Japanese Film Hall of Fame

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



A South Korean Hall of Fame would be great. All my favourite films from there tend to run a little on the long side though.

Nowhere near being over the restrictions long, but long enough that I can usually only watch them if I don't have to work the next day haha.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
The South Korea Hall of Fame is happening anytime soon?
A South Korean Hall of Fame would be great. All my favourite films from there tend to run a little on the long side though.

Nowhere near being over the restrictions long, but long enough that I can usually only watch them if I don't have to work the next day haha.
I'd be 100% in for this.
HUGE fan of South Korean films!!
I would be SO into that! I could even host that if no one else wanted to.

Perhaps somewhere in late February, early March to get that one rolling? Depending on what else comes up before that.
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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



I have a severe lack of South Korean cinema. To be honest, I have a severe lack of Asian cinema. Wish I could have joined this.
Next time, maybe.



South Korean cinema is kind of good but they severely need to find better editors as most of their films could easily be cut for 15 to 30 minutes. I don't understand why every single South Korean film is at least 130 minutes, often even closer to two-and-half hours. Oh, and there's too much comedy in them too so maybe they should just edit all of that off and the films would be much better.
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Professional horse shoe straightener
'Fireworks' (1997)


Fantastic film. Nishi (Kitano) is the quietly spoken badass who ruminates on his and his family's life. His immediate family and his family in the police force collide and we see the impact of his decisions. The mixture of tenderness and brutality is wonderfully done, while the little paintings and cartoon characters bring to life Nishi's past.

I can't name another film with such a cool, violent, brutal lead melded with such beautiful, timid imagery set against a tragic backstory. It is utterly beautiful. The last scene floored me. To direct a film like this is one thing, but to star in it, write it, and also edit it is completely insane.

This is a masterpiece. Beat Takeshi is a genius.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
'Fireworks' (1997)


Fantastic film. Nishi (Kitano) is the quietly spoken badass who ruminates on his and his family's life. His immediate family and his family in the police force collide and we see the impact of his decisions. The mixture of tenderness and brutality is wonderfully done, while the little paintings and cartoon characters bring to life Nishi's past.

I can't name another film with such a cool, violent, brutal lead melded with such beautiful, timid imagery set against a tragic backstory. It is utterly beautiful. The last scene floored me. To direct a film like this is one thing, but to star in it, write it, and also edit it is completely insane.

This is a masterpiece. Beat Takeshi is a genius.
AMEN!!



South Korean cinema is kind of good but they severely need to find better editors as most of their films could easily be cut for 15 to 30 minutes. I don't understand why every single South Korean film is at least 130 minutes, often even closer to two-and-half hours. Oh, and there's too much comedy in them too so maybe they should just edit all of that off and the films would be much better.
Have you seen 3-iron. Itís short and concise, doesnít rely on humor, and is an excellent watch.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?



Kaze no naka no mendori aka A Hen in the Wind

Pausing during this film (around the mid mark) I had grown curious about the Director, YasujirŰ Ozu and decided to do a cursory research before continuing onward.
I "think" I may have seen one other of his films, which one - I cannot definitively name. I do recall the similar style and especially the mood of the film. Ozu has a very strong, ingrained sense of overwhelming submission to defeat. Which is palpable in it's permanence of both the film and the characters that have surrendered utterly to the tragedy of their lives. Unable to garner, or beyond trying to locate, the strength to change or challenge the unmovable weight upon their entire being.
This is neither glamorized nor expressed poetically. Or rather, there is a kind of poetry, but it is similar to a death song. Brought forth from a kindred soul.

Before I could finish, I needed to understand where it came from.

From my very light skimming of Ozu, I had learned that during WWII he was a POW in a British prison camp. That this experience had changed, severely, his film making prior to Word War 2. To the point that, his grave stone does not bear his name. Only the character "mu" which means "Nothingness".

Wow.

With that understanding, along with a very brisk commentary on his style of film making regarding his use of static shots, doing only cuts and never fades, to focusing on inanimate objects as opposed to the character during moments of true emotional suffering, I returned to watching this film; enlightened. A curiosity playing in my head that one day I may watch one of his older films and see the man before the tragedy.

Such simple discoveries have in the past, and continue to do wonders for my viewing appreciation. And while I was already enjoying my watch of this film, it truly did enhance that as I moved forward and completed my watch. Studying the technique and composition a little more closely and thereby experiencing the subtleties more deeply.
I'm not sure if it affected the pacing for me since that was doing quite well beforehand. The slow march being quite accurate as the story moved forward.

There was one moment of sarcasm when, after Tokiko was pushed down the stairs by her husband, Shuichi and she was limping, I thought: "well, buddy, I guess it's going to be your turn to sell your body to pay for doctor bills, huh?"

Still, a touching and artistically done film.
BRAVO



Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind



Miyazaki is one of my favorite director so was very glad to see him represented in this Hall of Fame, and with Spirited Away already a winner it is cool to see another get nominated. While this isn't my favorite of his there is obviously a lot to love.

Technically, this is one of his more finer films, even more impressive since I believe it was the second film that he made. It looks absolutely amazing on Blu Ray and has perhaps the best sound in any of his films. The story is pretty good, unfortunately I am not as tied into it as others for whatever reason. I think one of the bigger reasons is it's lack of a character outside of Nausicaa that I really found to be all that entertaining. So that's where I believe the film takes a hit.

But overall this is still a film that I will come back to pretty often, as my wife also likes Miyazaki and we can usually not agree on what films to watch all that often

For the record her favorite is Howls Moving Castle so we even have differing taste on Miyazaki.



That's a wrap from me.



Introduction of Gondo is fine and it shows the man he is. After the boy is kidnapped the back and forth between paying the ransom and buying the stock goes on forever. I was also wondering how the 30M ransom would ruin him completely (it was worth 9% of the company and he already owned 32% at the time - maybe I'm just missing something but to me it seems that he could have paid his debt with his shares).

Yeah so I rewatched High and Low tonight and here's the answer to your question. He had 9% of the company, he had been spending years acquiring the shares to get himself up to 46% where he has a controlling interest. To get to that 32% he mortgaged everything but he didn't buy all of that stock upfront he only put a deposit down for the stock, if he didn't end up in charge of the company he wouldn't have been able to pay the rest of the stock balance and he would be ruined.



During the course of the film he's fired because he's not the boss and the other stock holders can get rid of him.








High and Low was my nomination and one of my favorite films. It's a fairly complicated plot where a wealthy family's son is kidnapped except he wasn't his friend was and now the father has to decide if he will pay the ransom and risk financial ruin to save the boy. It's also a crime story and procedural that goes step by step as the police attempt to capture this criminal.



I love so many things about this film, I love the way it's shot with Kurosawa always giving us a story in the background and the foreground. Almost every scene in this film can be dissected and broken down to find meaning in it...which is incredible for a small budget film. It might be some of the best use of blocking I've ever seen. It really opens up the film for repeat viewings because everybody's story is being told at the same time.


I also enjoy how the main character bounces as the story needs it. The story moves effortlessly from Gondo(the businessmen) to Tokura(the inspector) to Takeushi(the criminal). Takeushi is so good in a mostly silent performance as he's being surveilled.


This was a favorite of mine and I hope you guys enjoyed it.



There are a lot of streaming sites, but i prefer this one: peek.watch



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?



Shimotsuma monogatari aka Kamikaze Girls
(aka The Anime Odd Couple)

Simply absurd, imaginative, unreal. A naive Kyoko Fukada in Lolita shape, fan of embroidery and RococÚ and its fabulous lacy dresses , meets a bad-to-the-bone female thug that will change her life. The story is the quintessence of pop culture's exaltation, a movie so coloured that makes Cutie Honey a faded charcoal, a demential opera as much as Excel Saga, a reflection on the true importance of friends and dears.

~Amelie meets Thelma & Louise meets Excel Saga
I just had to steal this opening from the first review off of IMDb because it really breaks this film down rather precisely.
Played out like a live action anime we see the friendship of Momoko and Ichigo as two individuals from far sides of the spectrum, resulting in, very much, an Odd Couple format.
Which worked quite well.

I think my only critique is the severe use of shaky camera. NOT a fan of it. I firmly believe the technique is a step backward in camerawork. I can easily get into a rant about it, but, I won't. Not the place for that.

What is the place is that I did enjoy the silliness, the over the top, B-Movie-esque feel to this.
Hell, I even thought THIS guy was amusing. Weird, but amusing.




I really like the idea of a South Korean Film HOF in the future. I havenít seen many but hope to start fixing that soon. A HOF would help with that. 😏
Iím sad Iím missed this one, and hope to catch the next time a Japanese HOF is done.