Sunday, August 31, 2008


This film is adapted from a Japanese manga and it is about a girl growing up in a brothel and becoming the top prostitute.

Liked the colorful kimonos and the nice soundtrack! The lead actress, Anna Tsuchiya, was a pretty interesting character too!

Internet Movie Database Link

Saturday, August 30, 2008


This is a follow up to "Broken Blossoms" and it is a documentary about the director's role as a woman, a wife and a mother.

Liked the last segment best as I thought the director's daughter was very cute! It was also interesting to see how a midwife clinic worked!

Broken Blossom

This is a documentary about the impact of the director's miscarriage on her.

Liked the scene where the director talked about her feelings towards the miscarriage! I also learnt a bit more about her during the Q&A session later!

Birth / Mother

This is a documentary about the director's grandmother and how she gave birth to a baby son.

Liked the reality TV style with the extreme close up shots!

Internet Movie Database Link

The Banishment

The story is about what happens when a gangster went to stay in the countryside with his family that consists of his wife, his son and his daughter. Their peaceful lives were disrupted by a bunch of unexpected events.

The countryside scenery was beautiful and the portrayal of the husband-wife relationship was interesting! Didn't quite understand the last bit of the flashback towards the end though so I was not as moved as I thought I would be.

Internet Movie Database Link

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Eternal Breasts

The story is about the life of a female poet who died at an early age due to breast cancer.

The pacing was slow and I thought the story could have been condensed! One thing that puzzled me was the relationship between the poet and the reporter towards the end.

Internet Movie Database Link

Love Letter

The story is about the plight of Japanese women who served the US soldiers during the second World War. After the war, they had to pay someone who knew English to write love letters to their former lovers to ask for money to survive.

Considering that it was a debut effort by Tanaka Kinuyo, it was not too bad! Thought it could be improved by deleting unimportant scenes which did not contribute to the main storyline.

Internet Movie Database Link


This is a documentary about the world of crossword puzzles.

Pretty comprehensive! Learnt a bit about the creators of the puzzles as well as the interesting people who do the puzzles both as a recreation and competitively! Didn't know that Bill Clinton liked to do crossword puzzles too!

Internet Movie Database Link

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Wanderer's Notebook

The story is about how a woman called Fumiko struggles to survive and eventually becomes a successful writer.

Liked the sequence where Fumiko tried to find a job but was rejected repeatedly. Some parts were really funny!

Internet Movie Database Link

Ginza Cosmetics

The story is about the life of a middle aged bar hostess who has to support her young son.

Felt that this was like a precursor to "When a Woman Ascends the Stairs" which was made 9 years later! Thought the director has improved on his story telling skills in WWAS by presenting just the core ideas that he wanted to transmit to the audience.

Internet Movie Database Link

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Sandakan No. 8

The story is about the plight of poor Japanese girls who were sent overseas to work as prostitutes in the early 20th century. This is told through flashbacks from an old Japanese woman to a researcher whom she befriended.

Liked the friendship forged between the researcher and the old Japanese woman! Nice story and the use of silence during two key scenes were pretty effective!

Internet Movie Database Link

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Mad about English

This is a documentary on how the people from China learned English in preparation for the Beijing Olympics. These included an elderly man who wanted to be an Olympics volunteer, a taxi driver who wanted to converse well with tourists, a young student who wanted a better future, an English tutor who wanted to spread his teachings and a foreigner who wanted to get rid of every wrongly translated signs.

It was interesting to see how enthusiastic the people were about learning English! I thought the multi-lingual police was quite funny when he imitated the New York accent! The sales people at the Silk Market were pretty good too!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

The Spirit Compendium

The story centers around a special book that is able to provide answers to your queries. A guy used this book to solve a few problems faced by him and his house mates during the hungry ghost festival.

The cast was pretty good looking and the outdoor scenes looked beautiful! I also liked the songs and the special sound effects used whenever something supernatural was encountered!

My Dad is a Priest

The story is about the relationship of a father and a son. The son is still studying in school while the father is a priest who is slowly losing his memory because of a recently diagnosed alzheimer's disease.

Liked the simple storyline and the close father-son relationship depicted! Thought the father acted really well when he showed the effects of alzheimer's disease!

La bete humaine

The story is about the dark side of human nature shown through the encounters of a worker at a railway station.

Liked the nice country side view during the train rides and the in-depth study of the psychology of the characters!

Internet Movie Database Link