GREEN CINE Already a member? login
 Your cart
Help
Advanced Search
- Genres
+ Action
+ Adult
+ Adventure
+ Animation
+ Anime
+ Classics
+ Comedies
+ Comic Books
+ Crime
  Criterion Collection
+ Cult
+ Documentary
+ Drama
+ Erotica
+ Espionage
  Experimental/Avant-Garde
+ Fantasy
+ Film Noir
+ Foreign
+ Gay & Lesbian
  HD (High Def)
+ Horror
+ Independent
+ Kids
+ Martial Arts
+ Music
+ Musicals
  Pre-Code
+ Quest
+ Science Fiction
  Serials
+ Silent
+ Sports
+ Suspense/Thriller
  Sword & Sandal
+ Television
+ War
+ Westerns


Public Discussions

topics
GreenCine Movie Talk
Foreign
From Albania to Zaire, there's a whole world out there.
183

Asian Cinema. Discussion, Reviews, Questions (aka ChinJaKoFilm Thread)
Topic by: lizzoqops
Posted: September 17, 2005 - 3:37 PM PDT
Last Reply: December 2, 2007 - 10:31 PM PST

page  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9      prev | next
author topic: Asian Cinema. Discussion, Reviews, Questions (aka ChinJaKoFilm Thread)
ahogue
post #81  on December 6, 2005 - 4:16 PM PST  
So, does everyone like Miike? What are his best films? What is his stature in Japan -- he seems to have started off in b-movies but I guess he's rather famous by now. Is that all because of Audition?
Eoliano
post #82  on December 6, 2005 - 6:37 PM PST  
> So, does everyone like Miike? What are his best films? What is his stature in Japan -- he seems to have started off in b-movies but I guess he's rather famous by now. Is that all because of Audition?

No, not everyone. And he still makes B-Movies...
lizzoqops
post #83  on December 7, 2005 - 5:49 PM PST  
Well, I still have some admiration for the guy, but he just hasn't made any movies this year, except for that Yokai monsters thing, which we won't get to see until next year. I'm not sure what the slowdown is all about (maybe Izo had the same effect on him that it had on me). If you're looking for recommendations, I highly recommend Dead or Alive 2, Graveyard of Honor, Happiness of the Katakuris, and Rainy Dog. For pure cheesy goodness, there's Full Metal Yakuza.

Sorry for my board ennui...I'll try to post more later, I swear : )
Eoliano
post #84  on December 7, 2005 - 7:12 PM PST  
> Sorry for my board ennui...

Board = ennui = bored = ennui...
lizzoqops
post #85  on December 8, 2005 - 9:36 AM PST  
I think I hear Iggy Pop.

Here's some more Weinstein crap for you all:

The Promise or whatever they're calling it now.

I understand that it's a bad time to release a movie if it's not King Kong or Harry Potter. But it's not like they didn't know those movies would be released at this time of year when they Promised to release the Promise at the same time it was being released in Asia. It's just that...um...they suck.
ahogue
post #86  on December 8, 2005 - 10:40 AM PST  
> On December 7, 2005 - 5:49 PM PST lizzoqops wrote:
> ---------------------------------
>I'm not sure what the slowdown is all about (maybe Izo had the same effect on him that it had on me).
--

Sorry, what's Izo?


---
If you're looking for recommendations, I highly recommend Dead or Alive 2, Graveyard of Honor, Happiness of the Katakuris, and Rainy Dog. For pure cheesy goodness, there's Full Metal Yakuza.
> ---------------------------------

Ah, good. I have Happiness of the Katakuris and look forward to seeing it.

Here's a broader question. If one wanted to get familiar with the Japanese b-movie scene over say the last decade, where should one start? Who are the big names and what are the most interesting or representative films? Any pointers?

More broadly, I've been wondering lately whether my sense of what is "b" and what isn't might be skewed when applied to Japanese cinema. For instance, I just sort of assumed that Kiyoshi Kurosawa was a b-movie director, but I guess it turns out that he's now quite a famous and respected filmmaker in Japan. My impression is that low budget and b status don't necessarily go together in Japan the way they tend to in the US because there is less money in the market in Japan. Is this true?

Oh, and one other thing, who are the really interesting Chinese directors working right now?

There...maybe that will keep this thread busy for a little while.
pooja
post #87  on December 8, 2005 - 12:06 PM PST  
> On December 8, 2005 - 10:40 AM PST ahogue wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Ah, good. I have Happiness of the Katakuris and look forward to seeing it.

Even if you are puzzled by it, you should also see the Korean original, Quiet Family. It's good in different ways and very amusing. The last shot is great!

> Here's a broader question. If one wanted to get familiar with the Japanese b-movie scene over say the last decade, where should one start?

Uncle probably knows the answer to this, but maybe see some old yakuza films, samurai films and stuff like Black Lizard first? To get an idea of where Japanese B-films came from?

> More broadly, I've been wondering lately whether my sense of what is "b" and what isn't might be skewed when applied to Japanese cinema.

It should have music and dancing, because "b" stands for "Bollywood"!!

> For instance, I just sort of assumed that Kiyoshi Kurosawa was a b-movie director, but I guess it turns out that he's now quite a famous and respected filmmaker in Japan.

I don't know if you can call Kurosawa films "b" movies...

> My impression is that low budget and b status don't necessarily go together in Japan

It doesn't anywhere else either. In Europe it's more like DOGME and here it's "independent"... I don't think "low budget" per se can automatically be labeled "b". You wouldn't call early David Lynch "b" would you?

> Oh, and one other thing, who are the really interesting Chinese directors working right now?

dpowers is probably the one to ask... I only know the famous "interesting" ones like Wong Kar Wai and Chen Kaige and Stephen Chow. Is John Woo still alive? I think he wants to do a musical, so he should have moved to Mumbai instead of L.A. I think FaceOff proved that he could be a great Bollywood director.
lizzoqops
post #88  on December 8, 2005 - 12:10 PM PST  
> On December 8, 2005 - 10:40 AM PST ahogue wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > On December 7, 2005 - 5:49 PM PST lizzoqops wrote:
> > ---------------------------------
> >I'm not sure what the slowdown is all about (maybe Izo had the same effect on him that it had on me).
> --
>
> Sorry, what's Izo?
>

Oh, how I wish I could say that. Here's the GC link:
Izo

When you're in the mood for...death...lots of it. And preaching. I did like the music, though : )



>
> Here's a broader question. If one wanted to get familiar with the Japanese b-movie scene over say the last decade, where should one start? Who are the big names and what are the most interesting or representative films? Any pointers?
>

That's a good question. I have certain directors that I trust will at least entertain me, but I don't think they're actually b-movie directors. I guess the b-movie directors do the v-cinema thing in Japan, and we don't get to see much of that. It almost never gets released with subtitles, even by the bootleggers. But I am always eager to see movies by:

Sabu aka Tanaka Hiroyuki (ignore Ichi, he was an actor in that)

Tsukamoto (you'll have to pick through that list, too, he shows up as an actor in those Miike movies, among others).

There's also Kurosawa, Kitano, Koreda, Kitamura (very hit or miss with that guy), Katsuhito Ishii (A Taste of Tea, among some other fun stuff). I still have hope that Go Shibata's "Late Bloomer" will be released someday, and he'll make some more movies. This would definitely be in the low budget category, much like "Eraserhead" or "El Mariachi". No budget, but well done and a very interesting story.


> More broadly, I've been wondering lately whether my sense of what is "b" and what isn't might be skewed when applied to Japanese cinema. For instance, I just sort of assumed that Kiyoshi Kurosawa was a b-movie director, but I guess it turns out that he's now quite a famous and respected filmmaker in Japan. My impression is that low budget and b status don't necessarily go together in Japan the way they tend to in the US because there is less money in the market in Japan. Is this true?
>

That sounds right to me. Not only because of the money, but the US market and the arthouse market seems to embrace the directors that are considered b-movie/v-cinema/low-budget in Japan. I don't really know who is considered a Big Director in Japan, besides Miyazaki. Hamano might have more insight on that.


> Oh, and one other thing, who are the really interesting Chinese directors working right now?
>

That's a good question...Johnny To gets all the attention. Everyone is waiting to see "Election", which is getting really great reviews. I've seen a few of his movies, they weren't great, but they were entertaining. From Taiwan, there's Tsai Ming-liang and Hou Hsiao-hsien. From the mainland, there's always Chen Kaige, director of "The Promise" (see above Weinstein crap), interesting for it's casting of lead actors from China (Cecelia Cheung), Korea (Jang Dong-gun, the IT guy in Korea right now), and Japan (Hiroyuki Sanada). I personally need to watch more Jiang Wen (Devils on the Doorstep, Missing Gun). I've liked both of those a lot.


> There...maybe that will keep this thread busy for a little while.
> ---------------------------------

It kept me busy for a little while : )

ahogue
post #89  on December 9, 2005 - 10:38 AM PST  
> On December 8, 2005 - 12:06 PM PST pooja wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > On December 8, 2005 - 10:40 AM PST ahogue wrote:
> > ---------------------------------
> Uncle probably knows the answer to this, but maybe see some old yakuza films, samurai films and stuff like Black Lizard first? To get an idea of where Japanese B-films came from?
---

Well, I have seen a fair amount of Fukasaku's more famous movies and the odd older samurai film. If anyone has recommendations for older b movies I'd like to hear them, but I feel like I have a better grasp of the older stuff.


> ----
> > My impression is that low budget and b status don't necessarily go together in Japan
>
> It doesn't anywhere else either.
----

I wasn't suggesting that a low budget is the single defining characteristic of b movies.

Although I think that could be a fun parlor game, trying to think of movies that had large budgets but in other respects were very much B. Let's see... Showgirls... come to think of it anything Esterhaz wrote.



> On December 8, 2005 - 12:10 PM PST lizzoqops wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> That's a good question. I have certain directors that I trust will at least entertain me, but I don't think they're actually b-movie directors. I guess the b-movie directors do the v-cinema thing in Japan, and we don't get to see much of that.
---

Hmm...except for Miike? Or would you disagree with Eo on that?

I know I've certainly seen previews for what looked like very odd low budget Japanese films which might arguably be candidates for b-status (I'm guessing), like this one, for instance. How would you situate a film like that in terms of the japanese film industry as a whole?

My admittedly uninformed hunch is that the idea of what might be a b movie in Japan has shifted in recent years...


> ---
> Sabu aka Tanaka Hiroyuki (ignore Ichi, he was an actor in that)
--

I loved Drive, which last I checked is unfortunately not out on region 1. I hope it gets distributed!


--
> There's also Kurosawa, Kitano, Koreda, Kitamura (very hit or miss with that guy), Katsuhito Ishii (A Taste of Tea, among some other fun stuff).
----

Koreda...I assume that's the same as "Kore-eda"? Looks interesting. I will check these out.


---
> That sounds right to me. Not only because of the money, but the US market and the arthouse market seems to embrace the directors that are considered b-movie/v-cinema/low-budget in Japan.
---

That kind of gets to the gist of my question. Is there a significant difference between how, say, Kitano's movies are perceived on the international circuit and how they are perceived in Japan? Fireworks, for instance, certainly feels like it has strong roots in what I'd be tempted to call b movies, but it also seems to have a more serious artistic purpose. Is there an elevation of themes, etc., once considered lowbrow going on in Japan?

Thanks for the help everyone.
badappleface
post #90  on December 9, 2005 - 12:20 PM PST  
One great movie that I would personally classify as a "B-Movie" is Stacy by Naouyuki Tomomatsu.

Naouyuki also directed another fun movie called "Eat The School Girl: Osaka Telephone Club.

hamano
post #91  on December 9, 2005 - 8:32 PM PST  
ahogue, I stand by what I said on Page 3 of this thread... See post #52 and below. The Japanese have mostly stopped making movies as we would normally define them. Most of the stuff in movie theaters are foreign films or melodramas produced domestically for old ladies. Beat Takeshi is the only current movie director of note. Everyone else is basically doing manga, either as anime (Miyazaki, Oshii) or live-action (Miike, Kurosawa, etc.)

Maybe the last great working director of film was Juzo Itami but he also might have influenced the transition from movie scripts to manga.

I don't see this as a bad thing necessarily... it's an interesting development. Look at celebrity in Japan. There are no more movie stars. Since Yuusaku Matsuda died we haven't had a great male movie star except for the aforementioned Beat Takeshi and Koji Yakusho. Ken Watanabe was just the cute sidekick from Tampopo. Yuko Tanaka was the most promising actress early on, but then she retired. She's acting again but hasn't found a MOVIE worth being noted for. Masako Natsume would have been a great star, but she died of leukemia in 1985. The only other one is Youki Kudoh, and she's slumming as "Pumpkin" in Memoirs of a Geisha. The so-called movie "stars" today are "celebs" more than actors. There are better actors on TV shows, and the best actors might be doing voices for anime.
lizzoqops
post #92  on December 9, 2005 - 9:43 PM PST  
There are still a few exceptions to the Hamano rule. I highly recommend Tsukamoto's Vital, which is coming soon, and queue-able. A very human drama.

I'm not sure I'd totally agree with putting Kurosawa Kiyoshi in this category, either...he usually writes his own stuff, although I don't hear good things about "The Loft", his latest.

And I'd put Asano in the movie star category, and maybe Aikawa, but that's all I can think of right off the top of my head.

Just rambling...
ahogue
post #93  on December 10, 2005 - 1:06 AM PST  
> On December 9, 2005 - 8:32 PM PST hamano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> ahogue, I stand by what I said on Page 3 of this thread... See post #52 and below. The Japanese have mostly stopped making movies as we would normally define them.
---

This seems to have a lot of merit to me, at least as far as I understand it. But, if the real "national art" or whatever you'd call it, is now happening in anime/manga, do you think there is something particular about these media that make them so useful, or is the reason merely economic? Or, for that matter, is it basically random? I guess what I mean by that is, is there something about the anime form in particular that makes it the dominant artform in Japan now?


---
Most of the stuff in movie theaters are foreign films or melodramas produced domestically for old ladies.
--

Sorry, do you mean that they are domestic films made to look like foreign films? Can you give any examples that have been distributed or are otherwise available with English subtitles?



---
Beat Takeshi is the only current movie director of note. Everyone else is basically doing manga, either as anime (Miyazaki, Oshii) or live-action (Miike, Kurosawa, etc.)
---

I think it's really interesting that you group Kurosawa and Miike, as some seem to think they are very different. For myself (I have seen Cure, Seance and Doppelganger) it's not immediately obvious how Kurosawa's films are live action animes. I'd really like to hear you elaborate on this connection. Is it possible that what people like me sense as B-ness in live action Japanese films is in fact this strong anime influence?
ahogue
post #94  on December 10, 2005 - 1:15 AM PST  
> On December 9, 2005 - 9:43 PM PST lizzoqops wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> I'm not sure I'd totally agree with putting Kurosawa Kiyoshi in this category, either...he usually writes his own stuff, although I don't hear good things about "The Loft", his latest.
> ---------------------------------

I think Kurosawa has a lot in common with western big shots like Tarkovsky, but at the same time he seems to approach his films differently, with a much more playful approach than you would ever find in a perfectionist european auteur like Tarkovsky. Personally, this apparent duality is something challenging and interesting. Kurosawa consistently defies my expectations not just for what a movie should be, but for how a filmmaker of his obvious talents should approach his material. I keep thinking that there's a "cultural" component here, at least in the sense that I am almost entirely missing the context of the modern Japanese film scene.
hamano
post #95  on December 10, 2005 - 6:36 AM PST  
> On December 10, 2005 - 1:06 AM PST ahogue wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> I guess what I mean by that is, is there something about the anime form in particular that makes it the dominant artform in Japan now?

I'm not sure about the "why"... There's been a lot written about how prevalent the manga form is in Japan, how one sees manga published in many genres, how the audience is adults as well as kids, I'm sure you've read some of those articles. Here's a good example... very informative about the state of manga's dominance, but it doesn't go into "why". The Wikipedia entry on manga also makes no attempt to explain "why" although they have a reference to some books that might shed light on it, if we bothered to seek them out and read them.

Anyway, I think this acceptance of manga as the dominant literary medium in Japan is the key to understanding how anime became the dominant moving-picture entertainment medium. The leading creative people who are working in anime today grew up reading manga (I'm not saying they read JUST manga... Japanese have almost a reading fetish, which is parodied by the characters in ROD.)

Maybe it would be fruitful to think about this backwards... why DIDN'T comics become the dominant literary form in America? That might be easier to answer. The only thing I can say for sure from personal observation is that Americans seem to "love reading" a bit less than the Japanese.

I can only speculate that drawn narrative has historically been popular in Japan, as sections of those articles I linked point out. There was not as much tendency to look down on illustrated literature as something for "stupid" or "less educated" people.

> Sorry, do you mean that they are domestic films made to look like foreign films?

No. I mean AMERICAN films. Hollywood films. Some films from other countries, but mostly American films. In that respect Japan is like any other country.

> I think it's really interesting that you group Kurosawa and Miike, as some seem to think they are very different.

How they're not very different: They both do live action "manga" which is my point...

How they're very different: They make films that have very different styles... but that fits into my theory neatly. One important effect (or cause?) of the dominance of manga/anime is the acceptance that this artform can be used to successfully express literary genres other than entertaiment for children. There's something that keeps anime from being really successful in the horror genre (which is why there is so much J-horror like RINGU right now) but you can use manga to do just about anything. So according to my train of thought directors can be doing the live action equivalent of Lain, or the live action equivalent of Gokusen, or the live action equivalent of Boogiepop phantom. Hey, a couple of those have ACTUALLY been done!

> For myself (I have seen Cure, Seance and Doppelganger) it's not immediately obvious how Kurosawa's films are live action animes. I'd really like to hear you elaborate on this connection. Is it possible that what people like me sense as B-ness in live action Japanese films is in fact this strong anime influence?

I think that's it, except I'm saying live action manga, not anime. There are two ways to translate manga into a moving picture art form, to make it in anime, or in live action. If you had to pinpoint how low-budget films or independent films in Japan and America are different, I'd have to say it's the manga influence. Sure Kurosawa seems different, but you could make the case that he's doing "Haibane Renmei" while the other directors are doing "Cromartie High School" and such. Of course my theory is a global theory so it's harder to fit individual directors neatly into the scheme. But my feeling is that they're all on a continuum that centers around the idea that Japanese film today is "live action manga" unless it's already anime.

Of course I recognize that there's a trend in the US of making live action films out of comics. I think this is a bit different though. The Japanese have bet the farm on it, while comics->movies is just a sub-genre here.

On the topic of a "national art form" I'm wondering if "computer/video games" is going to be America's new national art form. It's already bigger than the film industry, and it's seeping into films and books. Both Clinton and Bush had that "comeback" capability after seemingly fatal political stumbles... personal bankruptcy is a national epidemic. We're ALL getting used to our lives crashing and starting again from the "last saved" point, just like a video game...
dpowers
post #96  on December 10, 2005 - 9:22 AM PST  
looking for "why comix" i'd bet on letters versus pictograms. it's an old argument but it seems sound. 2 stages of learning to read; the 2nd, a formal lesson in learning to draw and read drawings.

a lot has been written about the weak male/gay male issues in american comix. overcompensation. this may mean that there is a whiff of failure to them, which is as we know, the equivalent of death.
pooja
post #97  on December 10, 2005 - 10:08 AM PST  
> On December 10, 2005 - 9:22 AM PST dpowers wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> a lot has been written about the weak male/gay male issues in american comix. overcompensation. this may mean that there is a whiff of failure to them, which is as we know, the equivalent of death.

And that's NOT an issue in Japanese cartoons? From what I've seen there's a lot of gayness in them as well. Look at James from Team Rocket.
dpowers
post #98  on December 10, 2005 - 12:23 PM PST  
james is out. very few male heroes in manga hide behind a mask. in popular american comix, "ordinary people" are secretly so exceptional they are a threat to social order and the status quo. they just can't show their faces because the inferior majority and the bureaucracy for which they stand would shoot to kill. this is not a healthy discussion of issues relating to growing up; it's a power fetish. to put it in any kind of central position would be embarrassing.
pooja
post #99  on December 10, 2005 - 12:32 PM PST  
How about that magical girl thing then? All those heroines do the transformation thing, and they can't be recognized apparently even though they still look the same except for the costume and some jewelry and stuff. Come to think of it, when I saw Sailor Moon a few years ago that Tuxedo guy hid his identity at the beginning...
dpowers
post #100  on December 10, 2005 - 12:54 PM PST  
for the game, and a chance at the bonus round: magical boys is another name for what sexual proclivity?
page  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9      prev | next

about greencine · donations · refer a friend · support · help · genres
contact us · press room · privacy policy · terms · sitemap · affiliates · advertise

Copyright © 2005 GreenCine LLC. All rights reserved.
© 2006 All Media Guide, LLC. Portions of content provided by All Movie Guide®, a trademark of All Media Guide, LLC.