Favorite films

  • The Mortal Storm
  • The Killer
  • Pulse
  • The Fang in the Hole

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  • Full Alert

    ★★★★★

  • Drive My Car

    ★★★★½

  • Octopussy

    ★★★½

  • The Story of Southern Islet

    ★★★★

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  • Drive My Car

    Drive My Car

    ★★★★½

    Why is the steering wheel on the left side of his car? Cars in Japan generally have the steering wheel on the right, as cars drive on the left side of the road. Did they pick the car before filming, when they still thought that they would be working in South Korea, and decide to stick with it after they had to make it in Japan?

  • The Man with the Golden Gun

    The Man with the Golden Gun

    ★★★

    Any of the four most recent Daniel Craig Bond movies would be improved by a slide whistle sound effect at some point.

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  • Welcome Home

    Welcome Home

    ★★★★★

    OKAERI is a film with something of a legendary status among aficionados of recent Japanese cinema. The film was self-funded by a projectionist and freelance film-critic-turned-filmmaker, and shot on leftover film stock from other independent productions. Its cast ranges from VERY seasoned veterans (Tomio Aoki, the former child-star of Ozu's I WAS BORN, BUT..., who appears as a talkative old man in a park) to recognizable character actors (Susumu Terajima, a frequent supporting cast member of Kitano and Miike films,…

  • Occult Bolshevism

    Occult Bolshevism

    ★★★★½

    Recently, there's been a trend in independent Japanese cinema towards a much more improvisation and actor-centered approach to filmmaking in the vein of Jacques Rivette or John Cassavettes. Probably the filmmaker most closely associated with this trend is Ryusuke Hamaguchi, a onetime student of Hiroshi Takahashi's who wrote his thesis on the films of John Cassavettes.

    On the surface, at least, this would seem to be the antithesis of the stylistic tendencies previously associated with Hiroshi Takahashi and the J-horror…