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Female Slave Ship
[Onna Dorei-sen]

Genre: War Hero Despite Defeat

review in one breath

The year is 1945, months prior to Japan's ultimate defeat in WW2, and military lieutenant Sugawa is sent on a critical mission to deliver micro-fiche war plans to Tokyo from his base in Malaysia. But while flying over Chinese waters his plane is shot down and he is taken aboard a ship bound for Shanghai to deliver its merchandise - a ship filled with Female Slaves kidnapped from Japan. Will he abandon the women to pursue his main objective? Or will he fight foes, spies and pirates to save these women against all odds?



Patriotism
[Yukoku / The Rite of Love and Death ]

Genre: Minimalist Depiction of Mishima's "Patriotic" Ideology

review in one breath

Directed, produced and acted by the infamous writer/political idealogue Yukio Mishima, this short, minimalist and stark film offers an unflinching depiction of Mishima's personal and political ideology. Filmed just four years prior to his suicide, the undeniable similarity between this film's narrative and Mishima's own personal demise caused the film to be "destroyed" at his wife's request shortly thereafter. In 2005, following his widow's death, the film was re-released. It is nothing short of fascinating, particularly for those familiar with the political views and death of Mishima.



Fighting Elegy
[Kenka Ereji]

Genre: Quasi-historical Action [Showa Era: 1926-1989]

review in one breath

The early trilogy of movies by Director Seijun Suzuki, of which this movie is the last, examines the impact and ludicrousness of the forces leading to war. Fighting Elegy follows the life of Kiroku, a junior high student in 1935 rural Japan, through a series of over-the-top humorous brawls. Under the instruction of master brawler "Turtle", Kiroku undertakes a rigorous training which involves mastery of several fighting techniques and an austere abstinence from mingling with the opposite sex. Unfortunately for Kiroku, he resides in a boarding house along with the young and beautiful Michiko, who sends Kiroku's raging libido off the deep end. To battle his urges (and sudden, ill-timed erections) Kiroku throws himself all the more fervently into his scuffles.



Inugamike no Ichizoku
[The Inugami Family]

Genre: Early Showa-Era Crime Mystery

review in one breath

When a powerful patriarch demands that the heir to his inheritance be decided in a competition amongst his three grandsons, a nervous lawyer promptly calls on the help of renowned and eccentric detective Kindaichi Kosuke. But no sooner does Kindaichi arrive than the strange series of murders commences. This is renowned director Kon Ichikawa's 2006 remake of his own earlier 1976 film, retelling the classic crime mystery originally penned by author Yokomizo Seishi.



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