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Favorite Japanese Movies

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Andrew on: October 24, 2007, 12:54:36 PM

So what are everyonefs favorite Japanese movies?

One of my early favorites was the Seven Samurai. What a perfect film. I still try to watch it every few years.

I more recently discovered all the Miyazaki films. So far I would rate My Neighbor Totoro and Whisper of the Heart as my favorites.

On the lighter side Ifve always been a big Godzilla fan.


Jeff on: October 24, 2007, 01:34:05 PM

I'm a huge Miyazaki fan also. I have all of his US-released DVD's. (Er, I think I do, anyway.) Both my and my wife's favorite is probably "Spirited Away". It helps if you don't watch the dub, which lost a lot in the translation.

My favorite recent Japanese movie is "Shimotsuma Monogitari" aka "Shimotsuma Story" aka "Kamikaze Girls". My wife was the one who wanted to rent it, but I totally loved it. It was also filmed right near where she's from, in Ibaraki.

I am trying to remember what else I've seen that I liked... I have seen other Japanese movies that are supposed to be good but that I haven't liked (I know this will be controversial, but I thought "Nobody Knows" was pretty terrible, and "Battle Royale" way overrated). I like a lot of Japanese horror movies, especially Takashi Miike's films. "Audition" is one of my favorites.


Anthony on: October 24, 2007, 03:23:34 PM

I've liked most Kurosawa films I've seen, though I don't own any. Seven Samurai, Ran, Throne of Blood, Rashomon...they were all good.

I'm also a big fan of Shimotsuma Monogatari - I even bought the soundtrack. Ooh.

I've seen quite a bit of stuff, but I'm having trouble remembering exactly what I've seen at the moment. Like Jeff, I'm big into Japanese horror (well, Asian horror - I've seen plenty of non-Japanese Asian horror that was really good); I like some of Miike's films, but his stuff varies wildly. For every great film like Audition there's the utter trash like Visitor Q. I'm not a fan of shock for shock's sake, which he seems to fall back on every so often.

Wild Zero - the rock 'n' roll zombie movie starring Guitar Wolf - is a blast. It was so insane that I couldn't help but love it.

I'll possibly add more thoughts as I think of the movies I've seen and liked.


DoAsPuffy on: October 25, 2007, 12:25:26 PM

"Whisper of the Heart" isn't actually a Miyazaki movie per-say.. he did the screenplay, storyboards, and production, but the director was a man named Yoshifumi Kondou. It's a common misconception. But regardless, I think the movie is just as amazing as the stuff Miyazaki directs.

Here are some of my favorites:

- NANA The Movie
- Taiyou no Uta (aka 'Song to the Sun', 'Midnight Sun')
- Mimi wo Sumaseba (aka 'Whisper of the Heart')
- Tada, Kimi wo Aishiteru (aka 'Heavenly Forest')
- Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (aka 'Spirited Away')
- HAURU no Ugoku Shiro (aka 'Howl's Moving Castle')
- Ren'ai Shashin: A Collage of Our Lives

There's a website called crunchyroll.com that has pretty much every Japanese movie you can imagine.. plus it has J, K, and C-Drama, anime, J, K, and C-Pop music vids etc; You have to register to join, but it FREE and it only takes like a minute to register. That website is where I saw "NANA The Movie", "Tada, Kimi wo Aishiteru", and "Ren'ai Shashin".


Cerahbes on: October 27, 2007, 04:43:34 AM

hahah Audition was creepy as hell Jeff .... hot chick giggling while she's cutting limbs off with piano wire = fun


Jeff on: October 27, 2007, 08:37:55 PM

Quote from: Cerahbes on October 27, 2007, 04:43:34 AM
hahah Audition was creepy as hell Jeff .... hot chick giggling while she's cutting limbs off with piano wire = fun

what's that sound she makes? something like "kitty kitty kitty kitty kitty kitty" in a really high pitched voice... sometimes my wife just does that out of nowhere as a joke and it always freaks me out.


Andrew on: October 27, 2007, 09:06:01 PM

Hey I was watching some show on the gall time scariest moviesh and someone was talking about this movie. Not a big fan of slasher/psycho movies (love monster movies) but I may have to check this one out so if I ever find myself in line behind Jeff at a Puffy concert I can do the gkitty kitty kitty kitty kitty kittyh voice properly lol. Wink


TofuUnion on: October 28, 2007, 06:25:56 AM

Shimotsuma Monogatari is a very entertaining movie. (Both starring Kyoko Fukada and Anna Tsuchiya are Actress / Singer.) Those girls like " Momoko " or " Ichigo " do exist in reality. In Tokyo Harajuku you can see young girls in sweet lolita fashion. And, one of my friend's daughter was a member of Ladies(girls group riding motorbikes).

Some movies of director Kitano are full of brutal violence expressions. I've disliked Takeshi Kitano since his early movie. I don't understand why his works are rated so high. Embarrassed

I found those famous " Last Samurai " or " Memoir of Geisha " rather strange. They are Hollywood Japanese movies made in the USA. On the other hand " Shall We Dance ? ", " Twilight Samurai " and " Memories of tomorrow " were nice. Smiley

As for Miyazaki movies, I might not like them anymore as I liked " Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind " 20 years ago. Probably just because I grew up. Spirited Away in 2001 is the highest grossing film of all time in Japan. (Not only in Anime Genre.) I can't judge whether it's a great thing for Japanese film industry or not.


Andrew on: October 28, 2007, 07:06:07 AM

TofuUnion,

I wasnft a fan of either gThe Last Samuraih or gMemoirs of a Geisha.h Ifd read the book gGeisha, A Lifeh by Mineko Iwasaki, which was very good. She was apparently very upset with how that moviefs writer westernized the story.


ichigo on: October 28, 2007, 11:17:32 AM

Quote from: Andrew on October 24, 2007, 12:54:36 PM
I more recently discovered all the Miyazaki films. So far I would rate My Neighbor Totoro and Whisper of the Heart as my favorites.

I loved My Neighbor Totoro. My husband thought I was deranged cuz I wanted to watch it every day for the next few days after we watched it. I kept my cool (what little I have!), though, and didn't. I also loved "Kiki's Delivery Service".

I liked the "Memoirs of a Geisha" book a lot, so I was excited to hear there was going to be a movie. And then was super disappointed when I watched it. Undecided And I thought "Last Samurai" was lame, but maybe that's cuz I despise Tom Cruise.

"Audition" was super creepy! I don't think I could watch it again, it made me so uncomfortable! We are supposed to watch "Battle Royale" tonight after putting it off for a couple of weeks....I've heard mixed reviews, so I'm not very anxious to watch it!


Jeff on: October 28, 2007, 02:39:09 PM

Quote from: Andrew on October 28, 2007, 07:06:07 AM
TofuUnion

I wasnft a fan of either gThe Last Samuraih or gMemoirs of a Geisha.h Ifd read the book gGeisha, A Lifeh by Mineko Iwasaki, which was very good. She was apparently very upset with how that moviefs writer westernized the story.

The movie was based on the book of the same name, which was written by Arthur Golden. "Geisha, A Life" came several years *after* "Memoirs of a Geisha".

Arthur Golden apparently interviewed Iwasaki for background info and agreed not to name her in the book, but then he did anyway. He wasn't telling her story, he was writing a fictional account. She was upset because the fact that he named her as a reference made it look like it was her story.

So it's not that he changed or westernized her story; "Memoirs" wasn't based on her story. The problem as far as she was concerned was that an outsider would think that it was. That's why she wrote her own book.

I actually haven't read Golden's book (I did see the movie), but if the movie and book are at all similar, I can't see how some of her complaints were valid anyway. They seemed to be misunderstandings. The movie, at least, never says geishas were/are prostitutes, which was one of her complaints. In fact it says just the opposite; it says *real* geishas are *not* prostitutes, but with the coming of American servicemen and the dilution of the profession, a lot of prostitutes would dress up and call themselves geisha to attract customers. (That's still going on today; you can see it if you go to Kyoto, the real geishas and the "piano bar geishas" all co-mingling in the same areas.)


Andrew on: October 28, 2007, 09:05:21 PM

Jeff,

Come to think of it I think thatfs right Jeff. I remember reading some article online about her discussing it awhile back.


timwamoonface on: October 29, 2007, 11:31:46 PM

Grave of the Fireflies (Hotaru no Haka) is one of my favorites. Very depressing anime about the affects of war and children.
Oh and I saw this movie in my Japanese class, Tampopo (Dandelion?), it was about ramen! and the live action Death Note movies are good too!


Cerahbes on: October 31, 2007, 10:18:40 AM

yes it did sound like her saying "kitty kitty kitty" in a really high pitched voice as she stalked the house *^_^* I honestly do not like horror movies either, and I would never watch it again - I was originally forced to watch it by a female friend that happens to be a film student.


Jeff on: November 01, 2007, 01:14:45 PM

I liked Grave of the Fireflies also but I can never, ever watch it again. It was too depressing. Definitely something everybody should see, but jesus. Talk about the opposite of entertainment.

Favorite Japanese Movies - Page Two

Cerahbes on: November 04, 2007, 10:18:30 PM

ya I totally agree with ya on Grave of the Fireflies, it is my favorite Miyazaki movie

side note, when I was over in Japan I noticed stuido Ghibli merchandise everywhere


DoAsPuffy on: November 05, 2007, 05:56:13 AM

Quote from: Cerahbes on November 04, 2007, 10:18:30 PM

side note, when I was over in Japan I noticed stuido Ghibli merchandise everywhere

lol, me too.. I even gave in and bought a bunch of stuff. I bought a Kiki's Delivery Service purse (that has pics of Jiji all over it), a little Totoro (that's hanging from my rear-view mirror in my car), and a set of keychains that have different movie characters on them. I definitely would have bought more if I had more money.. Cheesy


Jeff on: November 05, 2007, 08:54:02 AM

Quote from: Cerahbes on November 04, 2007, 10:18:30 PM
ya I totally agree with ya on Grave of the Fireflies, it is my favorite Miyazaki movie

It's not actually a Miyazaki movie. Studio Ghibli is run by two guys, Miyazaki and Isao Takahata. Fireflies is a Takahata film.


Cerahbes on: November 05, 2007, 07:10:11 PM

lol don't even start that stuff =P he's the reason there is a studio Ghibli


Jeff on: November 06, 2007, 07:30:04 AM

Quote from: Cerahbes on November 05, 2007, 07:10:11 PM
lol don't even start that stuff =P he's the reason there is a studio Ghibli

Huh? Fireflies was directed by Takahata. You're saying it wasn't?

Takahata and Miyazaki were partners before they formed Studio Ghibli.


Andrew on: November 06, 2007, 07:52:28 AM

Here is a good website for anyone looking for more info on Miyazaki and Takahata: Nausicaa.net


Asuka on: November 26, 2007, 01:55:39 PM

The japanese movie Premonition was awesome! The acting (no offense) was alot better in the japanese version. Oh and I love Miyazaki films. ^^ "Castle in the Sky" and "Howl's Moving Castle" are simply awesome!


Anthony on: November 26, 2007, 01:59:32 PM

Quote from: Asuka on November 26, 2007, 01:55:39 PM
The japanese movie Premonition was awesome!

I love that movie, too (though I'm pretty sure it has nothing to do with "Premonition" starring Sandra Bullock, if that's what you were referring to re: the acting being better in the Japanese version). Another good one (if you like horror) is "Infection."


Asuka on: November 26, 2007, 02:11:46 PM

Really? Hmmm, I just assumed that the 2 movies were connected..Ah well. I've never heard of infection, what's it about?


Anthony on: November 26, 2007, 02:16:56 PM

"Infection" is about a group of hospital workers (working in a run-down, under-funded, about-to-be-closed hospital) who find a diseased patient left in their Emergency Room. The patient is infected with a disease that completely melts (for lack of a better term) the victim, and the movie is about the staff's efforts to track down the cause of the infection before it spreads and they all die.

There's a little more to it than that (sub-plots, etc.), but that's the basic gist. I like it a lot. Then again, I like horror stories set in creepy hospitals and the like, so that movie was right up my alley.


Asuka on: November 26, 2007, 02:19:59 PM

Hmmm, Infection sounds pretty good, I think I'll try to rent it this weekend. ^^


PUFFYROCKS on: Yesterday at 12:26:39 AM

Yes, I love all the Miyazaki films as well! I also love the movies done by Satoshi Kon such as Millenium Actress, Tokyo Godfathers, and Paprika.

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