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I tried watching a streaming of this tonight but the subtitles were a hodge-podge of a translation so I'll be getting it from my library.
Yeah, you definitely want proper subtitles because the film relies heavily on its dialogue. Luckily your library has it.



"Money won is twice as sweet as money earned."



Haven't finished my Harakiri review yet but I watched The Third Murder. Like @edarsenal I had little difficulties in finding proper subtitles (as far as I know, the film hasn't been released officially in here so no luck with libraries either) and while the ones I ended up using weren't the worst I'm quite sure I missed some finer nuances. Liked the film though and would like to rewatch it with proper subs at some point.
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Were you looking for subtitles in English or another language? Besides the physical media releases, it's available through Amazon Prime, iTunes, and other services online, so there are proper/official English subtitles available. Not sure about other languages though.



Were you looking for subtitles in English or another language? Besides the physical media releases, it's available through Amazon Prime, iTunes, and other services online, so there are proper/official English subtitles available. Not sure about other languages though.
I used English subs (for non-English films I'd prefer Finnish but English is no issue). And about availability, I tend to use https://www.justwatch.com to check if something is available on streaming services and at least it doesn't list it for Finland (Shoplifters and Like Father, Like Son are the only Kore-eda films available according to the site).



Harakiri (1962)


There's something in the first half of Harakiri that doesn't resonate with me at all. No one feels like human and I'm just an observer for a ritual performed by empty shells. While the latter half adds some depth and humanity to these characters I find the beginning inexcusably dull and uninspiring.

The second half is considerably better but it's too little too late. I can somewhat appreciate its nihilism but the tragedy at its heart is a failure. Despite the eventual hypocrisy it's hard to condemn the counselor's original response or feel sympathy for the protagonist. What remains is a longwinded way to say that honor and principles are beautiful lies.

By far the best thing in Harakiri is its cinematography. It's such a shame that significant portion of the film happens in a boring courtyard though but when the camera ventures beyond its walls things get far more interesting (especially the last duel in the windy hills is fabulous). I really don't like that traditional Japanese music and whoever originally came up with an idea that blackened teeth are sexy should have committed seppuku before speaking his or her mind.

Not nearly as bad as I expected based on my previous attempt but still another big classic that I don't get.



I really don't like that traditional Japanese music and whoever originally came up with an idea that blackened teeth are sexy should have committed seppuku before speaking his or her mind.
The music didn't stand out to me at all, but I definitely agree on the ohaguro practice haha. I know our standards of beauty are mostly informed by our culture, but that's one fashion trend that I'll never understand the appeal of. Supposedly it does help protect your teeth, but...at what cost? They just look completely rotten to me.



The Third Murder (2017)


This was my first Kore-eda movie meaning I didn't know what to expect. Storywise The Third Murder isn't very innovative or unique. This also means that some of its twists are quite foreseeable. Fortunately, I don't mind about the same old if it's done well and this one certainly is.

The film looks and sounds very beautiful; no flashy antics but restraint and calm composure. Pacing is good and stuff like the prison visits are never dragged out for too long. Due to somewhat subpar subtitles (besides getting an import disc the film isn't officially available in Finland) I must have missed some of the finer nuances but characters felt interesting. Also acting was really good.

I guess this is a study of ethics or a vigilante movie that wants to look smart. In any case, I like how it tackles its subject even though it's a bit too predictable. Some details feel detached (like the cross and few references to Misumi's earlier crime) but that could easily be due to faulty subs (or me just not paying enough attention). Quite a strong film none the less.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
Should get a write up for Nausicaa posted in the next day or so and I've rented The Third Murder from library so I'll watching that in the next week or so.
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They say: that after people make love there's a kind of melancholia, the petite mort, the little death. Well, I'm here to tell you, after a romantic night with yourself there's a very acute sensation of failed suicide. ~Dylan Moran



Hanabi (1997)



This movie is essentially a piece of contemplative cinema mixed with seemingly non-sensical extreme violence. I would categorize this as an "art-house movie" instead of a gangster movie. It requires a little bit of patience to be watched as it is not a conventional movie. However, I found it more interesting to watch than Afterlife, another "art house" movie, the visual style drew me in more.

Interesting as well is the director is the main character and he does not really "act" in the classic sense in the movie: he just stands around looking like "badass" and shoots people. Kinda reminds me of Seinfeld being the creator/main character type although in this case, it is in a work of wildly distinct tone.

Finally, I should talk a little bit about the fantastic soundtrack of the movie. Hisaishi is perhaps the best film composer of all time. His style is minimalistic: he maximizes the amount of emotion for each note of music being played. His style fits very well in Nausicaa but here it contrasts with the rather emotionless acting style of the movie's actors. In this case, the emotional soundtrack appears to convey the emotions that are underneath in the movie.