Rate the Last Film You Watched

NormanicGrav

Yume no Shima Shinen Kōen
AUKN Staff
All films from Japan or Korea. No films from elsewhere in Asia? China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Thailand, etc.
I mentioned it on Twitter but basically, I actually don't have any films from other regions in my backlog. Part of this reason was that all of the films I had acquired were through the sales over the past few months (Arrow Video and Arrow Academy). This is basically me dealing with those titles before going for more. I have 10 films left now so I'm almost there, but rest easy as I do intend on covering films from other parts of Asia especially with China/Taiwan/Hong Kong films since Enter the Dragon and Infernal Affairs were one of the first films I had watched from the Asian Cinema catalog.

To provide examples of the other regions of films I intend to get:
  • Criterion: A Brighter Summer Day, YI YI
  • Eureka: Iron Monkey, Jackie Chan's Police Story 1 & 2
  • Manga: Monster Hunt
  • Misc: Bruce Lee's final four films before his death (The Big Boss, Fist of Fury, Way of the Dragon, Game of Death), the Ip Man series
I'm also interested in Monkey King: Hero is Back if that ever gets licensed one day in the UK.
 

NormanicGrav

Yume no Shima Shinen Kōen
AUKN Staff
If you've not seen the Infernal Affairs trilogy then I'm a bit disappointed 😕
Infernal Affairs were one of the first films I had watched from the Asian Cinema catalog.
I've watched the first two of the three via Palisades Tartan's trilogy set back in November 2013. I have yet to watch the third film though, I'll probably need to rewatch the first two for better memory and context.

And before you say it, the Blu-ray set is currently in the vault so I can't watch it at the moment.
 

NormanicGrav

Yume no Shima Shinen Kōen
AUKN Staff
Asian Cinema Watch Day 21!


Love Exposure (Ai no Mukidashi [愛のむきだし]) is a 2008 Japanese film directed by Sion Sono. This is a four hour epic film and it's well worth the journey. The story is one of the strongest parts of the film and it's well-paced with a lot of characters that were well-developed and an ending that may not satisfy a lot of people but one that I was pleased with. There's a lot of comedic moments and most of them are sex-related, for instance, the upskirt photography is handled in the best anime way possible and it is brilliant. In fact, the story itself does feel very anime as well especially as it does carry over the tropes of showing the situations that our main character goes through. The villain in this film is a proper one and one that I honestly think succeeded in her own way. It's interesting because you want her to suffer the most, but she gets away with it so many times to the point where she wins in the end until our main character eventually overcomes his situation during the epilogue. Overall this is one of the best Japanese films I had watched and well worth a visit. Sion Sono filmed this at a total runtime of 6 hours, but the producers forced him to trim it down to almost 4 hours (3 hours 57 mins) in the end.

Love Exposure is available to own on Blu-ray from distributor Third Window Films.

4.5/5

Here's a brief look at what films I'll try and check out throughout this month:
Watched:
#01 - Japan - Yōjirō Takita's Departures
#02 - Japan - Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Before We Vanish
#03 - Japan - Toshiaki Toyoda's Blue Spring
#04 - Korea - Park Chan-wook's Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance
#05 - Japan - Takashi Miike's Terra Formars
#06 - Japan - Hideo Nakata's Dark Water
#07 - Japan - Takashi Miike's Dead or Alive
#08 - Japan - Takashi Miike's Dead or Alive 2: Birds
#09 - Japan - Takashi Miike's Dead or Alive: Final
#10 - Japan - Takashi Miike's The Happiness of the Katakuris
#11 - Korea - Park Chan-wook's Thirst
#12 - Japan - Kinji Fukasaku's Street Mobster
#13 - Japan - Kazuhiko Yamaguchi's Wolf Guy: Enraged Lycanthrope
#14 - Japan - Takashi Miike's Shinjuku Triad Society: China Mafia War
#15 - Japan - Takashi Miike's Rainy Dog
#16 - Japan - Takashi Miike's Ley Lines
#17 - Korea - Park Chan-wook's Lady Vengeance
#18 - Japan - Akira Kurosawa's Dreams
#19 - Korea - Hong Sang-soo's Woman is the Future of Man
#20 - Korea - Hong Sang-soo's Tale of Cinema
#21 - Japan - Sion Sono's Love Exposure

To Watch:
  • After the Storm
  • The Human Condition Part I: No Greater Love
  • The Human Condition Part II: Road to Eternity
  • The Human Condition Part III: A Soldier's Prayer
  • Orgies of Edo
  • Retaliation
  • Shoplifters
  • The Third Murder
  • Yakuza Law
 
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NormanicGrav

Yume no Shima Shinen Kōen
AUKN Staff
Asian Cinema Watch Day 22!


Orgies of Edo (Zankoku Ijo Gyakutai Monogatari Genroku Jokeizu [残酷異常虐待物語 元禄女系図]) is a 1969 Japanese film directed by Teruo Ishii. This is an anthology film that focuses on three stories that follow similar themes. Despite the localised name, there aren't any orgies in this film but rather a lot of surprising outcomes for our cast of characters. The first story is the weakest but decent introduction to what you can expect and has an ending which is okay but not really special or memorable. The second story has a great concept, probably the strongest of the three, with a woman who has a rather strange fetish that bothers her servant and the doctor. The third story has the strongest overall with an ending that is rather grotesque but over the top at the same time. Honestly, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed checking out this film overall but Teruo Ishii is a rather popular director at the time so he's certainly put some solid effort into this. I have his other film Yakuza Law to check out soon and I'm more eager to check out his other film within the same time period that Arrow has also released called Horrors of Malformed Men.

Orgies of Edo is available to own on Blu-ray from distributor Arrow Video.

3.75/5

Here's a brief look at what films I'll try and check out throughout this month:
Watched:
#01 - Japan - Yōjirō Takita's Departures
#02 - Japan - Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Before We Vanish
#03 - Japan - Toshiaki Toyoda's Blue Spring
#04 - Korea - Park Chan-wook's Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance
#05 - Japan - Takashi Miike's Terra Formars
#06 - Japan - Hideo Nakata's Dark Water
#07 - Japan - Takashi Miike's Dead or Alive
#08 - Japan - Takashi Miike's Dead or Alive 2: Birds
#09 - Japan - Takashi Miike's Dead or Alive: Final
#10 - Japan - Takashi Miike's The Happiness of the Katakuris
#11 - Korea - Park Chan-wook's Thirst
#12 - Japan - Kinji Fukasaku's Street Mobster
#13 - Japan - Kazuhiko Yamaguchi's Wolf Guy: Enraged Lycanthrope
#14 - Japan - Takashi Miike's Shinjuku Triad Society: China Mafia War
#15 - Japan - Takashi Miike's Rainy Dog
#16 - Japan - Takashi Miike's Ley Lines
#17 - Korea - Park Chan-wook's Lady Vengeance
#18 - Japan - Akira Kurosawa's Dreams
#19 - Korea - Hong Sang-soo's Woman is the Future of Man
#20 - Korea - Hong Sang-soo's Tale of Cinema
#21 - Japan - Sion Sono's Love Exposure
#22 - Japan - Teruo Ishii's Orgies of Edo

To Watch:
  • After the Storm
  • The Human Condition Part I: No Greater Love
  • The Human Condition Part II: Road to Eternity
  • The Human Condition Part III: A Soldier's Prayer
  • Retaliation
  • Shoplifters
  • The Third Murder
  • Yakuza Law
 

NormanicGrav

Yume no Shima Shinen Kōen
AUKN Staff
Asian Cinema Watch Day 23!


Yakuza Law (Yakuza Keibatsushi: Lynch! [やくざ刑罰史 私刑]) is a 1969 Japanese film directed by Teruo Ishii. This is an anthology film that focuses on three stories that follow Yakuza members who disobey the rules of the Yakuza and each one also takes place in a separate time period. After being impressed by Orgies of Edo I figured I'll dive into Yakuza Law from the same director, and this one is sadly disappointing but it has a cool concept. The first story was confusing but it ended rather well with a surprising amount of gore throughout. The second story is the strongest and my favourite of the two, which also features the main character presented on the promotional poster and artwork. The reason I like this one is that the story is interesting and it's rather easy to follow and understand what is going on. Then you have the third story which to be honest threw me off in a bad way and was not particularly great, there's so much going on and I honestly lost on who was who, not to mention the story dragged longer than it should. Overall an okay film from Teruo Ishii but I feel they should have kept the Yakuza themes with the historical periods as they were much more interesting in this film.

Yakuza Law is available to own on Blu-ray from distributor Arrow Video.

3/5

Here's a brief look at what films I'll try and check out throughout this month:
Watched:
#01 - Japan - Yōjirō Takita's Departures
#02 - Japan - Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Before We Vanish
#03 - Japan - Toshiaki Toyoda's Blue Spring
#04 - Korea - Park Chan-wook's Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance
#05 - Japan - Takashi Miike's Terra Formars
#06 - Japan - Hideo Nakata's Dark Water
#07 - Japan - Takashi Miike's Dead or Alive
#08 - Japan - Takashi Miike's Dead or Alive 2: Birds
#09 - Japan - Takashi Miike's Dead or Alive: Final
#10 - Japan - Takashi Miike's The Happiness of the Katakuris
#11 - Korea - Park Chan-wook's Thirst
#12 - Japan - Kinji Fukasaku's Street Mobster
#13 - Japan - Kazuhiko Yamaguchi's Wolf Guy: Enraged Lycanthrope
#14 - Japan - Takashi Miike's Shinjuku Triad Society: China Mafia War
#15 - Japan - Takashi Miike's Rainy Dog
#16 - Japan - Takashi Miike's Ley Lines
#17 - Korea - Park Chan-wook's Lady Vengeance
#18 - Japan - Akira Kurosawa's Dreams
#19 - Korea - Hong Sang-soo's Woman is the Future of Man
#20 - Korea - Hong Sang-soo's Tale of Cinema
#21 - Japan - Sion Sono's Love Exposure
#22 - Japan - Teruo Ishii's Orgies of Edo
#23 - Japan - Teruo Ishii's Yakuza Law

To Watch:
  • After the Storm
  • The Human Condition Part I: No Greater Love
  • The Human Condition Part II: Road to Eternity
  • The Human Condition Part III: A Soldier's Prayer
  • Retaliation
  • Shoplifters
  • The Third Murder
 

NormanicGrav

Yume no Shima Shinen Kōen
AUKN Staff
Asian Cinema Watch Day 24!


Retaliation (Shima wa Moratta [縄張はもらった]) is a 1968 Japanese film directed by Yasuharu Hasebe. This Yakuza film was pretty interesting to watch. The story was sort of hard to follow in parts but I understood most of it. The main character was interesting to watch on screen and he has some great action moments, like for instance, someone was trying to assassinate him in the middle of town and he's like "lolno" by stopping him, walking away with his knife, then throwing it back at him like a boss. The ending was rather satisfying to watch also. I do think the secondary character who was dragged into the main character's group despite trying to kill him could have been fleshed out a little bit more, and it got a bit messy on who's gang is who during the middle part of the film. Overall it was a good watch.

Retaliation is available to own on Blu-ray from distributor Arrow Video.

3.5/5

Here's a brief look at what films I'll try and check out throughout this month:
Watched:
#01 - Japan - Yōjirō Takita's Departures
#02 - Japan - Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Before We Vanish
#03 - Japan - Toshiaki Toyoda's Blue Spring
#04 - Korea - Park Chan-wook's Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance
#05 - Japan - Takashi Miike's Terra Formars
#06 - Japan - Hideo Nakata's Dark Water
#07 - Japan - Takashi Miike's Dead or Alive
#08 - Japan - Takashi Miike's Dead or Alive 2: Birds
#09 - Japan - Takashi Miike's Dead or Alive: Final
#10 - Japan - Takashi Miike's The Happiness of the Katakuris
#11 - Korea - Park Chan-wook's Thirst
#12 - Japan - Kinji Fukasaku's Street Mobster
#13 - Japan - Kazuhiko Yamaguchi's Wolf Guy: Enraged Lycanthrope
#14 - Japan - Takashi Miike's Shinjuku Triad Society: China Mafia War
#15 - Japan - Takashi Miike's Rainy Dog
#16 - Japan - Takashi Miike's Ley Lines
#17 - Korea - Park Chan-wook's Lady Vengeance
#18 - Japan - Akira Kurosawa's Dreams
#19 - Korea - Hong Sang-soo's Woman is the Future of Man
#20 - Korea - Hong Sang-soo's Tale of Cinema
#21 - Japan - Sion Sono's Love Exposure
#22 - Japan - Teruo Ishii's Orgies of Edo
#23 - Japan - Teruo Ishii's Yakuza Law
#24 - Japan - Yasuharu Hasebe's Retaliation

To Watch:
  • After the Storm
  • The Human Condition Part I: No Greater Love
  • The Human Condition Part II: Road to Eternity
  • The Human Condition Part III: A Soldier's Prayer
  • Shoplifters
  • The Third Murder

As you can probably guess by the remaining titles, I have 3 Hirokazu Kore-eda films and the 9 hour Human Condition film left to watch in the backlog. That'll conclude my Asian Cinema Watch on or around Day 30.
 
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Reactions: HWR

Patient-X

Mad Scientist
Yep, I felt it would make better sense to judge it in its entirety rather than through each part. Interestingly I only just found out that the US never received it on Blu-ray (only DVD).
Yes, definitely needs to viewed as one. Not exactly the cheeriest way to spend nine hours but great movies.
 

Patient-X

Mad Scientist
@NormanicGrav you need to watch more Kurosawa, watching only one is inexcusable 😏 Yasujiro Ozu and Kenji Mizoguchi should be on your list too. If you only get to watch one of each I recommend Tokyo Story and Ugetsu.
 

NormanicGrav

Yume no Shima Shinen Kōen
AUKN Staff
@NormanicGrav you need to watch more Kurosawa, watching only one is inexcusable 😏 Yasujiro Ozu and Kenji Mizoguchi should be on your list too. If you only get to watch one of each I recommend Tokyo Story and Ugetsu.
Tokyo Story is definitely on my radar, considering it's like one of the most important films to watch in history. At the moment the next major films I'm planning on picking up next is Takashi Miike's Ichi the Killer (which I plan to import from the US for the uncut version) and Zhang Yimou's Shadow.
 

HWR

CCG’s Reaper
AUKN Staff
I have a few Asian films to get through for my October endeavour as well as an ever growing pile from these frequent Arrow sales-I seem to be buying world cinema from them the most lately.
 

Winkuru

School Idol
As note to regarding Kurosawa i advice not to just watch his samurai films alone. I'm also guilty of focusing on them and besides Ikiru (which i actually didn't enjoy) i hadn't seen any of his non samurai films until this year. From the few i've seen High And Low is excellent and Drunken Angel is basic but good.
 

NormanicGrav

Yume no Shima Shinen Kōen
AUKN Staff
Asian Cinema Watch Day 25... I mean 26... no wait 27!


The Human Condition (Ningen no Jōken [人間の條件]) is a 1959 Japanese film directed by Masaki Kobayashi. A 9 hour 30 minute film split into three films with two acts each, this is an epic story following one Japanese man, Kaji, who wants the people around him to be treated fairly, only for the real world to bite it back at him with the harsh treatment towards prisoners and the oppressiveness of the Japanese army during the events of World War II. It's a story that I feel is rather hard to judge because a lot happens throughout the film and it's ending is certainly one that many won't love. It's heartbreaking to watch Kaji go through so much and yet the world treats him so little, even with some people befriending him along the way, they too suffer the consequences. Like Grave of the Fireflies, it's a film that honestly can't be seen as rewatchable but one that can be remembered as a film that is certainly one to remember. I had one issue of the fact that the villains get away with it and Kaji being left to die in the end, but I guess that's the point. Life is unfair and not everyone can get the justice they wanted. For Kaji he wanted the Chinese POWs to be treated fairly but instead, they reject him for their own selfish needs by escaping and the staff behind the labor treat him as a criminal. He wanted the recruits in the army to be treated with respect but instead, the higher-ups treat them like trash. He wanted the Japanese soldiers who don't want to fight to return home safely, but instead, they are forced to become POWs themselves by the Russians. Overall The Human Condition is an epic film with a story that is brutal and heartbreaking but with an excellent performance by Tatsuya Nakadai who plays Kaji. What I say honestly can't do the film any justice other than the fact that I think you should watch it at least once.

The Human Condition is available to own on Blu-ray from distributor Arrow Academy.

5/5

Here's a brief look at what films I'll try and check out throughout this month:
Watched:
#01 - Japan - Yōjirō Takita's Departures
#02 - Japan - Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Before We Vanish
#03 - Japan - Toshiaki Toyoda's Blue Spring
#04 - Korea - Park Chan-wook's Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance
#05 - Japan - Takashi Miike's Terra Formars
#06 - Japan - Hideo Nakata's Dark Water
#07 - Japan - Takashi Miike's Dead or Alive
#08 - Japan - Takashi Miike's Dead or Alive 2: Birds
#09 - Japan - Takashi Miike's Dead or Alive: Final
#10 - Japan - Takashi Miike's The Happiness of the Katakuris
#11 - Korea - Park Chan-wook's Thirst
#12 - Japan - Kinji Fukasaku's Street Mobster
#13 - Japan - Kazuhiko Yamaguchi's Wolf Guy: Enraged Lycanthrope
#14 - Japan - Takashi Miike's Shinjuku Triad Society: China Mafia War
#15 - Japan - Takashi Miike's Rainy Dog
#16 - Japan - Takashi Miike's Ley Lines
#17 - Korea - Park Chan-wook's Lady Vengeance
#18 - Japan - Akira Kurosawa's Dreams
#19 - Korea - Hong Sang-soo's Woman is the Future of Man
#20 - Korea - Hong Sang-soo's Tale of Cinema
#21 - Japan - Sion Sono's Love Exposure
#22 - Japan - Teruo Ishii's Orgies of Edo
#23 - Japan - Teruo Ishii's Yakuza Law
#24 - Japan - Yasuharu Hasebe's Retaliation
#25 - Japan - Masaki Kobayashi's The Human Condition Part I: No Greater Love
#26 - Japan - Masaki Kobayashi's The Human Condition Part II: Road to Eternity
#27 - Japan - Masaki Kobayashi's The Human Condition Part III: A Soldier's Prayer

To Watch:
  • After the Storm
  • Shoplifters
  • The Third Murder
 

NormanicGrav

Yume no Shima Shinen Kōen
AUKN Staff
Asian Cinema Watch Day 28!


After the Storm (Umi yori mo Mada Fukaku [海よりもまだ深く]) is a 2016 Japanese film directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda. This is my first Kore-eda film and it's a pretty interesting one since it follows a simple story of Ryota, a divorced father, wanting to bond with his son. What makes the film though is the characters and the scenes they're in. Like the Grandma bonding with everyone. The cinematography was pretty good and the ending was pretty good. Not much to say about this film considering it's quite a basic concept but it works, nothing really wrong about it. Overall it's a pretty good film and the pacing is just about right.

After the Storm is available to own on Blu-ray from distributor Arrow Academy.

4/5

Here's a brief look at what films I'll try and check out throughout this month:
Watched:
#01 - Japan - Yōjirō Takita's Departures
#02 - Japan - Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Before We Vanish
#03 - Japan - Toshiaki Toyoda's Blue Spring
#04 - Korea - Park Chan-wook's Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance
#05 - Japan - Takashi Miike's Terra Formars
#06 - Japan - Hideo Nakata's Dark Water
#07 - Japan - Takashi Miike's Dead or Alive
#08 - Japan - Takashi Miike's Dead or Alive 2: Birds
#09 - Japan - Takashi Miike's Dead or Alive: Final
#10 - Japan - Takashi Miike's The Happiness of the Katakuris
#11 - Korea - Park Chan-wook's Thirst
#12 - Japan - Kinji Fukasaku's Street Mobster
#13 - Japan - Kazuhiko Yamaguchi's Wolf Guy: Enraged Lycanthrope
#14 - Japan - Takashi Miike's Shinjuku Triad Society: China Mafia War
#15 - Japan - Takashi Miike's Rainy Dog
#16 - Japan - Takashi Miike's Ley Lines
#17 - Korea - Park Chan-wook's Lady Vengeance
#18 - Japan - Akira Kurosawa's Dreams
#19 - Korea - Hong Sang-soo's Woman is the Future of Man
#20 - Korea - Hong Sang-soo's Tale of Cinema
#21 - Japan - Sion Sono's Love Exposure
#22 - Japan - Teruo Ishii's Orgies of Edo
#23 - Japan - Teruo Ishii's Yakuza Law
#24 - Japan - Yasuharu Hasebe's Retaliation
#25 - Japan - Masaki Kobayashi's The Human Condition Part I: No Greater Love
#26 - Japan - Masaki Kobayashi's The Human Condition Part II: Road to Eternity
#27 - Japan - Masaki Kobayashi's The Human Condition Part III: A Soldier's Prayer
#28 - Japan - Hirokazu Kore-eda's After the Storm

To Watch:
  • Shoplifters
  • The Third Murder
 
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