Branded to Kill, November 7
A neglected housewife is raped by an intruder with whom she develops a bizarre relationship. “Imamura gazes at her in quiet awe.”-N.Y. Times
Shindo's autumnal masterwork about an elderly theater actress vacationing at her mountain villa is a tribute to dignity in the face of aging.
A miner takes his family from sunny western Japan to wintry Hokkaido in Yamada's touching drama.
Suzuki's free-jazz version of a yakuza tale is a fabulous collection of surrealist set pieces and mind-warping visual gags.
Oshima weaves the story of a serial killer into a chronicle of the failure of idealism (and Japan's socialist movement). “Grandly idiosyncratic.”-N.Y. Times
Focusing on the psychological toll on one family, Imamura “treats the medical horrors of post-atomic Hiroshima with a tense, sorrowful reserve.”-N.Y. Times
Two women lure samurai to their deaths in one of the key works of the Japanese New Wave and a great influence on the recent “J-Horror” wave.
Nagisa Oshima's New Wave classic is a furious indictment of the desperation in Japan's postwar economy. “Weird, beautiful, and terrifying.”-The Observer
Oshima's audacious family saga is nothing less than the history of the postwar Japanese state. “Makes contemporary cinema look puny by comparison, so dense and complex its achievement.”-Cinematheque Ontario
A Japanese populist classic from Yoji Yamada's Tora-san series. Our bumbling proletarian hero has adventures in the Tokyo suburbs and in the arts.
Seijun Suzuki weds surrealism to ghost story to evoke the late 1920s in Japan as a period of changing mores akin to Weimar Germany.
Kon Ichikawa's powerful family drama, set in the Taisho era, with virtuoso performances by Kinuyo Tanaka and Keiko Kishi.
A mystical mountain provides the setting for Sumiko Haneda's fascinating documentary look into Japanese folklore and tradition.
Sumiko Haneda turns her expert lens on dancer Akiko Kanda in this portrait of creativity, individuality, and rebellion.
Screen icon Ken Takakura is a parolee making his way home to Hokkaido in Yoji Yamada's 1977 favorite, a fun and sentimental road trip through Japan's back country.
Imamura's portrait of a serial killer is ”through its very plainness and dire clarity, a dark poem of bottomless need.”-N.Y. Times
The story of a samurai's revenge depicted on a famous Edo-period Japanese painting is cinematically brought to life.
A family struggles against the elements on a windswept island in Kaneto Shindo's highly visual epic. “One of the most beautiful cinematic poems the Japanese cinema has given us.”-Pariscope
Seijun Suzuki's absurdist gangster thriller seems as wildly perverse now as it did in 1967. “One of the most bizarre movies ever made.”-AllMovie Guide
In Kurosawa's humanist masterpiece, an ordinary civil servant discovers what it means to live. This Japanese Everyman was perhaps Takashi Shimura's greatest role.
Visual proof of the relativity of truth, Kurosawa's legendary film is still a revelation.
Ichikawa's delightfully black comedy satirizes corporate culture in '50s Japan.
Toshiro Mifune is a driven detective in Kurosawa's bravura Tokyo noir. “A bona fide masterpiece.”-Time Out
Kon Ichikawa's stunning adaptation of Mishima's best-selling novel about an acolyte who sets fire to Kyoto's Golden Pavilion. With Raizo Ichikawa, Tatsuya Nakadai.