Reviews written by Eiga hakase
Mitsushima Hikari - Gekkan Mitsushima Hikari (DVD) (Japan Version)(1)Our Price: US$35.49June 1, 2018 Charming short film
Since information about this DVD's actual content is hard to find elsewhere, some may wonder what is on this DVD. Here are the details: It is not an "idol" photo shooting session. It is a short film, directed by well-known director Ryuichi Hiroki. Production values are high. Very well photographed. Looks as if it was a part of a long film that doesn't exist. The film lasts about 24 minutes. Only location is a hotel suite. Only person in front of the camera is Hikari Mitsushima. She plays a character who, at the film's beginning, arrives quite exhausted at the hotel suite. She walks around, partly undresses, takes telephone calls, and step by step the viewer gets to know hints about her character's background and about her present state of mind. Original title of the film is probably "Ikigurushii", at least that is the word (written in Japanese) that pops up at the film's beginning. I understand it means "choking/oppressive/suffocating", which would be a fitting name for the film. Principal photography took place on 25th of December, 2009, according to the "making-of" featurette which is about 38 minutes long. The "making-of" featurette also includes some photo sessions with Mitsushima san that have nothing to do with the film itself. The DVD's front cover photo is from one of those sessions and is not an image that appears in the film. I rated 10 points because although the film is (too) short and the front cover photo is misleading, it is a superbly done work of art. Especially recommended to fans of Mitsushima san.
Tag (2015) (DVD) (Taiwan Version)1 people found this review helpful
December 18, 2016 One of Sion's best
Third best, if you ask me ("Cold Fish" being second and "Love Exposure" being first). "Tag" dares to go where Gilliam and Lynch may have dreamt of going. Being on a par with Kubrick, Sono is once more eloquently demonstrating how big the impact on the viewer can be when a filmmaker cleverly combines impressive cinematography with impressive music. From the first scene on, "Tag" is very intense. Sono succeeds in keeping this high intensity for the whole length of the film (which is by the way quite short, according to Sono standards). Before watching I didn't know the novel and got pleasantly surprised by the nightmarish plot. Sono is stylish as ever. Fans of him will feel at home with some of his trademarks appearing (i.e. schoolgirls, Christian religion). This man's creative energy, may it go on for a long time! Takashi Miike, are you listening ?
Nude no Yoru DVD Box (DVD)(Japan Version)September 4, 2016 Content information
This box contains two DVDs (RC2). On each disc is 1 film by Takashi Ishii. The 2 films are:
Nûdo no yoru (1993) = A Night in Nude, 110 minutes
Nûdo no yoru: Ai wa oshiminaku ubau (2010) = A Night in Nude: Salvation, 146 minutes. It is the long version.
Language: Japanese, no subtitles
Picture quality: absolutely flawless, this goes also for the older film.
The second film is over-the-top, even by Ishii's standards. I saw it in cinema in Germany at Frankfurt's Nippon Connection Film Festival. It was also the long version. Not everyone's cup of tea. But Takashi Ishii's films were never everyone's cup of tea. Those who appreciate his other films will not be disappointed by these two, I guess.
English subtitles would have been nice, therefore only 4 points for this box.
Sailor Suit and Machine Gun (DVD) (Digitally Remastered Edition) (Japan Version)(1)Our Price: US$27.49November 25, 2015 Wonderful, and without English subtitles
The film itself is wonderful. Hiroko is amazing. Omnipresent seventies star Tsunehiko Watase is as cool as always. Watch out for a young Akira Emoto in a strong supporting role. I found the cover a bit misleading because Hiroko holds the machine gun only for a few seconds in the film. It's not a wild and over-the-top movie at all. It's rather slow-paced, with interesting camerawork. Scenes go on for minutes without a cut. They wouldn't dare to film like this today (perhaps Shinji Aoyama would).
A word about the allegedly existing English subtitles: There are none. It features optional Japanese subtitles only. On the back cover the issue of subtitles (jimaku) isn't mentioned at all. Just to make that clear. However you can easily follow the film's plot without English subtitles.
Over Your Dead Body (2014) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)November 9, 2015 Brilliant, but requires previous knowledge
In addition to the apt editorial description I recommend viewers not being in the know to get familiar with the well-known "yotsuya kaidan" plot and characters before watching this film, or else I'm afraid you'll be lost. Miike takes sound plot knowledge for granted, and rightfully does so. Pasolini did likewise in "Medea". Any film that dares to start on such a high level can afford to wholly serve the auteur's vision. Therefore Miike, delivering quite an experimental piece of cinema here, even by his own standards, doesn't bother with yielding yet another classic re-telling of the story. So don't expect a re-make of, let's say, the Misumi or the Nakagawa film version of the play. Too huge are the plot gaps that Miike deliberately leaves open. They need to be filled with the viewer's previous knowledge. So better do your homework first. The more rewarding will it be to watch this gem of a film and take note of little plot details. Stylistically it's one of Miike's quieter works. The often darkness-shrouded scenery reminded me at times of Visconti and of Greenaway. Shibasaki Kou lends great depth to the O-Iwa character. I'm impressed. I'm referring to the 94-minutes theatrical cut of the film.
Miss Zombie (2013) (DVD) (Taiwan Version)1 people found this review helpful
November 8, 2015 Another excellent SABU film
Far from being another fast-paced zombie flick, this is SABU at his best. Like Jodorowsky he most aptly deconstructs reality, puts the pieces together in his own unique way and creates a work of art in which visuals and sound are of equal importance. The stunning b/w photography reminded me of the German classical silent film era. The slow pace and the ritual-like repeatings of actions resemble "Blessing Bell". SABU trademarks are all over the place. Ultra-weird soundtrack. Splendid. It's true there are no English subtitles but never mind.
Flower And Snake: Zero (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)October 12, 2015 The best film of the whole series
Didn't expect such a well-done film. Easily superior to all (I mean all) its predecessors. Better on many levels. More daring, more entertaining, funnier, faster, better photographed, and there are three excellent lead actresses of whom Maiko Amano, playing Misaki Amamiya, is perhaps the most impressive. She gives a memorable performance reminding of Asami's over-the-top act in Gun Woman.
Air Sehdoll (DVD) (Taiwan Version)September 2, 2015 Acky's best film!
Rather unknown gem. I consider it to be Acky's best film (I've seen many). No English subs, but that's OK. With basic knowledge of Japanese you understand everything. Splendid plot: like a fairy-tale. The music: there are songs, and Acky is singing beautifully! The film has everything that's good: Humour, (modest) nudity, social criticism, convincing actors, it's well-photographed, beautifully lit and never boring. And there are heart-rending moments I didn't expect and therefore liked all the more. The film is from 2011, and the film's title (according to the film credits) is Robu & Doru (Love & Doll).
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