By Jasper Sharp. Satoshi Kon’s Millennium Actress (screening next month at the Glasgow Film Festival), uses its heroine to explore themes of subjectivity and spectatorship, with a topic that might at first seem better suited to live action. In all those elements, it bears some similarities with his debut feature Perfect Blue (1997), which pitched […]
By Jasper Sharp. As is customary, the Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan, or Eiren, has just released figures for the previous year’s box office, presenting the opportunity to consider the current state of Japanese cinema as an industry, if not as an art. There is some cause for celebration on this first score, at […]
Jo Shishido, who died yesterday in Tokyo, will be remembered as the charismatic moon-faced star of many a Nikkatsu Action film from the 1960s. He is best-known in the West for his iconic turn as the cold-hearted contract killer of Seijun Suzuki’s cult classic Branded to Kill (1967).
By Jasper Sharp. Almost fifty years ago, Donald Richie, the author and cultural critic who introduced Japanese cinema to the West, embarked on an epic odyssey of self-discovery amongst the island communities between Shikoku, Honshu and Kyushu, resulting in one of his most personal and highly-regarded books, The Inland Sea (1971). Two decades later, filmmaker […]
By Jasper Sharp. It is a ballsy act for a company to put out a four-film box set of titles made almost half a century ago that have never had any form of home video release outside Japan, all made by a director whose name is unknown outside the rarefied circles of Japanese film specialism. […]