Ordered by Year | PSI
The effects of the 9/11 terrorist attacks are told from different points of view around the world. [IMDB]
An impossible tale. Taro, an old man who dies homeless in Tokyo has told Yosuke, a weak-willed out-of-work salaryman about a golden statue that he left years ago in a house by the sea in Noto. Yosuke goes and he's captivated by Saeko, a young women who lives in the house where Taro left the statue. She has a strange affliction: water builds up in her and she can only vent it by wicked acts, such as shoplifting, or, more powerfully, through orgasm... (imdb)
Dr. Akagi, a rural physician in Japan during WWII, wages a one-man crusade against hepetitis, earning him a reputation as "Dr. Liver." But his fanatic campaign brings him into disfavor with the Japanese army, and as the war seems more and more hopeless for the Japanese, Dr. Akagi finds himself increasingly a scapegoat. (imdb)
White-collar worker Yamashita finds out that his wife has a lover visiting her when he's away, suddenly returns home and kills her... (imdb)
Mr and Mrs Shizuma, and their niece Yasuko, make their way through the ruins of Hiroshima, just after the atomic bomb has dropped. Five years later, Yasuko is living with her aunt and uncle, and her senile grandmother, in a village containing many of the bomb survivors. Yasuko does not appear to be affected by the bomb, but the Shizuma's are worried about her marriage prospects, as she could succumb to radiation sickness at any time. (imdb)
The decidedly dicey true tale of Iheiji Muraoka, also known as Zegen, the man who became the most powerful pimp in modern Japanese history, a man who could honestly regard himself as "The Boss of the South Seas." (All Movie Guide)
A comprehensive biography on Japanese film director Yasujiro Ozu.
In a small village in a valley everyone who reaches the age of 70 must leave the village and go to a certain mountain top to die. If anyone should refuse he/she would disgrace their family. Old Orin is 69. This winter it is her turn to go to the mountain. But first she must make sure that her eldest son Tatsuhei finds a wife. (imdb)
Eijanaika is a dramatization of a brief but critical moment in Japanese history when Japan emerges from two centuries of isolationism in the 1860s. This new regime proves more receptive to opening Japan up to trade from the West--particularly America. The story is told through the eyes of a Japanese peasant who has just spent several years in America after being shipwrecked. (All Movie Guide)
Iwao Enokizu is a middle-aged man who has an unexplainable urge to commit insane and violent murders. Eventually he is chased by the police all over Japan, but somehow he always manages to escape. He meets a woman who runs a brothel. They love each other but how long can they be together? (imdb)
KARAYUKI-SAN finds the filmmaker traveling to Malaysia to interview Kikuyo Zendo, one of the countless Japanese women who were kidnapped or otherwise sold into sexual slavery in order to service the Japanese military in Southeast Asia. 74 years old at the time of filming, she offers a frank and harrowing testimony into her horrific wartime experiences, and the factors that have led her to choose exile over repatriation. (KG)
Muhomatsu Returns Home (1973) - TV Movie
Television documentary featuring interviews with Japanese soldiers after the Second World War. (BFI)
The Pirates of Buban (1972) - TV Movie
Imamura reveals remote and impoverished islands in the Philippines to be the home of rival factions of pirates in this absorbing investigation into a little-known way of life. (The Cinefamily)
In '71, Shohei Imamura uncovers an underground network of "rogue" Japanese soldiers who stayed put in Southeast Asia permanently. Was this exile voluntary? Three hardened ex-soldiers in their fifties answer the question over a reunion dinner, semi-nostalgically recounting an unending torrent of battle atrocities committed in the name of "victory". Their resilience is a testament to human will -- and the actions they divulge provide a lifetime of ethical debate. (KG)
In Malaysia, Imamura follows one false lead after another as he tries to locate unreturned Japanese who had given up the culture of their birth to integrate with Malaysian society. These wrong turns take the filmmaker on a tour through the complexities of post-war Malaysia, and allow him the time to air his outrage with the Japanese military's conduct in Southeast Asia, focusing particularly on the 1942 Sook Ching massacre.
This is a documentary film about history of Japan in 1945-1970. The main narrative takes shape through describing events in one woman's unstable personal life. It consists of archive footage of political turmoil, demonstrations and other news flashes on one hand, and material from interviews with her on the other. (imdb)
The Tokyo engineer Kariya arrives on a primitive tropical island to drill a well to provide water for the sugar mill. He is assisted on the island by Kametaro, from the inbred Futori family. Nekichi Futori is chained in a pit that he has to dig, in order to appease the gods for breaking island customs... (imdb)
On the face of it, a documentary about an ordinary man who -- like many Japanese every year --disappears without trace, leaving his job and fiancee behind, Imamura takes the narrative in unexpected directions, causing the viewer to question what is reality and what might be fiction (Wikipedia)
Mr. Ogata lives a complicated life: he's is a pornographer making two skin flicks per day and trying to stay beneath the radar screen of the local mob (imdb)
In detailed fashion, the film investigates the troubled psyche of a dull, uneducated lower-class housewife in a backward northeastern, province. The woman is so stupid that she is scarcely aware of the drabness of her life with a petty, bickering husband and his whining mother, or of her own thwarted sensuality... (IMDB Comments)
Once Tome becomes of a mature age, she leaves home to work at a factory and has an affair with her boss. She later leaves the factory and works as a maid in a Japanese-American household. (imdb comments)
Story of a family living in overwhelming poverty in a small town just outside of Tokyo.
Teen hoodlum Kinta is excited to be given the plum job of supervising the pig pen at the local US base, for which he'll be responsible diverting the food scraps to the black market, and scoring a good income for his yakuza gang. His girlfriend Hiroku earnestly hopes he'll leave the yakuza and get an honest job, but neither is she a paragon of virtue - she is drawn into prostitution and petty thievery. (IMDB Comments)
Four orphaned siblings struggle against the crushing poverty that threatens to separate them. Unfortunately, no one else in the town is in very good economic shape either. Even though the children receive all the sympathy they need and kind offers of whatever food the townspeople have available, it slowly becomes apparent that their efforts to stay together are woefully unrealistic in the face of economic pressures. (All Movie Guide)
On the tenth anniversary of Japan's WWII surrender, a motley group of five, four men and one woman, gathers in the basement of a butcher shop to dig up a cache of morphine buried during the war. A grimly humorous tale of twisted relationships as one by one each of the group is eliminated. This early gangster film foreshadows similar tangled relationships in Shohei Imamura's later films. (imdb)
A rumbunctious and ribald tale of a troupe of travelling actors who alternate highlights of kabuki theatre with strip shows. (imdb)
For his second film, Imamura was assigned by the studio Nikkatsu to direct this vehicle for singer-comedian Frank Nagai. The result is a comedy about a hen-pecked drugstore owner who spends his days reminiscing about a wartime romance in the tropics. (KG)
Comedy about a man stuck in a brothel after he can't pay his bill.
Haruki Murakami (Masayuki Mori), once lionized as a master painter, is now the president of a thriving camera company where his son Keikichi (Tatsuya Mihashi) is also employed as one of the department heads. His daughter Tamako (Izumi Ashikawa) has suffered from a fragile constitution ever since she contracted polio as a little girl, and spends much of the time secluded in her room where she immerses herself in her drawings. (KG)