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  • Fireworks
  • Yi Yi
  • My Night at Maud's
  • Yearning

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  • The Fable

    ★★★★

  • A Wanderer's Notebook

    ★★★★½

  • Undisputed III: Redemption

    ★★★★

  • Cruel Story of the Shogunate's Downfall

    ★★★★

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  • A Legend of Turmoil

    A Legend of Turmoil

    ★★★★★

    What a triumph! A (Toei) masterpiece, A LEGEND OF TURMOIL has it all: the relentless action and bloody violence; the quieter, more emotional moments (that scene in which Jinnai Takanori leaves prison, for example, and the scenes featuring the note and letter of Kobayashi’s daughter); some great music; a Kitano appearance (among other heavy-hitters) and an absolutely awesome finale. In short: a perfect yakuza eiga. It all comes together in the commanding performance of Kobayashi Akira who seems to take…

  • A True Story of the Private Ginza Police

    A True Story of the Private Ginza Police

    ★★★★½

    In the same year (1973) Fukasaku popularised the jitsuroku eiga with the first instalment in his BATTLES WITHOUT HONOR AND HUMANITY series, came Sato Junya’s PRIVATE GINZA POLICE. From the very disturbing first scene the relentless violence kicks in, never to leave the screen. As in the aforementioned Fukasaku films and typical for the genre, there’s the use of voice-over and freeze frames to mark important story events and the action is filmed with a shaky camera. Umemiya Tatsuo’s performance…

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  • The Fable

    The Fable

    ★★★★

    I must admit that my expectations were rather low going in, but the action slapped in a way I didn’t expect it to! After a hesitant start, I got fully on board quickly. The Osaka setting was a hit too. Very enjoyable film.

  • A Wanderer's Notebook

    A Wanderer's Notebook

    ★★★★½

    In A WANDERER’S NOTEBOOK Naruse Mikio traces the steps of revered novelist Hayashi Fumiko. Hayashi herself being a major inspiration to the director as many of Naruse’s films are adaptations of several of her works. This autobiographical account of Hayashi’s life is based on her own autobiographical novel. The film boasts a rather impressive cast headed by the great Takamine Hideko, but also consisting of Takarada Akira, Endo Tatsuo, Tanaka Kinuyo, Kobayashi Keiju, and, one of my personal favourites, Kato…

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