It’s Tough Being a Man* / Tora-san – Our Lovable Tramp / Otoko wa tsurai yo (1969)

Most Americans who become interested in Japanese movies are first attracted to the exoticism of the jidai-geki or the energy and violence of the yakuza movies, so it is easy to forget that there was a large world of movies about modern life being made at the same time. The shomin-geki did not die in … Continue reading It’s Tough Being a Man* / Tora-san – Our Lovable Tramp / Otoko wa tsurai yo (1969)

Prison Break / Musho yaburi (1969)

While the hero does at one point break out of prison, Prison Break is something of a misleading title. We follow Furuta down the street and into a room where men are drinking together and know he is up to no good since he doesn’t even take off his sandals. He proceeds to stab the … Continue reading Prison Break / Musho yaburi (1969)

Diary of a Shinjuku Thief / Shinjuku dorobo nikki (1969)

Ah, the Sixties! Oshima had been the fount of the Japanese “New Wave,” often developing his techniques before the French, and in Diary of a Shinjuku Thief, he out-Godards Godard. The movie is a mix of Godard’s quasi-documentary approaches, most obviously the use of inter-titles to separate his sections, in this case clocks and international … Continue reading Diary of a Shinjuku Thief / Shinjuku dorobo nikki (1969)