Saturday, May 5, 2007

Japanese Movies

Lately, I am into strange non-mainstream movies... I have been watching quite a lot of movies in original version with subtitles and I have found some real pearls lost out there.

Specially, I have found current Japanese cinema quite interesting. I am not talking about geek movies (such as Death Note), horror movies (Dark Water, Ringu, Ju-on, Battle Royale...) and other subgenres... And not about traditional Japanese cinema, such as Akira Kurosawa's movies (Shinin no samurai, Rashomon...). By the way, the first time I heard about this director was from Rikel in our time in Valencia (gracias ;-) I am talking about normal movies with solid plots and beautiful photography... Great stories in which the artistic aspect takes unprecedented dimensions... Some months ago, Naoko told me to watch Joze to Tora to Sakana Tachi (ジョゼと虎と魚たち, Joze, el leon y los peces, 2003). I watched it and I was nicely surprised by a superb story, perfect narrating pace and all the special things Japanese culture can offer to cinema. Perfect acting by Chizuru Ikewaki (池脇 千鶴), as Joze; and Satoshi Tsumabuki (妻夫木聡), as Tsuneo. I was grately surprised by one fact: alike Spanish movies, the story always starts with a dramatic situation and in spite of the efforts of the characters, nothing can be done to overcome it and it eventually worsens. However, the happiness moments in the movie pay off and make you feel like you are sorry for the characters but you have that feeling inside that tells you they were actually happy with what had happened.

Don't know... I like this kind of movies...

Yesterday night, I came accross another great movie: Daremo Shiranai (誰も知らない, Nobody Knows, 2004). I didn't know this movie, but after watching it, i found out it had been awarded in plenty of European and International festivals. Yuya Yagira, 柳楽優弥, the main actor, got the prestigious Golden Palm in Cannes Festival. I found this movie quite artistic. For people used to Hollywood movies, it can feel inconsistent. The story starts without any introduction and you don't know anything about the past of the characters. The director, 是枝裕和 (Hirokazu Koreeda), prefers to introduce the story and the people in the movie by themselves: dialogues, actions... The photography is also pretty good. Long camera shots without any voice, just the noise around, help creating a devastating feeling of loneliness and uncertainty. And the most dramatic situation (I won't tell you as I don't want to spoil the movie) is told like if nothing unusual had happened... It is just another event in the kids' miserable lifes... Just another Japanese cinema masterpiece...

Now, I plan to wath two more movies recommended by Yuuka and Naoko:
- Hula Girls (フラガール, 2006)
- Hana Yori mo Naho (花よりもなほ, 2006)

I'll keep you informed.

1 comment:

luiSete said...

Que fuerte. Acabo de ver a Alvaro Mira despues de unos 10 años sin verlo. Ultra-fuerte. Parece un señor, casi ni le reconozco... Recuerdos suyos, por cierto.