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Thread: Movie Going Madness in Japan

  1. #291
    Senior Member Takuma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 47lab View Post
    @takuma, you ever see a mid-80's delinquent youth/rock n' roll flick put out by Toei called MAJORAN? Worth watching?
    Yes, and yes! It's a small gem. Actually I think I rated it too low a few years ago. I've re-watched the ending like a dozen times since then.

    Quote Originally Posted by Takuma View Post
    Majoran (魔女卵) (Japan, 1984) [TV] - 3.5/5
    Exciting delinquent girl drama is in equal parts a youth film and a blazing gangster movie set to "live" music à la Walter Hill's Streets of Fire. First timer Yuko Watanabe stars as an Osaka bad girl who's introduced to the world of indie rock bands by a friendly biker gay hanging out in a small a rock bar. The film was cast with open auditions, most of the sukeban girls being obvious real delinquents with wonderfully coarse Osaka dialects. The film is also packed with 80s heavy metal bands and rock stars with mind blowing names (Mad Rocker, Jesus, Christ etc.). What sets Majoran apart from Streets of Fire is how it's rooted in reality unlike Hill's pop culture fantasy. There's a wonderfully touching scene at the end - spoiler warning I guess - where the heroine, disappointed by her ex-boyfriend who's relocated to Tokyo and cut his rock star hair in preparation for salaryman life, lets him know just what she thinks of him. She then rides back to Osaka on a night bus alone. The world changes and friends grow adults, but a couple of rebels will never give up. Well, they will eventually, but the film ends before that, on a high note on the streets of Osaka, on a motorcycle, with director Seiji Izumi cross cutting to a gig by heavy metal girl band Majoran as the credits roll.


  2. #292
    Senior Member Takuma's Avatar
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    Busy start for 2020 in Tokyo

    A 15 film Tetsuya Watari retrospective is starting in Jimbocho tomorrow:
    https://www.shogakukan.co.jp/jinboch...am/watari.html

    And Shin bungeiza will be remembering Tatsuo Umemiya (R.I.P.) next month with a 22 film series:
    http://www.shin-bungeiza.com/program.html

    Laputa Asagaya screens the three Hanzo the Razor films next month as well
    http://www.laputa-jp.com/laputa/prog...nzo_the_razor/

    And Laputa hasn't even finished their Teruo Ishii and Toho New Action retros, which started last November, yet...

  3. #293
    Senior Member Takuma's Avatar
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    Teruo Ishii Retrospective: Part 1/3

    I had a change to visit Laputa Asagaya’s ongoing Teruo Ishii retrospective (石井輝男 キング・オブ・カルトの猛襲) (Nov. 19~Jan. 25) a couple of times. The retrospective contains 38 movies, all in 35mm. The get a better idea of the scope of this retrospective, that’s 264 Ishii screenings (66 days x 4 screenings a day) in total!

    The program contained movies from Ishii’s Shintoho years like King of the Ring: The World of Glory (リングの王者 栄光の世界) (1957), Broken Blossoms (戦場のなでしこ) (1959) and Queen Bee and the School for Dragons (女王蜂と大学の竜) (1960), Shochiku movies such as Japan's Zero Zone: Night Watch (日本ゼロ地帯 夜を狙え) (1966) and The Great Villain's Strategy (1966) (大悪党作戦), the Nikkatsu film Rising Dragon's Iron Flesh (昇り竜 鉄火肌) (1969) and of course loads of Toei movies like The Flower, the Storm, and the Gang (花と嵐とギャング) (1961), Boss's Ruin (親分を倒せ) (1963), Abashiri Prison (網走番外地) (1965), Inferno of Torture (徳川いれずみ師 責め地獄) (1969), Red Silk Gambler (緋ぢりめん博徒) (1972) and Great Jailbreak (大脱獄) (1975). Horrors of Malformed Men (江戸川乱歩全集 恐怖奇形人間) (1969) screened throughout Christmas, lol!

    There were quite a few guests as well. Teruo Yoshida (吉田輝雄) attended Hot Springs Geisha (温泉あんま芸者) (1968) on Dec. 3, Shunya Ito was at the Mist and Shadows (伊藤俊也) (1961) screening on Dec. 15, Makoto Naito (内藤誠) in Abashiri Prison 3: Saga of Homesickness (網走番外地 望郷篇) (1966) on Jan. 11, and Eizō Yamagiwa (山際永三) at Sexy Line (セクシー地帯)(1961) on Jan. 13.

    Laputa Asagaya (on the left)


    Tattoed Ambush and Hot Springs Geisha


    A poster for Toei Adult Film triple feature with History of the Shogun's Harem, 謝国権「愛」より (秘)性と生活 and Two Bitches.




    Right: King of the Ring: The World of Glory


    Red Silk Gambler (1972) and Gang vs. G-Men: Safecracker Gang (1963)






    Gang vs. G-Men: Safecracker Gang (1963) and Rising Dragon’s Iron Flesh (1969)


    Love and Crime between Target of Roses (Toho New Action retro / late show) and Sazae-san (Chiemi Eri retro / morning show),

  4. #294
    Senior Member Takuma's Avatar
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    Teruo Ishii Retrospective: Part 2/3

    Hot Springs Giesha


    King of the Ring: The World of Glory (1957)


    Queen Bee and the School for Dragons (1960)






    Queen Bee and the School for Dragons (1960)


    Abashiri Prison 3: Saga of Homesickess (1965)




    Original scripts for Love, the Sun and The Gang, Boss wo taose, Love & Crime...




    Ishii items for sale. Oh and those soundtracks are playing in the lobby around the clock... as usual!

  5. #295
    Senior Member Takuma's Avatar
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    Teruo Ishii Retrospective: Part 3/3

    Finally, the program Chirashi







    And website:
    http://www.laputa-jp.com/laputa/program/ishiiteruo/

    I only had a change to catch 8 films this time. That was alright since this was the 3rd Ishii event I've attended in 3 or 4 years (following Cinema Vera's Ishii retrospective and Shin bungeiza's Ishii all night). A few brief comments:

    History of the Shogun’s Harem (1968) screened from an absolutely amazing 35mm print. It’s one of those movies that have to be experienced in 35mm in an old school theatre… not just for the film, which is a bit slow but sells an image of an almost otherworldly place via beautiful sets, seductive camera work and atmospheric score, but also to get a sense of what people must have been feeling when they first saw it back in ’68. I believe it was the first pink film produced by a major studio with lavish production values. Critics were offended, feminists enraged, and audiences flocked to see it.

    The Nikkatsu film Rising Dragon’s Iron Flesh (1969) was better than I expected. A starring vehicle for singer Hiroko Ogi and bit of routine production, Ishii stills injects it with his own brand of the perverse: there’s an unexpected 30 min WiP segment with gratuitous bathing scene, a fight where Hideki Takahashi's sword causes someone's face to explode (!), and a cool final massacre where the heroes are repeatedly aligning their tattoos into one big dragon in the midst of the action. Not really a great movie, but has enough great scenes to warrant a viewing.

    From the Shintoho films King of the Ring (1957) was alright, an entertaining if not very convincing boxing drama with already a number of Ishii trademarks visible: a night club scene with a scarcely clothed go-go dancer, a femme fatale who seduces the hero (a side plot that hasn't aged very well gender politically) and frantic boxing scenes. Queen Bee and the School for Dragons (1960) on the other hand was a thoroughly entertaining street fighting actioner with Yoko Mihara leading a gang of of scarcely clothed, arse kicking prostitutes/townswomens whose tops are constantly about to fall off... unfortunately the time was not yet ripe for full-on pinky violence, hence we get a bit too much plot focus on daddy Kanjuro Arashi's gang struggles and young hero Teruo Yoshida.

    I also ended up seeing Love and Crime (1969)... again. I was on my way to see Gambler Tales of Hasshu: A Man's Pledge (1963) in Jimbocho when I got another reminder why I hate Shinjuku Station... all four of them! I went to the fucking wrong one! That was because I needed to ride the Shinjuku Line, and there are two of those, too! Then when I finally got to Jimbocho station, with only 3 minutes left till the film, I took the wrong exit in a hurry and ended up on the side of the district that I didn't recognize and was lost. Then changed my plan and headed back to Laputa as fast as I could, got to the theatre about 2 min late, fell in the dark when I was trying to find a seat, and finally managed to sit my butt down when the opening credits were playing. It's the first time I have ever been late from a movie, and I felt embarrassed to enter / disturb others when the film had already started.

  6. #296
    Senior Member Takuma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Takuma View Post
    Busy start for 2020 in Tokyo

    A 15 film Tetsuya Watari retrospective is starting in Jimbocho tomorrow:
    https://www.shogakukan.co.jp/jinboch...am/watari.html




  7. #297
    Senior Member Takuma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Takuma View Post
    Thanks.

    Well, there are other Kumashiro movies as well, and a 60s Detective Movie series at Shin bungeiza at the same time. But I think I can only afford one more Tokyo trip this year, and maybe another one early next year, and I’m thinking about going for the Toho New Action series at Laputa. Dying to see Attack on the Sun (1970) and The Target of Roses (1972) by Kiyoshi Nishimura. And maybe Bullet Wound as well. The others I've seen.

    The whole program is pretty damn great:

    11/09(土)~11/15(金) 「狙撃」(Sun Above, Death Below) (Hideichi Nagahara, 1968)
    11/16(土)~11/25(月) 「弾痕」(Bullet Wound) (Hideichi Nagahara, 1969)
    11/26(火)~12/02(月) 「白昼の襲撃」(Attack on the Sun) (Kiyoshi Nishimura, 1970)
    12/03(火)~12/12(木) 「豹(ジャガー)は走った」( The Creature Called Man) ()Kiyoshi Nishimura, 1970)
    12/13(金)~12/19(木) 「野獣都市」(City of Beasts) (Jun Fukuda, 1970)
    12/20(金)~12/26(木) 「ヘアピン・サーカス」 (Hairpin Circus) (Kiyoshi Nishimura, 1972)
    1/06(月)~1/12(日) 「薔薇の標的」(Target of Roses) (Kiyoshi Nishimura, 1972)
    1/13(月)~1/19(日) 「野獣狩り」(Beast Hunt) (Eizo Sugawa, 1973)
    As promised, I managed to make it to Attack on the Sun (1970) and The Target of Roses (1972). This was playing in Laputa Asagaya at the same time with the Teruo Ishii retrospective! All I can say is... look at the line-up above, it's bloody amazing! I had actually been hoping for a Toho New Action series for years, and I was just about to start suggesting it to theatres!

    Attack on the Sun (白昼の襲撃) (1970) , which follows two punks and a girlfriend coming in possession of a handgun, has similar vibe to early 70s Nikkatsu new action, only with Nishimura’s trademark aggressive jazz score and international flair with G.I.s and their offspring flocking the bars in the era of ANPO controversy. It isn’t Nishimura at his best, but it’s still an interesting, politically and socially conscious action film. And I really like Noriko Takahashi, who had an exceptionally captivating presence and facial features. Unfortunately Takahashi would go on to retire soon after co-starring in Jun Fukuda’s City of Beasts later the same year following marriage at the age of 24.

    The Target of Roses (薔薇の標的) (1972) on the other hand is an absolutely fantastic action thriller with professional killer Yuzo Kayama hired to assassinate a foreign photographer (Rolf Jesser) and a Chinese woman (Zhen Zhen). Before soon, he falls in love with the woman and realizes his own employer is the Japanese branch of a neo-nazi organization planning to initiate the fourth reich! This features some of the most beautiful, naturalistic cinematography I've seen in any Japanese film, and very little music, which elevates the intensity near the level of Too Young to Die (1969), Nishimura's masterful debut film. Shot in Japan and Hong Kong, largely in English (thankfully, Kayama is pretty good at pronouncing English lines). Only if the otherwise badass ending had had a bit more inspired action design the film would be even better.



    The Target of Roses


    Attack on the Sun




    The Target of Roses


    Attack on the Sun


    Program chirashi



  8. #298
    Senior Member tetrapak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Takuma View Post
    As promised, I managed to make it to Attack on the Sun (1970) and The Target of Roses (1972).
    great post and photos as usual Takuma! ... I really look forward to watch "The Target of Roses".

  9. #299
    Senior Member Takuma's Avatar
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    Japan is getting a "Bruce Lee 4K Revival Festival" that will tour the country this summer. It's been booked to 36 theatres already.

    The films are The Big Boss, Fist of Fury, The Way of the Dragon and Game of Death.

    4K DCP and blah blah, but what is interesting is that they will be the original Japanese theatrical release versions. They are all listed as being in English.

    Of course I'd much rather see these in 35mm, but I'll go see these anyway.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8hX...ature=youtu.be

    http://brucelee4k.com/


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