In the Realm of the Senses (1976) – Film Review

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Although usually referenced in context of the still existing art/porn debate in the history of filmmaking, Nagisa Ôshima’s film, instead of being a pornographic melodrama built on shock value, is a journey into culture and character in a self-destructive love story about emotional and sexual obsession set in pre-war Japan. MIGHT CONTAIN SPOILERS

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Kwaidan (1964) – Film Review

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Masaki Kobayashi’s next film after the 1962 samurai drama ‘Seppuku’ (aka ‘Harakiri’) uses the narrative of a horror anthology to tell four separate ghost stories (Kaidan) of haunted people and disturbed spirits. In contrast with ‘Seppuku’ and his epic war trilogy ‘The Human Condition’ Kobayashi’s horror is a colourful, theatrical example of Japanese surrealist expressionism. MIGHT CONTAIN SPOILERS

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A Prelude to The Wind Rises: Miyazaki’s Magical Journeys

Hayao-Miyazaki

Japanese animation’s mercurial magician is without question my cinematic idol. The magnitude of his success is most recently recognised by fellow cartoon titan “The Simpsons”; paying homage to his greatest characters through the guise of Evergreen Terrace. From April, the British Film Institute will launch a ‘Studio Ghibli season’ spanning across two months, recognising the organisation’s glittering back catalogue.

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