The Human Condition Trilogy III: A Soldier’s Prayer (Ningen no jôken)

The Human Condition Trilogy III: A Soldier’s Prayer (Ningen no jôken) Japan (1962) Dir. Masaki Kobayashi “When it’s kill or be killed, you change” At the beginning of this classic anti-war trilogy it was unthinkable that we’d hear such bold words coming from the pacifist protagonist at the centre of it all, a man who … Continue reading The Human Condition Trilogy III: A Soldier’s Prayer (Ningen no jôken)

The Human Condition Trilogy II: Road To Eternity (Ningen no jôken)

The Human Condition Trilogy II: Road To Eternity (Ningen no jôken) Japan (1959) Dir. Masaki Kobayashi This is the second instalment of Masaki Kobayashi’s hugely ambitious but rewarding 10 hour, three film adaptation of Jumpei Gomikawa’s epic six-volume novel The Human Condition, an anti-war story based on the writer’s own army experiences. At the end … Continue reading The Human Condition Trilogy II: Road To Eternity (Ningen no jôken)

The Human Condition Trilogy I: No Greater Love (Ningen no jôken)

The Human Condition Trilogy I: No Greater Love (Ningen no jôken) Japan (1959) Dir. Masaki Kobayashi Quite often in the world of cinema you’ll hear of novels that have been deemed “unfilmable” for a number of reasons, the usual factors being length, the adaptability of the content and the practicalities of the production. In Japan … Continue reading The Human Condition Trilogy I: No Greater Love (Ningen no jôken)

High And Low (Tengoku to jigoku)

High And Low (Tengoku to jigoku) Japan (1963) Dir. Akira Kurosawa With this reputation for samurai flicks and historical epics it is easy to forget that Akira Kurosawa also made some top notch modern day set dramas too. High And Low is a taut crime thriller, a rare genre in Kurosawa’s canon, based on the … Continue reading High And Low (Tengoku to jigoku)

Kwaidan

Kwaidan Japan (1964) Dir. Masaki Kobayashi The J-Horror boom of the late 90’s, spearheaded by the classic Ringu introduced modern cinema fans here in the west to the long black-haired vengeful spirit and the nightmares they engendered among the Japanese populace. While this was a fairly new sensation for us in Asia this has long … Continue reading Kwaidan

Ran

Ran Japan (1985) Dir. Akira Kurosawa For his last major epic film, legendary Japanese director Akira Kurosawa turns to Shakespeare’s King Lear for inspiration in a tale which some scholars say was also somewhat autobiographical. In feudal Japan, Lord Hidetora Ichimonji (Tatsuya Nakadai) announces on the eve of his 70th birthday that he would abdicate … Continue reading Ran