The best Japanese films of the 21st century



“Isle of Dogs” pays homage to classic Japanese cinema, but moviegoers around the world should check out these newer gems as well.

Each week, IndieWire asks a handful of selected film critics two questions and releases the results Monday (The second-to-one answer, “What’s the best movie in theaters right now?” Can be found at the end of this article). .

This past weekend saw the release of Wes Anderson’s “Isle of Dogs,” a film inspired by classic Japanese cinema (though some believe it may have ultimately been more enlightened by his personal worldview. director).

The film is littered with references to revered old masters like Akira Kurosawa, Seijun Suzuki, etc., but moviegoers around the world may be much less familiar with the more recent history of Japanese cinema.

This week’s question: What is the best Japanese film of the 21st century?

Joshua Rothkopf (@joshrothkopf), Time Out New York

“Always walk”

The nourishing adventure of a lifetime of making your way through Ozu, Mizoguchi, Imamura, and Miyazaki (to name just my four favorites) is not to be rushed. But if a person ever wanted a ‘one-stop-shop’ for all that is exquisite in Japanese cinema, I can’t choose a better example than Hirokazu Kore-eda’s 2008 resilient but devastating mourning drama “Still Walking.” . These are essentially all the feelings of the Yokoyama family for 24 hours as they continue to struggle with the torn loss of their son, Junpei, 15 years after his accidental drowning death. The title in the original language of the film better captures the continuum: “Even if you walk and walk”. Sometimes words like closing and catharsis doesn’t really work.

Candice Frederick (@ReelTalker), Freelance for Broadly, Vice, Thrillist

“Like father, like son”

“Like father, like son.” This film, written and directed by Hirokazu Koreeda, took me by surprise. The only premise, about a father who learns that the son he raised was traded at birth with his biological son, is already heartbreaking. Complete that with Masaharu Fukuyama’s portrayal of the father facing the unthinkable decision to abandon the son he loves for the son he has never met, and it’s just overwhelming. “Like Father, Like Son” is such a touching portrayal of fatherhood and family love that has sort of gone under the radar. Make sure you watch this original movie before there’s an American remake. It’s nice.

Christian Blauvelt (@Ctblauvelt), BBC Culture

“Our little sister”

You can really choose any of Hirokazu Kore-eda’s films as “The Best Japanese Film of the 21st Century”. His glimpses of complex family dynamics are always in motion without working hard to touch your heart. But I would choose “Our Little Sister” as the best of the best. Three sisters welcome a much younger half-sister after the death of their father. There is an unresolved pain over their parents’ separation, but Kore-eda doesn’t delve into the stories usually involved in portrayals of “broken families” in American movies – these young women know they have to fend for themselves. , go on with their lives and leave the self-pity behind. Kore-eda is often compared to Ozu for her smooth rhythm and focus on the little moments, but Louisa May Alcott is just as much a point of reference for “Our Little Sister”. I will always cherish the moment when the sisters find a box of their late grandmother’s clothes, open it, dig their noses into the folds of the fabric and say, “It’s grandma’s smell!”

Jordan Hoffman (@JHoffman), freelance for Vanity Fair, The Guardian

“United Red Army”

If there is to be only one, let it be Koji Wakamatsu’s 190-minute United Red Army (2007).

Edward Douglas (@EDouglasWW), The Monitoring Board

“The Hidden Blade”

It’s hard to choose between “The Twilight Samurai” and “The Hidden Blade” by Yoji Yamada, both of which are excellent and topped my end-of-year lists in their respective years. Both take a look at Edo-era Japan in a way that hasn’t really been covered even in the Kurosawa films, but I guess I’ll choose “The Hidden Blade” because it’s one of the best non-Kurosawa samurai movies. (Sadly, “Love and Honor” ended the trilogy on a low note because it wasn’t as good.)

Carlos Aguilar (@Carlos_Film), Independent

Princess Kaguya ("The tale of Princess Kaguya")

“The Tale of Princess Kaguya”

“The Tale of Princess Kaguya.” Most would say that the indisputable gem of Japanese cinema this century came early on with Miyazaki’s “Spirited Away”, and I agree. But in an effort to celebrate another masterpiece, I chose Isao Takahata’s exquisite “The Tale of Princess Kaguya” as a work of almost identical caliber. It took over a decade for Ghibli’s second in command to delve into another animated feature after “My Neighbors the Yamadas,” but the result was a sublime effort with delicate aesthetics but powerful observations. “The Tale of Princess Kaguya” is a meditation on the human condition from the point of view of an innocent and otherworldly being who falls in love with the imperfect existences of humanity and the joy and suffering that surround it. define. It’s also an artistic triumph that delights with exuberant craftsmanship where every pencil stroke comes to life on screen. Takahata did something pastoral, timeless, and epic at the same time in proportion to an emotional depth rarely seen in movies – animated or not.

Richard Brody (@tnyfrontrow), The New Yorker

“Happy Hour”

I don’t think Japanese cinema is in any extraordinary artistic form, at least not based on most of the most advertised films that have been released here, and I wonder if there are any better films made in Japan. which are not shown here. One of the recent Japanese films that I have seen stands out as a truly exhilarating experience: Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s “Happy Hour” from 2015, which I learned to my surprise is his eighth feature in a career. which only started in 2007. (He is now only thirty-nine years old.) Which makes me wonder: where were and are his first films?

Vadim Rizov (@VRizov), Filmmaker Magazine

“Happy Hour”

I am not qualified to answer this question, I am not really a specialist in Japanese cinema. But I would be remiss if I did not miss a chance to drop Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s outstanding 2015 film, “Happy Hour,” a 5+ hour colossus that begins as a low-key humanist drama before slowly transforming under your eyes. eyes into something much stranger. The logic is that this is a drama about five Japanese women describing their friendship, using duration to reinforce the depth of the character, and it’s absolutely true, but there is so much more to it.

David Ehrlich (@davidehrlich), IndieWire

“Linda Linda Linda”

I don’t know if I can legitimately claim that this is a deep masterpiece on par with “Spirited Away”, “Millennium Actress”, “Nobody Knows” or even the criminal sub-view “Air Doll, by Hirokazu. Kore-eda, “but none of those movies make me happier than” Linda Linda Linda “by Nobuhiro Yamashita. Named after the classic Blue Hearts rock song “Linda Linda”, this euphorically entertaining film tells the story of a group of schoolgirls who recruit the new Korean exchange student (Bae Doo-na) to be the singer. principal of their group. It’s so rich, so charismatic, and so eye-catching that you’ll be eager to show it off to all of your friends. Paranmaum forever!

Question: What is the best movie currently in theaters?

Answer: “The death of Stalin”

Register: Stay up to date with the latest movie and TV news! Sign up for our email newsletters here.

Source link


About Author

Leave A Reply