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Rashomon
Part of the Series: The Criterion Japanese Collection Vol. 1
A riveting psychological thriller that investigates the nature of truth and the meaning of justice, Rashomon is widely considered one of the greatest films ever made. Four people give different accounts of a man's murder and the rape of his…
Seven Samurai
One of the most thrilling movie epics of all time, Seven Samurai (Shichinin no samurai) tells the story of a sixteenth-century village whose desperate inhabitants hire the eponymous warriors to protect them from invading bandits. This three-hour ride from Akira…
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In the Realm of the Senses
Still censored in its own country, In the Realm of the Senses (Ai no corrida), by Japanese director Nagisa Oshima, remains one of the most controversial films of all time. A graphic portrayal of insatiable sexual desire, Oshima's film, set…
Yojimbo
Part of the Series: The Criterion Japanese Collection Vol. 2
The incomparable Toshiro Mifune stars in Akira Kurosawa's visually stunning and darkly comic Yojimbo. To rid a terror-stricken village of corruption, wily masterless samurai Sanjuro turns a range war between two evil clans to his own advantage. Remade twice, by…
Tokyo Drifter
In this jazzy gangster film, reformed killer Tetsu's attempt to go straight is thwarted when his former cohorts call him back to Tokyo to help battle a rival gang. Director Seijun Suzuki's onslaught of stylized violence and trippy colors is…
Mystery Train
Part of the Series: Criterion American Independents Collection
Aloof teenage Japanese tourists, a frazzled Italian widow, and a disgruntled British immigrant all converge in the city of dreams--which, in Mystery Train,from Jim Jarmusch, is Memphis. Made with its director's customary precision and wit, this triptych of stories pays…
Tokyo Fiancée
Based on Amelie Nothomb's bestselling novel, Tokyo Fiancee is an entertaining romantic comedy that will appeal to fans of Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Amelie and Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation. The young, pixie-like Amelie is in love with all things Japanese, which…
Ugetsu
Part of the Series: The Criterion Japanese Collection Vol. 1
"Quite simply one of the greatest of filmmakers," said Jean-Luc Godard of Kenji Mizoguchi. And Ugetsu, a ghost story like no other, is surely the Japanese director's supreme achievement. Derived from stories by Akinari Ueda and Guy de Maupassant, this…
Throne of Blood
Part of the Series: The Criterion Japanese Collection Vol. 1
A vivid, visceral Macbeth adaptation, Throne of Blood, directed by Akira Kurosawa, sets Shakespeare's definitive tale of ambition and duplicity in a ghostly, fog-enshrouded landscape in feudal Japan. As a hardened warrior who rises savagely to power, Toshiro Mifune gives…
Ikiru
Part of the Series: The Criterion Japanese Collection Vol. 1
Considered by some to be Akira Kurosawa's greatest achievement, Ikirupresents the director at his most compassionate--affirming life through an exploration of a man's death. Takashi Shimura portrays Kanji Watanabe, an aging bureaucrat with stomach cancer forced to strip the veneer…
The Hidden Fortress
Part of the Series: The Criterion Japanese Collection Vol. 2
A grand-scale adventure as only Akira Kurosawa could make one, The Hidden Fortress stars the inimitable Toshiro Mifune as a general charged with guarding his defeated clan's princess (a fierce Misa Uehara) as the two smuggle royal treasure across hostile…
Audition
This disturbing Japanese thriller follows Aoyama (Ryo Ishibashi), a widower who decides to start dating again. Aided by a film-producer friend (Jun Kunimura), Aoyama uses auditions for a fake production to function as a dating service. When Aoyama becomes intrigued…
Harakiri
Part of the Series: The Criterion Japanese Collection Vol. 1
Following the collapse of his clan, an unemployed samurai (Tatsuya Nakadai) arrives at the manor of Lord Iyi, begging to be allowed to commit ritual suicide on the property. Iyi's clansmen, believing the desperate ronin is merely angling for a…
Shady - Kashikoi inu wa hoezuni warau
Winner of the Entertainment Award at the PIA Film Festival, Ryohei Watanabe's acclaimed debut film tells the tale of a dark relationship between two very different girls. Misa Kumada, known as 'Pooh,' is lonely and unpopular at school, and from…
Fly Me to Minami - Koi suru minami
This intimate and touching tale of two intersecting, international love affairs in Osaka is both dramatic and comic. When busy fashion editor Sherine loses her photographer just before a big holiday photo-shoot in Osaka's fashionable Minami shopping district, she hires…
Lady Vengeance
After being wrongfully convicted of kidnapping and murdering a young child, a beautiful young woman (Lee Young-ae) is imprisoned for 13 years and forced to give up her own daughter. While in prison she gains the respect and loyalty of…
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
Part of the Series: Criterion Art Cinema of the 1980s & 1990s Collection
Paul Schrader's visually stunning, collagelike portrait of acclaimed Japanese author and playwright Yukio Mishima (played by Ken Ogata) investigates the inner turmoil and contradictions of a man who attempted an impossible harmony between self, art, and society. Taking place on…
An Autumn Afternoon
Part of the Series: The Criterion Japanese Collection Vol. 2
Yasujiro Ozu's final film was also his final masterpiece, the gently heartbreaking story of a man's dignified resignation to both life's ever-shifting currents and society's gradual modernization. Though widower Shuhei Hirayama (Ozu's frequent leading man Chishu Ryu) has been living…
Sanjuro
Part of the Series: The Criterion Japanese Collection Vol. 2
Toshiro Mifune swaggers and snarls to brilliant comic effect in Akira Kurosawa's tightly paced, beautifully composed Sanjuro. In this sly companion piece to Yojimbo, jaded samurai Sanjuro helps an idealistic group of young warriors weed out their clan's evil influences,…
Stray Dog
A bad day gets worse for young detective Murakami when a pickpocket steals his gun on a hot, crowded bus. Desperate to right the wrong, he goes undercover, scavenging Tokyo's sweltering streets for the stray dog whose desperation has led…