General Question

shadowofdeath's avatar

Any good Japanese movies?

Asked by shadowofdeath (437points) October 6th, 2010

Any sort of movie featuring traditional Japanese culture or current pop culture. Anything appropriate for a Japanese culture club.

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31 Answers

Master's avatar

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I highly recommend Tampopo.

Nullo's avatar

Godzilla is still popular.

iphigeneia's avatar

Kamikaze Girls/Shimotsuma Monogatari is a very funny story about contemporary Japanese fringe cultures.

Rarebear's avatar

Have you heard of Kurosawa?

Nullo's avatar

Lurve to the @Rarebear! Kurosawa’s stuff is even better than kaiju flicks.

shadowofdeath's avatar

Thanks, great ideas. if you know of anything somewhat comical / samurai-ninja-
ish that would be nice

Nullo's avatar

@shadowofdeath There’s something of an animated adaptation of Kurosawa’s The Seven Samurai called Samurai 7. I’ve never seen it, though.

simone54's avatar

@shadowofdeath I always wanted to see the Seven Samurai, but I don’t think I could get over the old old black and white. Is this Samurai 7 easier to watch?

Jeruba's avatar

Here’s the one I happened to see most recently: Samurai Rebellion, with the great Toshiro Mifune.

SamIAm's avatar

hmm not sure about Japanese culture but Kurosawa’s Dreams is INCREDIBLE. look into it.
also, just because it takes place in japan, Lost in Translation

Seek's avatar

If you’d like to see the Japanese version of Hollywood’s “Wild West”, you can’t go wrong with Yojimbo

Akira Kurosawa FTW.

rts486's avatar

Seven Samurai

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Tetsuo The Iron Man

Nullo's avatar

For extra credit, get Kurosawa’s films and their associated Westerns. ‘Yojimbo’ and ‘For A Fistful Of Dollars,’ ‘The Seven Samurai’ and ‘The Magnificent Seven,’ and so on.

Rarebear's avatar

@Nullo Ran and King Lear. Oh, wait. King Lear wasn’t a western… :-)

Kardamom's avatar

Eat Drink Man Woman, Mystery Train, Tampopo, and Memoirs of a Geisha (even though the female lead is actually a Chinese actress (Zhang Zi-yi).

Seek's avatar

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha – don’t. Read the book. Seriously. The movie doesn’t do it the slightest justice.

Rarebear's avatar

And I could give you a whole list of fantastic Japanese anime cinema if you’re interested.

Kardamom's avatar

I agree that the movie does not do the book (which is excellent) justice, but if you watch at it as a separate entity (and try not to relate the 2 things) it’s kind of interesting as a movie. The book is one of the best I’ve ever read.

Seek's avatar

I had to stop the movie halfway through and take a nap. It was that boring. The book, I couldn’t put it down.

Nullo's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr The book manages to misrepresent the whole geisha thing.

Rarebear's avatar

@Nullo How does it misrepresent it? (I’m not trying to be argumentative, I’m curious what you know. I thought the book was a fictionalization of the life of a real-life geisha).

Nullo's avatar

@Rarebear Basically, Arthur Golden sexualized the role of the geisha. Gleaned from a compelling blog post, corroborated by a friend who studied them as part of his year of school in Japan. If I ever find the blog post again, I’ll link it over.
The real-life geisha in question has, in fact, since sued Golden over it.

Seek's avatar

@Nullo I do remember reading that Golden was sued by the woman he interviewed. However, the book was a compelling read, and the movie was boring as hell.

Kardamom's avatar

I agree that the book was phenomenol. One of the sources that Mr. Golden used for reference was an American woman named Liza Dalby, who in the early 1970’s became the only Western (non Japanese) Geisha, that I’m aware of. Although not born in Japan, Dalby lived in Japan for during her teenage years, I think her dad was stationed in Japan, so she spoke some rudimentary Japanese and ultimately became fluent in the language. When she went to University, she discovered “cultural anthropology” and she ended up doing her thesis on the roles and customs of Geisha, by becoming one. I don’t think this is the same person who may have sued Mr. Golden, but Dalby’s own book “Geisha” gives a lot of insight into the lives of these women. Her book is very interesting, although it is a very different read, because it is a thesis and not a novel, but her information seems to corroborate a lot of the details and situations in Mr. Golden’s book. You can read more about Liza Dalby here

I thought of another good movie, “Shall We Dance?” The Japanese version, not the one with Richard Gere.

ShineofLife's avatar

Survive Style 5+ should be a good one for your situation, not traditional but amusing. like Suda51 and Q. Tarantino had a baby

TheCool95's avatar

Oldboy, good thriller with an shocking twist a t the end…

Ruth_Harada's avatar

They have many pop culture. For example if you like manga and anime, how about Gundam or Sailor Moon but if you like some Japanese drama, this is oen of them. AKB is very pop in Japan.

Seek's avatar

Just watched an incredible Korean movie, which had the star of Oldboy as the nemesis. It was called “I Saw the Devil”.

Holy galloping porkchops… what a flick.

JaneraSolomon's avatar

Spirited Away is wonderful. If you’re not into animation, Departures (2008) is a quirky funny movie.

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