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  • Silence Has No Wings

    Silence Has No Wings

    ★★★★½

    It is shocking that Silence Has No Wings has so few views. As with most Japanese New Wave films, it tackles many social and political issues specific to Japan. There is no shortage of visually engaging and thematically dense films from the Japanese New Wave era, but what makes this one stick out from an impressive collection of films is its form and structure. Kazuo Kuroki opted to go without traditional narrative techniques; instead, he presents the viewer with a…

  • Last Life in the Universe

    Last Life in the Universe

    ★★★★★

    Last Life in the Universe remains one of my favorite films of all time, even after multiple watches. I have revisited it at various points in my life, and it always hits the same. Rarely have I ever felt such a personal connection to the dialogue, characters, and vibes of a film. It is a moody cinema masterpiece.

    Kenji, played by favorite actor Tadanobu Asano, is a lonely, suicidal, obsessive-compulsive librarian. He is also a Japanese man working in Thailand…

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  • Dragon Inn

    Dragon Inn

    ★★★★

    Dragon Inn was a good entry point into wuxia films for me. The plot is simple enough; a group of skilled swordfighters must band together to protect some children from being killed by a corrupt eunuch and his followers. The film dragged at times, but the film had many more admirable qualities than disappointing ones. Colorful characters, beautiful widescreen compositions, and of course, lots of great martial-arts action.

    The actors who played Xiao and Cao both had such great screen…

  • Horse, Woman, Dog

    Horse, Woman, Dog

    ★★

    Well, it delivers on the title. I am struggling to think of much else to say. The commitment from the actors is admirable, sure. There was actually some cool cinematography at times, too. It wasn’t much worse than a lot of other pink films, it’s just grosser. I am glad I was not alone in watching this. Thanks Jack, Beb, and Cormac. Does it get any better than watching a movie like this with your pals?

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  • Seven Samurai

    Seven Samurai

    ★★★★★

    Day #12 of Japanuary!

    Continuing with the theme of watching Japanese films throughout January, I decided to watch another film directed by Akira Kurosawa.

    Seven Samurai is arguably one of the most important films to watch if you are going to consider yourself a true fan of Japanese cinema. I had been putting it off due to the runtime and not being the biggest samurai movie fan, but also because I wanted to watch some of Kurosawa's other films first.…

  • Fireworks

    Fireworks

    ★★★★½

    Day #17 of Japanuary!

    Continuing with the theme of watching Japanese films throughout January, I decided to watch a film directed by Takeshi Kitano.

    Hana-bi is a difficult film to describe. It is equal parts brutal and beautiful. There is no shortage of violence, but all of the destruction is balanced out by a number of scenes that convey many of the other complexities and nuances of human emotions and actions. Every scene felt carefully constructed and meaningful, and I…