) Specially to be watched for brilliant performance by all child artists, camera in the movie seems like just another character that captures everyday happeneing of the children.
3) Koreeda respects viewer’s intelligence with “Dont tell, Show” approach in course of giving importance to every intricacies especially while denoting fly of time.

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Antiporno/2016/Japan

FiC Rating 5/5
Dir: Sion Sono
Why FiC Recommends?
1) As a film that delves into the realm of kinks and fetishes emblematic to it’s assertive title, Antiporno is sexually provocative but a feeding frenzy of chaos that paints a nauseating portrait of exploitation of women at it’s core.
2) Nikkatsu Studio offered Sono to direct a film in the reboot of Roman Porno series which had quite a prolific run in the 70s and 80s and here is Sono charging his project with rage and anguish and presenting a scathing critique of the entire project in the impression of a sexual exploitation flick.
3) Antiporno is as much a howl of a director being disgusted with sexploitation flicks as it is an arresting visual essay about women’s liberty and fake perception of their freedom, Sono deconstructs cinema as a voyeuristic medium.

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Ame agaru ( After the Rain ) / 1999 / Japanese

FiC Rating: 4/5
Dir: Takashi Koizumi
Setting: Rural
Why FiC recommends?
1) A drama by Takashi Koizumi from a scenario written by “Akira Kurosawa” shortly before his death and made as a tribute to him, No where near as good as it would have been with Kurosawa behind it but fine nonetheless, especially the cinematography which was gorgeous. Any fan of Akira Kurosawa will want to see this.
2) If you want a peaceful and beautiful samurai film, do yourself and your immortal soul a favour; this movie is for you, would really recommend it, this one is a lesser known Japanese gem.

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Manji 卍 / 1983 / Japanese 

FiC Rating: 3.5/5
Dir: Hiroto Yokoyama
Why FiC recommends?
1)  Passion and emotional turmoil are served up raw in this Viscerally EROTIC, CYNICAL & COLD film. Patient viewers will be rewarded with an all-out experience during the film’s finale.
2) Certainly, I think the film was of the kind of kind, where you are drawn into the world of passionate passion and love, which develops in a totally unpredictable direction and becomes catastrophically destructive to the relationship.

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Tokyo X Erotica / 2001/ Japanese

FiC Rating: 3.5/5
Dir: Takahisa ZeZe
Why FiC recommends?
1) WHAT IF DAVID LYNCH MADE A PINKU !!
2) This experimental film from Takahisa Zeze explores love, life, sex, and death throughout the course of five explicit vignettes told through the rules of postmodern cinema, with a very complex script narrated through a non-linear interlocking montage.

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Monday/ 2000/ Japanese

FiC Rating: 4/5
Dir: SABU
Why FiC recommends?
1) The film is mix of Yakuza thriller and black comedy, which is also the most rounded film by SABU (Blessing Bell, Hard Luck Hero, Postman Blues, Mr. Long), genius of Japanese mutant cinema.
2) At a funeral, the man in the coffin turns out to have an active pacemaker, which leads to very unpredictable and surreal results. A journey between busted journeys so crazy and surreal as to border on the dreamlike in which reality and fantasy meets. The scenes are of breath-taking visual beauty, well thought out and backed up with the appropriate music.

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Kingyo/2009/Japanese

FiC Rating: 3.5/5
Dir: Edmund Yeo

Setting: urban
Why FiC recommends?

1) A jugglery over the form of narrative and screenplay, perhaps the most inventive use of split screen to delineate both separation and continuation of life, the story has a little to offer but the artistic wizardry is boundless.
2) Memory, nostalgia and aching melancholy works in harmony and immerse you inside this pristinely delicate slice of life, Kingyo is transcendence in action.

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Confessions/2010/Japanese

FiC Rating: 4/5
Dir: Tetsuya Nakashima

Why FiC recommends?
1) To put it simply, this movie is about a mother looking for revenge for her daughter’s death. But nothing is as straightforward as it seems.After each Confession, an extra layer is peeled off and the viewer is left to switch sides and ponder upon who is the real culprit till the end.
2) The film takes no time to take off and certainly has one of the most intense psycologically thrilling first act out there.

Note: The Japanese Original Title is “Kokuhaku”

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