The Ballad of Narayama (1958)

KEISUKE KINOSHITA Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  Original title:  Narayama Bushiko Japan, 1958.  Shochiku Company.  Screenplay by Keisuke Kinoshita, based on stories by Shichiro Fukazawa.  Cinematography by Hiroshi Kusuda.  Produced by Masaharu Kokaji, Ryuzo Otani.  Music by Chuji Kinoshita, Matsunosuke Nozawa.  Production Design by Kisaku Ito.  Costume Design by Toshikazu Sugiyama.  Film Editing by Yoshi Sugihara.   Not to be confused with the later masterpiece by Shohei…

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Tokyo Story (1953)

YASUJIRO OZU Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBBB Original title:  Tokyo Monogatari Japan, 1953.  Shôchiku Eiga.  Screenplay by Kogo Noda, Yasujiro Ozu.  Cinematography by Yuharu Atsuta.  Produced by Takeshi Yamamoto.  Music by Takanobu Saito.  Production Design by Tasuo Hamada.  Costume Design by Taizo Saito.  Film Editing by Yoshiyasu Hamamura.  Podcast:  My Criterions.   Yasujiro Ozu at the very top of his form, displaying his understanding of…

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Early Spring (1956)

YASUJIRO OZU Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB Original title:  Soshun Japan, 1956.  Shôchiku Eiga.  Screenplay by Yasujiro Ozu, Kogo Noda.  Cinematography by Yuharu Atsuta.  Produced by Shizuo Yamanouchi.  Music by Takanobu Saito.  Production Design by Tatsuo Hamada.  Costume Design by Yuji Nagashima.   Film Editing by Yoshiyasu Hamamura.   A newly hired salary man in 1950s Tokyo becomes quickly disillusioned with both working and married…

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An Autumn Afternoon (1962)

YASUJIRO OZU Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5 Original title:  Sanma No Aji Japan, 1962.  Shochiku Eiga.  Screenplay by Kogo Noda, Yasujiro Ozu.  Cinematography by Yuharu Atsuta.  Produced by Shizuo Yamanouchi.  Music by Takanobu Saito.  Production Design by Minoru Kanekatsu.  Costume Design by Yuji Nagashima.  Film Editing by Yoshiyasu Hamamura.   Yasujiro Ozu’s final film is a thing of beauty. Gorgeously shot in bright colours, it…

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Good Morning (1959)

YASUJIRO OZU Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5 Original title:  Ohayo Japan, 1959.  Shôchiku Eiga.  Screenplay by Kogo Noda, Yasujiro Ozu.  Cinematography by Yuharu Atsuta.  Produced by Shizuo Yamanouchi.  Music by Toshiro Mayuzumi.  Production Design by Tatsuo Hamada.  Film Editing by Yoshiyasu Hamamura.   Yasujiro Ozu remakes his delightful silent film I Was Born, But… with equally adorable results. Once again it revolves around the antics…

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Samurai II: Duel At Ichijoji Temple (1955)

HIROSHI INAGAKI Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBBB Original title:  Zoku Miyamoto Musashi: Ichijoji No Kettoo Japan, 1955.  Toho Company.  Screenplay by Hiroshi Inagaki, Tokuhei Wakao, based on the play by Hideji Hojo, from the novel by Eiji Yoshikawa. Cinematography by Jun Yasumoto.  Produced by Kazuo Takimura.  Music by Ikuma Dan.  Production Design by Kisaku Ito.  Film Editing by Eiji Ooi.  Podcast:  My…

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Kill (1968)

KIHACHI OKAMOTO Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB Original title:  Kiru Japan, 1968.  Toho Company.  Screenplay by Kihachi Okamoto, Akira Murao, based on the novel Torideyama no Jushichi Nichi by Shugoro Yamamoto.  Cinematography by Rokuro Nishigaki. Produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka.    Music by Masaru Sato.  Production Design by Hiroyasu Tsutsumi.   Film Editing by Yoshitami Kuroiwa.   Tatsuya Nakadai and his buddy Etsushi Takahashi arrive at a…

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Red Beard (1965)

AKIRA KUROSAWA Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBBB.  Original title:  Akahige Japan, 1965.  Kurosawa Production Co., Toho Company.  Screenplay by Akira Kurosawa, Hideo Oguni, Ryuzo Kikushima, Masato Ide, based on the novel Akahige shinryo Tan by Shugoro Yamamoto.  Cinematography by Asakazu Nakai, Takao Saito.  Produced by Ryuzo Kikushima, Tomoyuki Tanaka.  Music by Masaru Sato.  Production Design by Yoshiro Muraki.  Costume Design by Yoshiko Samejima.  Film Editing…

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High And Low (1963)

AKIRA KUROSAWA Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBBB.  Original title:  Tengoku to Jigoku Japan, 1963.  Kurosawa Production Co., Toho Company.  Screenplay by Akira Kurosawa, Hideo Oguni, Ryuzo Kikushima, Eijiro Hisaita, based on the novel Kingu no Minoshirokin by Evan Hunter.  Cinematography by Asakazu Nakai, Takao Saito.  Produced by Ryuzo Kikushima, Tomoyuki Tanaka.  Music by Masaru Sato.  Production Design by Yoshiro Muraki.  Costume Design by…

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Yojimbo (1961)

AKIRA KUROSAWA Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.5.  Japan, 1961.  Kurosawa Production Co., Toho Company.  Story by Akira Kurosawa, Screenplay by Akira Kurosawa, Ryuzo Kikushima.  Cinematography by Kazuo Miyagawa.  Produced by Akira Kurosawa.  Music by Masaru Sato.  Production Design by Yoshiro Muraki.  Costume Design by Yoshiro Muraki.  Film Editing by Akira Kurosawa.   Akira Kurosawa was inspired primarily by American westerns when he wrote and…

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The Lower Depths (1957)

AKIRA KUROSAWA Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  Original title:  Donzoko Japan, 1957.  Toho Company.  Screenplay by Akira Kurosawa, Hideo Oguni, based on the play by Maxim Gorky.  Cinematography by Kazuo Yamasaki.  Produced by Akira Kurosawa. Music by Masaru Sato.  Production Design by Yoshiro Muraki.  Costume Design by Yoshiko Samejima.  Film Editing by Akira Kurosawa. Kurosawa’s great admiration for the theatre and for…

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I Live In Fear: Record Of A Living Being (1955)

AKIRA KUROSAWA Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  Original title:  Ikimono No Kiroku Japan, 1955.  Toho Company.  Story by Akira Kurosawa, Fumio Hayasaka, Screenplay by Shinobu Hashimoto, Hideo Oguni.  Cinematography by Asakazu Nakai.  Produced by Sojiro Motoki.  Music by Masaru Sato.  Production Design by Yoshiro Muraki.  Costume Design by Miyuki Suzuki.  Film Editing by Chozo Kobata.   Toshirô Mifune dons age makeup to play the…

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