Japunese Cinema

Immigrantz, a charming Dreamworks animated comedy about a family of ants moving to a new colony to carry food the residants wouldn’t touch with a 10″ antenna.

Not to be confused with Coyote Ugly, a dark crime drama by Abel Ferrara about a disfigured ex-pat war vet who now smuggles people over the Mexico-U.S. border… of insanity.

Want an obscure Russian documentary about chess grandmaster turned dissident who’s forced to make ends meet by crafting cheesy folk-inspired ceramics? Garry Potter.

Or, if football’s more your thing, check out The A. Wenger, a spiritual successor to the cinema of French master Jacques Tati. Monsieur Hulot goes to Arsenal.

For those who are more socially conscious, Guerillas in the Mist is a romantic political thriller about a French woman who lives (and loves) with FARC rebels in Colombia.

Stay, Dog: an epic noirish tail of a man training his Shiba Inu in postwar Tokyo. Told from various perspectives, it was ably directed by a young Akira Kurosawa.

Also from Kurosawa is They Who Step on Tiger’s Tail, something like an autobiography of a golfer on the PGA Tour.

Though, of course, there are Japanese filmmakers other than Kurosawa. Cameron Crowe’s We Bought Ozu is a decent introduction to one of them.

Speaking of Crowe and Japanese cinema, check out his Sensei Anything, as well.

Leni Riefenstahl’s controversial Triumph of the Will is a formally arresting and innovative exploration of the rise of German estate law in the 1930s.

Don’t forget Andrzej Wajda’s masterpiece Asses and Diamonds, either. It’s about a man in dark glasses torn between communism and professional strip poker.

And if you thought Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Red was all about phones, try watching his Trois Couleurs: Orange!

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