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
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
Ishiro Honda’s cult classic ‘Gojira’ spawned the Japanese monster-movie movement and bore huge success in both Japan and the U.S.
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.