Love Hotel / Rabu Hoteru (1985)

Though its two critical scenes occur in a hotel room used for sexual assignations, Shinji Somai’s Love Hotel is a love story, though admittedly an odd one. Overwhelmed by debts which lead to the yakuza rape of his wife, Muraki (Minori Terada) tries to jump out a window and is distracted by a fly. He … Continue reading Love Hotel / Rabu Hoteru (1985)

Two Wives / Tsuma futari (1967)

One of the last movies made by Masumura with Ayako Wakao, Two Wives pairs her with Mariko Okada. Born in the same year, gaining their earliest major roles at about the same time, the two were the major faces of the new “women’s picture” that emerged around 1960, but they had never co-starred.* The result … Continue reading Two Wives / Tsuma futari (1967)

Coup d’etat / Martial Law / Kaigenrei (1973)

The coup of 1936 has been the subject of several significant movies. The most straight-forward presentation can be found in Memoirs of Japanese Assassins, with the same coup reflected in the romance of Utage and the teen-age bullies of Fighting Elegy. Yoshida’s Coup d’etat looks at this failed coup through the life of Ikki Kita, … Continue reading Coup d’etat / Martial Law / Kaigenrei (1973)

Throw Away Your Books, Rally in the Streets / Sho o suteyo machi e deyo (1971)

Whatever its title may suggest, Throw Away Your Books is the most intensely “rock ‘n’ roll” movie of the seventies, possibly ever.* Credited to four composers, the sound of rock is everywhere, with the exception of only one section that quotes classical music and an “American” restaurant that plays what sounds like Mae West recordings … Continue reading Throw Away Your Books, Rally in the Streets / Sho o suteyo machi e deyo (1971)