This critically acclaimed Japanese film directed by Yasujiro Ozu has a relatively simple plot having to do with a kind elderly couple going to Tokyo to visit their adult children and extended family. They are excited to see the big city but it is not quite like they had expected. Furthermore, all their relatives and family have very busy lives making it difficult for them to spend time with the couple. The eldest son who is a doctor and then a daughter who owns a salon decide to send their parents off to a spa. Unhappy, the elderly couple return to Tokyo but they feel like they are imposing. Finally, the two of them head home and there the wife becomes ill. Because she is dying, her children do decide to visit. However, after she has passed away it seems they all too soon forget her and go on with life. This film is an interesting study of the void between generations. It also uses realism and focuses on the manners of the Japanese without fully criticizing them.
Directed by Akira Kurosawa and starring Takashi Shimura, this drama is loaded full of irony. As the film opens, right away we learn the protagonist has stomach cancer, except he has yet to find out. He has spent 30 years of his life working at a monotonous job as a bureaucrat. Only after he discovers that he barely has 6 months left does Watanabe-san actually begin to live his life again. He tries the night life of Japan and it does not satisfy. Then he starts spending time with a lively, young worker that he used to know. All the while he thinks about telling his son about his condition but he cannot bring himself to do it. However, Watanabe-san finally finds a way to leave his mark on this life. And yet 5 months later he is dead and his fellow bureaucrats seemingly dismiss his accomplishment Through a series of flashbacks they ultimately realize what he really did. I found this film to be powerful because this idea is so powerful. It makes me question if I am really living my life to the fullest extent.
Directed by the famed Akira Kurosawa, the film starts off with two men eventually joined by a third. Both seem very melancholy and they explain this is because of something that happened three days earlier. Apparently a bandit met a husband and wife on the road and raped the wife with the husband being killed. However, this event is shown in four different accounts all varying greatly and we never learn what is fact and what is actually fiction. Because of this horrible event, one of the men who is a priest loses faith in mankind. The film ends just as it began with the two men alone under a pagoda watching the driving rain. However, an act of kindness quickly renews the priest’s belief. Kurasawa’s film certainly has an interesting plot device and camera work. Historically, it is also important because it introduced the world to Japanese cinema
Directed by Akira Kurosawa and starring Toshiro Mifune and Takashi Shimura, the plot revolves around a rookie cop who has his gun swiped on a trolley in Tokyo. The young man is obsessive about getting his weapon back and after reporting the missing gun, he walks the streets looking for answers. His searching leads to a gun racket and after a crime is committed the rookie partners with an old vet on the case. They eventually wind up at a baseball game and begin searching for a man named Yusa. Another crime is committed and now the pair question a reluctant show girl. The older Sato follows the trail of Yusa and meets with trouble. Finally, the girl talks and the desperate rookie searches for the mysterious Yusa. In their final showdown he rights everything and retrieves his gun. I found this film-noir very atmospheric with post-war Tokyo and heat and humidity that you can almost feel. The two main characters have a solid chemistry because only together can they catch the Stray Dog.
Directed by Akira Kurosawa, this film is an adaption of Macbeth placed in a Japanese setting. Two great warriors come before their lord to be honored but before they arrive a spirit gives them a prophecy. One of the men who was initially loyal, decides to take the throne for his own after hearing the prophecy and being goaded by his wife. Soon he has become an overconfident madman bent on defeating everyone. Again the spirit in the forest gives him a prophecy that all but ensures his victory. However, all too soon his good fortune ends and that’s not all. This film has some slow parts but many of the images are very striking and atmospheric while the ending is also enjoyable. This is arguably the best adaption of Macbeth to film.
Remember the Night (1940)
Holiday Inn (1942)
Christmas in Connecticut (1945)
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
The Bishop’s Wife (1947)
Holiday Affair (1949)
White Christmas (1954)
Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol (1962)
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)
A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)
The Little Drummer Boy (1968)
Frosty the Snowman (1969)
Santa Claus is Coming to Town (1970)
The Year Without a Santa Claus (1974)
The Gathering (1977)
A Christmas Story (1983)
Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983)
Christmas Vacation (1989)
Home Alone (1990)
The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
The Santa Clause (1994)
Prep & Landing (2009)
Charlie Brown knows the reason for the season. Enjoy and Merry Christmas to all!