Till We Meet Again / Mata au hi made (1950)

    The mythology surrounding Till We Meet Again has given it a reputation it doesn't deserve. In film studies, it is forever known as the movie that changed the course of film history by not being sent to the Venice Film Festival in 1950. It was replaced by Rashomon,* which made the worldwide recognition … Continue reading Till We Meet Again / Mata au hi made (1950)

Singing Lovebirds / Oshidori utagassen (1939)

A local lord who wants a merchant's daughter. A father so deeply in debt that he is prepared to sell his daughter to pay off his loans. A ronin down on his luck. It's a situation we have seen hundreds of times in chanbara films. But instead of a tale of treachery and sword-play, Oshidori … Continue reading Singing Lovebirds / Oshidori utagassen (1939)

13 Assassins / Jusan-nin no shikaku (1963)

Like most Americans, I first heard of Eiichi Kudo’s 13 Assassins when Takashi Miike’s remake appeared in 2010. I expected a somewhat stodgy low-budget exploitation film, something like Inglorious Bastards, and looked at the DVD primarily out of curiosity. After all, not even Patrick Galloway had bothered with it in his two books,¹ and no … Continue reading 13 Assassins / Jusan-nin no shikaku (1963)

Scandal (1950)

Kurosawa's Scandal provides our earliest glimpse of the Japanese celebrity press, which seems to have been dominated by what we learned to call paparazzi after La Dolce Vita.  But probably the most striking aspect of the film is its association of the motorcycle with freedom, modernity, and an anti-social outlook, long before The Wild One … Continue reading Scandal (1950)