Japanese film

Trailer for “Beastly Entanglements”

In the middle of that month Mishima went on a trip to collect material for his next novel, Beastly Entanglements (Kemono no tawamure), a story of psychological self-entrapment, seduction, and murder. It deals with a dandyish scholar-dealer of expensive porcelains, his wife who avows no jealousy for his many affairs but secretly has a private eye follow him, and a college student employed to help him in his store who falls in love with her [….] Mishima wrote that it was only when he heard Leonore Overture as conducted by Herbert von Karajan at La Scala in January 1961–five months after he collected basic descriptive material—that he was finally able to settle on the overall structure of the novel.

—Naoki Inose, Persona: A Biography of Yukio Mishima, trans. Hiroaki Sato, p. 362


Post #1000—Rev: “Tokyo Story” [1953]


Despite the international popular acclaim for Rashomon, IkiruThrone of Blood, Seven SamuraiKagemushaRan, and even Gojira, the Tokyo Story remains the greatest Japanese film ever made. It’s a simple and slow-paced film, the type many of the more aggressive film critics of today would condemn it for being languid and indulgent, just as they had condemned Lost in Translation for being slown. But slowness isn’t a sin, and especially not for Yasujiro Ozu film.


Gamera vs. Barugon [1966]

One of my favourite daikaiju films and arguably the best instalment of the Showa series of Gamera films, Gamera vs. Barugon, like all of the best monster films was about more than cheap thrills and spills. This film, like Toho’s 1962 film King Kong vs. Godzilla, was a commentary on human avarice and colonialism. And while that 1962 film quickly descended into comedy and stop-motion wrestling, Gamera vs. Barugon remained true to its driving themes, much like the original Mothra.

Watch it, here.