Rainbow Kids / Dai yukai (1991)

Two petty criminals are met at the prison by a pal who leads them into his plan to kidnap a rich old lady. They are young bumblers but, rather than resisting or escaping, the old lady takes over her own kidnapping to lead us through a twisting but charming comedy written and directed by Kihachi … Continue reading Rainbow Kids / Dai yukai (1991)

Four Days of Snow and Blood / 2.26 (1989)

The attempted military coup in  February 1936 is symptomatic of so many issues in Japanese history that, in a way, it is remarkable how little attention it has been given in Japanese movies. It was one of several examples depicted in Memoirs of Japanese Assassins, but Gosha's 2.26 is the first detailed reconstruction that I … Continue reading Four Days of Snow and Blood / 2.26 (1989)

At This Late Date, the Charleston / Chikagoro naze ka Charusuton (1981)

Even by the eighties, the war had not faded from Japanese consciousness and there was still a great deal of survivor’s guilt, which Okamoto manages to turn into the often hilarious At This Late Date, the Charleston. After an attempted rape, Jiro, the second son of a wealthy family, is thrown into a jail cell … Continue reading At This Late Date, the Charleston / Chikagoro naze ka Charusuton (1981)

Zatoichi Goes to the Fire Festival / Zatoichi abare-himatsuri (1970)

In 1968-69, Shintaro Katsu seemed to be making a major change of direction. He finished both the Bad Reputation and the Hoodlum Soldier series and appeared to be closing down Zatoichi as well. This hardly means Katsu took a break from filming, appearing in half a dozen or so other movies every year. He had … Continue reading Zatoichi Goes to the Fire Festival / Zatoichi abare-himatsuri (1970)