Women of the Night (1948, Kenji Mizoguchi)

Here Mizoguchi treads the trails left by the neo-realists and if the result is not a masterpiece (it lacks the sureness and completeness of so many of his best films) it’s still a remarkable and scrappy work of art, a sort of howl of rage and despair so brutal and overpowering that its expresser later … Continue reading Women of the Night (1948, Kenji Mizoguchi)

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Apart from You (1933, Mikio Naruse) /Every-Night Dreams (1933, Mikio Naruse)

Two more silent Mikio Naruse films, both from 1933. Every-Night Dreams is currently the more acclaimed of this pair, perhaps because it’s story and feel is closer to some of the social realist Hollywood films  or melodramas of roughly the same period (albeit while remaining distinctly Japanese). It is a film which attempts to present … Continue reading Apart from You (1933, Mikio Naruse) /Every-Night Dreams (1933, Mikio Naruse)

Ju-On: The Grudge (Takashi Shimizu, 2002)

This is the J-Horror at its most methodical, although it’s not necessarily always grimly methodical. Shimizu is careful and intelligent, constructing a non-linear narrative that at first seems sloppy but reveals itself as quite tight and able to branch out into further unsettling territory with a number of unexplained, inexplicable visions of the future on … Continue reading Ju-On: The Grudge (Takashi Shimizu, 2002)