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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.





It's hard to believe this film was made in 1984. The 2-D animation is just so rich and well developed. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind has lot of environmentalism and a little jesus in it. It's a little weird watching an early Miyazaki film because you can see some of his trademarks starting to form but yet you also get some aspects to his work that is totally unique.



One of the things that I really enjoyed about this film is it's use of supporting characters. I got a big kick out of Kurotowa and his sarcasm which I don't think you see enough of in animated films. If I have one complaint about the film is I felt like it added an unnecessary act in the film you did have this strange sense of repetitiveness. I also didn't care for us the viewed having information from the lead withheld from us. But really those are quibbles I enjoyed this one quite a bit.



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Harakiri

To me this is a pure masterpiece, one of the greatest Japanese movies ever made and probably my favorite live action Japanese movie. I like the way the story was told, in that it jumps back and forth in time, making for an intense and thrilling ride through the history and morals of this tale. It's samurai movie with a twist - it doesn't glorify the samurai code of honor, it instead criticizes it. The acting isn't great, but it doesn't really matter as the camerawork is so good that you can hardly notice. Just a wonderful, wonderful, movie that I will definitely return to in the future.

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I finally decided to send in my list, so I'm officially finished now. I liked enough about even my lowest ranked films that they easily could've placed higher in a different HoF, so I'll probably be happy with the results no matter what.

It has felt weird not having anything to watch this past week though. Maybe I should've watched the nominations a second time to make sure I was completely happy with my list haha.



Hana-bi



This is a movie that I can respect for how it was made but it does make me feel rather cold, which seemingly affects my enjoyment of the film.

I just didn't care for how Kitanos character was drawn up as a cold hearted bastard for the most part. I would have rather seen him be evil with some redeeming qualities that make you wonder if deep down inside the guy has any heart. But here he really doesn't, which is a big issue for me as he is a hard character to follow. Now obviously that isn't to say I hate all film villains, I just think with how the screenplay played out it didn't connect well for me.

The film looked really great though and it had some really good scenes. It had a lot going for it really. A shame I didn't connect with it more, but it was a rather off-putting film for me. I did like that ending which kicked it up a notch for me, but obviously I don't want to apoil it for those who haven't seen it yet.

Overall a unique and mixed bag. I preferred this over Sonatine though!






Hani-Bi (1997) is the story of a police detective forced out after an accident leaves his partner paralyzed. I really like this style of Japanese film-making, the crime drama with a compeling lead character. I didn't really know Takeshi Kitano as an artist just from the roles he's had as an actor. This is the second of his films I've seen and I have generally positive feelings towards it.



My issue with the film is that he feels like a spiritual sequel to Sonatine. But with that film it felt more authentic if that makes sense. I don't think the violence and nihilism translated as well with a police officer. But I did enjoy the film quite a bit.






Well this was a rewatch to me and it was definitely better the second time around. With Harikari the story is a little hard to follow what with the constant flashbacks and long soliloquies. This reminded me a bit of High Noon in the sense that the film is at it's core a morality tale and most of the film is about the buildup to the conflict we all know is coming.


Kobayashi's film is beautifully shot I don't know if the character work is really all that great. I suppose some of the characters are supposed to be crazy but you're also trying to make characters angry or clever or well I don't even really know it's sort of tricky to tell the players apart. I watched the remake earlier this year I think I could follow that one a bit better.



I watched the remake earlier this year I think I could follow that one a bit better.
Is that Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai? FB was advertising it to me just before the reveal. Wasn't sure if it was actually related to this Harakiri, or just a similar title.



Is that Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai? FB was advertising it to me just before the reveal. Wasn't sure if it was actually related to this Harakiri, or just a similar title.

Yeah Takashi Miike who is the filmmaker I have to watch 10 of for the movie challenge



Is that Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai? FB was advertising it to me just before the reveal. Wasn't sure if it was actually related to this Harakiri, or just a similar title.
As far as I know, Miike's remake is almost identical shot-for-shot replica but in color.



Harakiri (1962)



I have watched half a dozen films by Masaki Kobayashi, I rank this one below his Human Condition Trilogy films but above the other films I watched that were made by him (Kwaidan and Samurai Rebellion). His style is clearly minimalistic: his characters are minimally developed and his plots are very simple, especially in terms of being social criticisms directed at obviously bad things. In that sense, it feels like his movies are far longer than they need to be. Harakiri, for instance, is a movie that says: "bushido is nonsense", repeatedly for a hundred times. It is a correct statement but the movie overextends its delivery.

It still is perhaps the most effective of his films because the minimalism still works for the movie's advantage in this historical drama setting. The cinematography is also top-notch (although the version I got access to was a film that showed some signs of deterioration due to the age of the movie, being nearly 60 years old). Still, his movies are so simple that I do not find it very enjoyable to re-watch them since I know everything that is going to be shown.