Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Memories of Tomorrow (Ashita no Kioku - 2006)

From back cover:
In “Memories of Tomorrow” Ken Watanabe plays Saeki, a 50-year-old ad executive whose life is practically perfect: he commands the respect of his employees, he loves his wife Emiko (Kanako Higuchi) and his daughter will marry soon. But one day Saeki has troubled remembering names and confusion sets in. His wife convinces him to visit a doctor, who delivers a devastating diagnosis: early-onset Alzheimer’s. “Memories of tomorrow” follows Saeki and Emiko as the couple embarks on a journey where every dark marks a step closer to losing everything.
Director: Yukihiko Tsutsumi
Screenplay: Hanaru Sukamoto
Ken Watanabe - Masayuki Saeki
Kanako Higuchi - Emiko Saeki 
Kenji Sakaguchi - Naoya Ito
Kazue Fukiishi - Rie Saeki
Asami Mizukawa - Keiko Ikuno 
The film is based on a novel of the same title published by Hiroshi Ogiwara (2004)



In memory of the already fragile condition due to Alzheimer's disease, Saeki (husband) prepares himself to face his old days with a reservation at the nursing home without the knowledge of his wife, Emiko. A very touching film.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Seven Samurai

From back cover:
Desperate village hires seven samurai to protect it from marauders in this crown jewel of  Japanese cinema. No other film so seamlessly weaves philosophy and entertainment, delicate human emotions and relentless action. featuring Japan's legendary star, the great Toshiro Mifune, Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai is an inspired epic, a triump of art, and unforgettable three-hour ride.

Toshiro Mifune - Kikuchiyo
Takashi Shimura - Kambei
Isao kimura - Katsushiro
Yoshio Inaba - Gorobei
Daisuke Kato - Shichiroji
Minoru Chiaki - Heihachi
Seiji Miyaguchi - Kyuzo

Director - Akira Kurosawa
Produced by Sojiro Motoki (1954), 207 minutes.

First time I saw this film in 1985 when there was Japanese Films Festival in my campus. The film takes place in 1587 during the warring states period of Japan. I was very impressed. My emotion runs with this film. Moreover when three surviving samurai are left to observe the villagers happily planting the next crop. Though they have won the battle for the farmers, they have lost their friends. "Again we are defeated," Kambei muses. Kambei is The leader of the group. "The farmers have won. Not us."

Mainichi Film Concours (1955) for Best Supporting Actor (Seiji Miyaguchi)
Venice Film Festival (1954) - Silver Lion for Akira Kurosawa
Jussi Award (1959) for best foreign actor (Akira Kurosawa) and (best foreign actor (Takashi Shimura)

Since I have seen this film, I want to collect Akira Kurosawa's movies. I have some of them and I will post later.
I give ***** for this film.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mutiny on the Bounty (1962)

In 1787, the Bounty sails from England for Tahiti (Pacific) under the command of captain William Bligh (Trevor Howard). Her mission is to transport breadfruit to Jamaica, hopefully it will provide a cheap source of food for the slaves. Captain Bligh attempts to reach Tahiti sooner by choosing the shorter route around Cape Horn, a navigational nightmare. The travel fails and the Bounty go eastbound, it took much cost and time. Bligh attempts to make up the lost time by pushing the crew works harder. When the Bounty reaches Tahiti, the crew revels in easygoing life of the tropical paradise and in the free-love philosophies of the Tahitian women. Christian himself is attracted by Maimiti (Tarita), daughter of the Tahitian king. On the return voyage, Bligh brings back twice the number of breadfruit plants and must reduce the water rations of the crew to water the extra plants. When a crew becomes ill from drinking seawater, Christian gives him fresh water in violation of the Captain's orders. Bligh strikes Christian when he ignores his second order to stop. On the contrary Christian strikes Bligh. Bligh tells Christian that he will brim him to a court and hang him when they reach port. No other choice, Christian takes command of the ship and sets Bligh and the loyalist of the crew adrift in the longboat with navigational equipment. Bligh decides to reach British authorities and arrives back in England with remarkable speed.
Directed by Lewis Milestone
Produced by Aaron Rosenberg
Written by Charles Lederer
Based on Mutiny on the Bounty by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall
Marlon Brando - 1st Lieutenant Fletcher Christian
Trevor Howard - Captain William Bligh
Richard Harris - seaman John Mills
Tarita Teriipia - Maimiti

Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (1962)
Running time 178 min.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)

Back Cover:
A loft, mates, and make ready. HMS Bounty is sailing for Tahiti by way of Cape Horn ... and into movie lore as one of the American Film Institute's Top 100 American Films of all time. Filmed on a scale reflecting its then lofty $2 million budget. Mutiny on the Bounty captured the 1935 Best Picture Academy Award and eight nomination total. Charles Laughton portrays scowling Captain Bligh, a seafaring monster who rules with the law of fear. In a performance solidifying his status as Hollywood's #1 male star. Clark Gable is Fletcher Christian, the first officer whose will to obey erodes under Bligh's tyranny. And Franchot Tone plays Byam the idealistic mid shipman torn by his allegiance to the two men. That all three portrayals are vividly memorable is accented by a bit of movie trivia: for the only time in Oscar history, three stars from the same film received Best Actor nominations.
Director - Frank Lloyd
Witers - Talbot Jennings & Jules Furthman
Production Co. - Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), 1935
Charles Laughton - Bligh
Clark Gable - Christian
Franchot Tone - Byam


From back cover:
Considered to be one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, Akira Kurosawa's touching and final film Madadayo, is the perfect ending to a lifetime of cinematic achievements.

The film follows the last two decades in the life of Hyakken Uchida, a writer and teacher who retires in the war years of the early 1940s. His student venerate him in his old age , and join him and his family each year for ritual birthday party asking "Mahda-kai? (Are you ready?)" ti which Uchida downs a big glass of beer and answer "Madadayo! (Not Yet!)," acknowledging that death may be near, but life is still goes on.
Prof. Hyakken - Tatsuo Masumura
Professor's wife - Kyoko Kagawa
Takayama - Hisashi Igawa
Amaki - George Tokoro
Kiriyama - Masayuki Yui
Sawamura - Akira Terao

Written and directed by AKIRA KUROASAWA
Based on literary works of Hyakken Uchida