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Your Favourite Japanese Films?

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07-20-11, 12:43 AM

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some of my favorites

ichi the killer
battle royale
throne of blood
13 assassins
taiyou no uta
kamikazee girls
brother
 
07-23-11, 4:09 AM

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Of course I love Kurosawa, my favorites being High and Low and Rashomon, I'd say.
I'm also a huge Kon fan, and I think his best film is Perfect Blue.
House has a special place in my heart as the first date I ever went on (he hated it, I loved it).
I like Ozu too, my favorite of his being Early Summer

And man, Godzilla and Mothra and all those other ones. How could you not love them?

And yeah.
I feel like such a dork because I haven't seen as many movies as you guys have, but hopefully I'll be more well versed one day.
 
02-26-12, 2:54 AM

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As cliche as this choice most likely is, Seven Samurai. Short and sweet, it's a masterpiece.

I'm also fond of Twilight Samurai. Very emotional and powerful. I recently watched another one of the director's films called Kabei: our mother. Certainly a good film, but didn't exactly draw me in like Twilight Samurai.

As for animated movies, Millennium Actress will always be my favorite.
 
03-03-12, 2:51 AM

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Favourite Japanese films... hard to say really. I have some really strange tastes. I don't think I have a fav. movie but I'll try and write down some that I liked more.

Harakiri
Ran
Confessions
Ichi the Killer
Audition
Tetsuo:the Iron Man
The Human Condition
Throne of Blood
Paprika
Sword of Doom
If you are a fan of (or simply interested in) Japanese films
then please join the Cinema of Japan club! Thank you (:


 
04-23-12, 4:03 AM

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Ok so I'm probably not going to be adding much here but here are some Japanese movies I like in no particular order to add to the list that everyone else has already mentioned with a few repeats.

Live Action films

NANA (film)
The Taste of Tea
Party 7
Red Beard
Ikiru
Pulse
Woman in the Dunes
Nobody Knows
Maborosi
Honey and Clover (film)
Fireworks
Vibrator
Noriko's Dinner Table
Strange Circus
Neighbor No.13
Gozu
Onibaba
Hanzo the Razor: the snare
Story of a Prostitute
Woman Ascends the Stairs

Looking forward to Shion Sono's new movie Himizu getting an English release eventually too. ANN rumors to it be opening in theaters in England soon. No word on when it will be traveling to the states. :(

Animated movies

Akira
Grave of the Fireflies
Barefoot Gen
Ghost in the Shell
Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence
Patlabor 2
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
Whispers of the Heart
Howl's Moving Castle
Spirited Away
Mind Game
Millennium Actress
Legend of the Galactic Heroes: My Conquest Is the Sea of Stars



Modified by Orion1, 04-23-12, 4:18 AM
 
04-28-12, 11:52 PM

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My fav Japanese director is Ozu, I've seen 21 of his films. I also love Naruse, Mizoguchi, Hiroshi Shimizu, and Koreeda. Some of the more contemporary Japanese films I loved include Cafe Lumiere and Linda Linda Linda.
 
05-18-12, 4:00 PM

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Well, 1st would be The Seven Samurai, then Juon 1, and The Hidden Fortress. For animated, it would be as per my movie list on my profile page.
Edit: I forgot 1980 film The Girl Who Leapt Through Time.
 
05-20-12, 3:15 AM

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What's with everyone and Seven Samurai?
If you are a fan of (or simply interested in) Japanese films
then please join the Cinema of Japan club! Thank you (:


 
05-20-12, 7:17 AM

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bloodlover said:
What's with everyone and Seven Samurai?

It's simply one of the finest films EVER made!!!
 
05-20-12, 11:24 AM

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And you are saying this because...? I hear a lot of people telling me this but they usually can't argue why.

I don't think it's Kurosawa's best movie, best samurai movie or nowhere near "finest film ever made".
If you are a fan of (or simply interested in) Japanese films
then please join the Cinema of Japan club! Thank you (:


 
05-20-12, 11:46 AM

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bloodlover said:
And you are saying this because...? I hear a lot of people telling me this but they usually can't argue why.

I don't think it's Kurosawa's best movie, best samurai movie or nowhere near "finest film ever made".
`
To each his own.....I choose not to get into a big argument about it. Those in the know, mainly Film Industry insiders have continuously named it one of the 10 best ever made....and that has been going on for nearly 60 years. It has spawned numerous remakes in various countries. The Magnificent Seven was and exact copy but done in a western style. Imitation is the best form of acknowledging a masterful work.
 
05-20-12, 1:43 PM

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I know why it's acclaimed but I wanted your personal opinion. Everyone with just a little knowledge in movies (and I don;t mean the randoms that think Transformers was epic) heard of Seven Samurai or Kurosawa but they don't know about the rest of his movies or other great Japanese directors. They just follow the reviews and general opinion and take that for granted.

And The Magnificent Seven was a junk movie.
If you are a fan of (or simply interested in) Japanese films
then please join the Cinema of Japan club! Thank you (:


 
05-20-12, 1:51 PM

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bloodlover said:
And you are saying this because...? I hear a lot of people telling me this but they usually can't argue why.

I don't think it's Kurosawa's best movie, best samurai movie or nowhere near "finest film ever made".


i fully agrre with you here
my 11 main things i rate on

1 Impact on Impact on industry both the anime and Original Manga had
2 TV Ratings in Japan [ Gross for movies Unit sales for OVAs 3 Manga Ka of the Sourcework
4 how loyal the anime stayed to its source how well the compare to other big name in its genre
5 Seiyuu casting [ how many i know by voice i use the royal I here ]
6 Impact on General Pop Culture in Japan and the West 7 Impact on Otaku Culture in Japan and the West
8 Music[ Instrumentation]
9 merchandise sales
10 art style 11 Studio who produced the anime[ and what thay have done for the industry]





 
05-20-12, 2:36 PM

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Actually, I like a couple of Kurosawa's films better than The Seven Samurai....Yojimbo, Sanjuro and the excellent The Hidden Fortress.
 
05-22-12, 12:29 PM

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Kurosawa is pretty bad with actors. I prefer Naruse, Ozu, Shimizu, and Mizoguchi over his work.
 
05-23-12, 8:18 AM

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I've only seen 11 Akira Kurosawa movies. But of those my favorite one is Red Beard second probably being Ikiru. I still really enjoy Seven Samurai though. Does if have a lot of acclaim? Sure it does, and for some good reason, it's the archetype for many samurai films, spaghetti westerns and the all so familiar action films that propagate throughout our theaters today. I guess the reason it's so hard to answer the question as to why it's so acclaimed is because so much of what kurosawa did so long ago, is now done better by others who have studied his work and improved upon his original action formula. Today I suppose his work is basically just mediocre compared to other contemporary film makers. Ironic that someone mentioned Transformers, considering Michael Bay is certainly one of those action directors that owe a debt of gratitude to Kurosawa. I suppose it's one of the factors that makes him so loved in the West and criticized at the time it was created in Japan. It also seems like something that Kurosawa himself appears to have struggled in his later movies to change? I'm not so sure about this, but as admitted I haven't seen a lot of his work.

@Roughan:

Care to explain what you mean by Kurosawa is bad with actors? Was he abusive or something, or just didn't give a lot of direction. Ridley Scott is another director who doesn't like to give actors too much direction, rather he prefers to hire good actors. But of course here we go again, because I suppose Scott could also be compared with Kurosawa for his love of action film making. Either way I suppose it really doesn't matter, but I can see how it's annoying to see westerns always proclaiming Kurosawa as the greatest. He certainly is the creator of some great films and I think that Seven Samurai is one of them. My personal favorite character in the film? The Drunkard of course!
 
05-23-12, 12:26 PM

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I think it's safe to say that Kurosawa is placed on a pedestal because he is Japanese cinema's representative in the West (although maybe not so much now). He breaks through cultural barriers because his stories of loyalty, war, and betrayal are accessible and relatable to a wide range of audiences. Directors such as Ozu, Naruse, etc. don't get as much credit because many of their films focus on cultural sensibilities that can't be translated and understood through cinema alone.

Regardless, Kurosawa was still a master. He utilized every frame to its maximum potential and was a great storyteller. However, Seven Samurai, although an enjoyable film, never stood out to me as the holy grail of Japanese cinema. I prefer Yojimbo and Sanjuro. One of my favorites however is Dreams. It's one of the few films in which he breaks the cinematic conventions he helped reinforce throughout his career. The result is a hypnotic and unforgettable collection of short stories.
Modified by BluntZ, 05-23-12, 12:32 PM

Movie of the Week
Humanity and Paper Balloons
( Sadao Yamanaka, 1937 )



If you are a fan of (or simply interested in) Japanese films
then please join the Cinema of Japan
club! Thank you (:

 
05-23-12, 1:09 PM

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BluntZ said:
I think it's safe to say that Kurosawa is placed on a pedestal because he is Japanese cinema's representative in the West (although maybe not so much now). He breaks through cultural barriers because his stories of loyalty, war, and betrayal are accessible and relatable to a wide range of audiences. Directors such as Ozu, Naruse, etc. don't get as much credit because many of their films focus on cultural sensibilities that can't be translated and understood through cinema alone.

Regardless, Kurosawa was still a master. He utilized every frame to its maximum potential and was a great storyteller. However, Seven Samurai, although an enjoyable film, never stood out to me as the holy grail of Japanese cinema. I prefer Yojimbo and Sanjuro. One of my favorites however is Dreams. It's one of the few films in which he breaks the cinematic conventions he helped reinforce throughout his career. The result is a hypnotic and unforgettable collection of short stories.

I forgot about Dreams....It was an experience, surreal at times. I'll have to run it down and watch it again.
 
05-24-12, 7:59 PM

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I mean that Kurosawa was not very good at getting good/appropriate performances out of his actors. Shimura's performance in Ikiru and Mifune's in Rashomon were awful and over the top. I also didn't like Nakadai's performance in Ran.

As for abusive, I've read that Mizoguchi was quite abusive and domineering toward his actors. Ozu re-shot the same scenes over and over again until he got just the right performances. Naruse on the other hand hardly gave his actors directions at all. Yet they all elicited excellent performances out of their actors.
 
09-01-12, 8:55 PM

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bloodlover said:
I know why it's acclaimed but I wanted your personal opinion. Everyone with just a little knowledge in movies (and I don;t mean the randoms that think Transformers was epic) heard of Seven Samurai or Kurosawa but they don't know about the rest of his movies or other great Japanese directors. They just follow the reviews and general opinion and take that for granted.

And The Magnificent Seven was a junk movie.


I have seen most of Kurosawa's films as well as many, many other Japanese director's works and I would definitely agree that Seven Samurai is a fantastic film. It's not only well made but it is (that is to say "I found it to be") HUGELY entertaining. But I'm just one cinephile.
 
09-01-12, 9:36 PM

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I am so happy to find this group! Since we seem to be listing favourites I will give some of mine. I am keeping the list strictly Japanese and not including those corresponding to anime or manga in some way in order to keep the list "smaller."

Ikiru
Tokyo Story - actually I love of Ozu's films, but this one and Late Spring have special places in my heart
Late Spring
Okuribito (Departures)
The Taste of Tea
Sasameyuki (The Makioka Sisters)
Kwaidan (怪談 a.k.a. Kaidan)

Onna ga Kaidan o Agaru (When a Woman Ascends the Stairs) (I also love Sound of the Mountain (Yama no oto, 1954), Late Chrysanthemums, Floating Clouds, but this is my favourite of Naruse Mikio's directorial works).

The Munekata Sisters
Koibumi (Love Letter) directed by Kinuyo Tanaka
Ugetsu Monogatari
Akira Kurosawa's Dreams
Tampopo
Kamikaze Girls (was so excited to see this was the feature film this week!)
The Idiot
The Taste of Green Tea Over Rice
Suna no onna (Woman in the Dunes)
Hourou-ki (A Wanderer's Notebook)
Battle Royale
Audition
Wagahai wa neko de aru (I Am a Cat)
Gion no Shimai (Sisters of the Gion) / Osaka Elegy
Toge no Uta (Song of the Mountain Pass)
Musashino-Fujin (The Lady of Musashino)
Sanshō-dayū (Sansho the Bailiff)
Arashi (Hiroshi Inagaki)
Onibaba (Kaneto Shindo)
In the Realm of the Senses

OK, OK - There are a ton more, but this list is getting ridiculously long so I will stop there. I would like to say, though, that all of Ichikawa Kon's literary adaptations SHOULD have been on this list and that there are only a few Japanese works from the "Japanese Golden Era" that I don't marvel at. *sigh* Oh to have been in the film industry at this time!
 
09-01-12, 9:46 PM

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Touka said:
You would pick Paprika out of all of Satoshi Kon's films? Thats interesting. Paprika was definitely a visual feast with quite an intricate story. I'd personally say Millennium Actress is my favourite of his though. It was the first film of his I saw and it was done in such an interesting way I instantly fell in love with it. I'd also probably put Tokyo Godfathers before Paprika simply because of how enjoyable it is. I'll never get bored of that film.

Also, while we're on the topic of Satoshi Kon... I love how he incorporates elements of filmmaking into a lot of his films and often disaplays his obsession with the art on screen. Perfect Blue focuses on an actress and a film production, Millennium Actress also focuses on an actress and Satoshi Kon explains her life through the films she made and in Paprika the main character is a film enthusiast and a little bit of a filmmaker himself. Good stuff! :D


Personally, my favourite Satoshi Kon films are Tokyo Godfathers and Millennium Actress, because I preferred the stories and direction of those better than Paprika. And also because I am a HUGE Hara Setsuko fan and she was a major influence for the main character.
 
09-01-12, 10:10 PM

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gokudo21 said:
Hmm since I suck at explaining things I would say that everyone has his own sense of good and bad regarding an anime or a movie ,So I liked princess mononoke because of the story and maybe because it's the first anime I bought.The thing regarding Howl's Moving Castle I don't think it's bad it's actually good as the rest of Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli movies.


As for Miyazaki's work my personal favourite is Spirited Away because I love the folklore that is so richly a part of that work. However my other favourites DO include My Neighbor Totoro, Mononoke Hime, and Howl's Moving Castle.

The draw to Miyazaki for me is how much he enjoys playing with and breaking barriers and stereotypes, particularly emtional ones. Mononoke Hime, for example, was one of the first films I ever witnessed that had not one but two "women/females" in major positions of power. Of course there is the obvious leader in [Lady] Eboshi-sama, who has the added appeal of being the target of an argument on "what really constitutes a villain?", but then we see in a position of equal power but less spotlight, the god Moro. And then, of course, there is also [Princess] Mononoke Hime herself, who although not in a direct position of power has great power in the story nonetheless as she represents the meeting of two worlds. Mostly though I loved that this was a film that explored motivations and personal humanity.

This quality is also true for Howl's Moving Castle, except in this film Miyazaki explores emotional stereotyping and personal catharsis for age instead of sex. Each film has its own exploration, but this is one of his strongest in terms of visual representations and what they say (i.e. Sophie as a girl vs. Sophie as an elderly woman or Markl's transitions between being a child and disguising himself as an old man). And then there is the whole story between Howl and Calcifer and all the allegorical issues involved with vanity and humanity! I mean he just packs SO much into this film! *happy sigh*

I could honestly talk about this film for HOURS and still be willing to discuss it, but the barest bones of it is that his films, for me, are about resolution of Self and that is a topic that I find endlessly fascinating so I find great solace in the work.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*

I am curious about why you find the story lopsided, Touka - was there something in particular that makes you say that or just the overall feel of it?
Modified by starshinesMonet, 09-02-12, 1:08 PM
 
09-01-12, 10:24 PM

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Welcome to the club starshinesMonet! I'm surprised to see In the Realm of the Senses on your list! Every time I try to watch that I end up feeling very troubled and have to stop. I'll have to check out Ichikawa Kon's films. I see he adapted Soseki's I Am a Cat and Tanizaki's The Makioka Sisters. Love those novels.

As for Paprika, I think Kon did an amazing job adapting Tsutsui Yasutaka's novel. The film is just snapshots of the book but the characters come across flawlessly and the scope is remarkable for a 90 minute film. Really all of Kon's work is exceptional though.

Also, if you would like, please nominate your favorites for the Movie of the Week.
http://myanimelist.net/forum/?topicid=484531

Movie of the Week
Humanity and Paper Balloons
( Sadao Yamanaka, 1937 )



If you are a fan of (or simply interested in) Japanese films
then please join the Cinema of Japan
club! Thank you (:

 
09-02-12, 12:47 PM

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BluntZ said:
Welcome to the club starshinesMonet! I'm surprised to see In the Realm of the Senses on your list! Every time I try to watch that I end up feeling very troubled and have to stop. I'll have to check out Ichikawa Kon's films. I see he adapted Soseki's I Am a Cat and Tanizaki's The Makioka Sisters. Love those novels.

As for Paprika, I think Kon did an amazing job adapting Tsutsui Yasutaka's novel. The film is just snapshots of the book but the characters come across flawlessly and the scope is remarkable for a 90 minute film. Really all of Kon's work is exceptional though.

Also, if you would like, please nominate your favorites for the Movie of the Week.
http://myanimelist.net/forum/?topicid=484531


Thank you, Blunz! :)

Honestly, "favourite" might actually be a bit of an overstatement for my feelings of In the Realm of the Senses . Perhaps saying that it leaves a huge impression on me would be more accurate, which is in a way how I sometimes acquaint the idea of a "favourite," but certainly NOT in the same category as, say, Tokyo Story or a Miyazaki film (*cough* Howl *ahem*) which I can watch over and over again with great relish.

If you like Japanese literature (as I do*), I suspect you will enjoy Ichikawa Kon immensely. He did a fantastic job with both films, but I think most of us agree that The Makioka Sisters holds a pretty special space. Oddly it was Kôji Ishizaka in the role of Teinosuke (Sachiko's husband) that I was particularly impressed by, even though he is surrounded by great performances (many of which could be argued as being "better").

I did not realize that Paprika was an adaptation. I feel foolish to have missed it and shall rectify this immediately! Honestly, it wasn't my intention to invalidate Paprika, but merely stating a personal preference. While I could not say that there is nothing exactly like it, it gave me the impression that I have seen stories with similar ideas or structures before. Whereas in Tokyo Godfathers, I've never seen anything like it in Western or Japanese cinema before and was therefore more interested in the story. Plus it is just so entertaining, isn't it? As for Millennium Actress, it actually took more than one viewing for it to receive such high praise in my view and honestly I was far more impressed with Paprika when I first saw it than with this film (which is a little sad in a way, for me). But, as I said before I am a great admirer of Setsuko Hara and once I had read that she was the major influence for the role I was completely smitten.

OK, I am on my way to nominate! Je ne. ^_^

*Like in this case is an understatement. "Cherish" would be the accurate term to use. ^_^
 
10-22-12, 5:16 AM

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These are my favourites currently, roughly ordered (no anime)

1. Moving
2. Pastoral: To die in the Country
3. House
4. Sleeping Man
5. Grass Labyrinth
6. The Ballad of Narayama
7. A Page of Madness
8. Harakiri
9. Eureka
10. Nanami: The Inferno of First Love
11. Sansho the Bailiff
12. Typhoon Club
13. Early Spring
14. Woman of the Lake
15. Ugetsu
16. The Crucified Lovers
17. Silence has no Wings
18. Maborosi
19. Blessing Bell
20. Red Beard
 
10-22-12, 11:47 PM

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chumlum said:
These are my favourites currently, roughly ordered (no anime)


That's a pretty interesting new list Chumlum. Our nominations lists for MOTW is missing many of these titles. Perhaps you could start nominating the ones you liked the most. Starting with Moving I suppose. I haven't seen it but I will look into it.

Thanks for the new list to dig our teeth into. Always a pleasure.

Edit: I've already seen off your list. Redbeard, Maborosi, Ugetsu,Woman of the Lake,Sansho the Bailiff,Eureka,Harakiri both versions, and Hausu. That leaves me with 12 new titles to check out! A few were on my saved list at ADC, meaning two.

I'm just going to thank you very much again. It's a great list with a lot of diversity in directors and movies. I can't wait to be able to watch many of them. I'll try to start from the top. :)
Modified by Orion1, 10-23-12, 2:26 AM
 
10-28-12, 9:04 AM

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Definitely check out Moving, it caught me completely off guard.

I don't think I should nominate anything because I don't plan on watching any of the MoTW picks, not because I have anything against them but simply because I have little time and motivation for film viewing right now :-)

This is bound to change at some point and then I might participate in the MoTW here.
 
11-02-12, 12:26 PM

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chumlum! Moving = Ohikkoshi, it took me a little while to put it together but I just realized that I already read the manga. It was great too.I'm really looking forward to watching it now.
 
11-04-12, 2:23 PM

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I just recently watched the epic trilogy Human Condition and am speechless. Masaki Kobayashi might dethrone Kurosawa from my top, and Tatsuya Nakadai dethrone Toshiro Mifune from my top as well. Kobayashi's stance against authority just amazes me, but it obviously don't come down to only that aspect.
 
11-06-12, 12:35 PM

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It's funny Rob, because I just got an e-mail from netflix this morning saying that part two of the Human condition will be here tomorrow along with Marebito? The first movie was amazing, so I'm not sure what to expect from it's next installments. I watched the first film three or four months ago and am just finally returning to the trilogy. Looking forward to it. :)

I'm not really expecting a whole lot from Marebito, not even sure why it was so far up my netflix queue as I wasn't a huge fan of The Grudge. But, we shall have to find out if Takashi Shimizu's work has improved. I guess I bumped it up my list for Halloween but that's done and gone.

I also have Uzumaki at my house right now, because of the same reason. The manga has been nominated in CnC a few times and I've read some interesting things about it. So I am curious to see if the film is as weird as what I've read of the manga.
Modified by Orion1, 11-06-12, 12:44 PM
 
11-12-12, 2:32 PM

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I wouldn't mind watching th Human Trilogy in one go, it's that good. ASnd about that I won't talk more, better wait for you to finish it so we can discuss it later.

I read thre Uzumaki manga, I'm curious to see how they can transfer it to cinema, it's too surreal to not be made without lot's of special effects, but then there are also cases where good directors can acomplish some things without special effects too, but it's strange here. I'll have to watch it as well to take my conclusions.

Now I think I'll watch the movie of the week as well. :)
 
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