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Reviews

Kawaki
(2014)

An hateful hero
Well, the first impression I had of this movie was like I was watching a Tarantino's work. The opening sequence, as well as the car of Fujishima, reminded me also the Bronson's era action movies often depicting a violent cop as leading character. And this peculiarity made me think as well to the first work of Kitano. So, we have a theme well developed in and outside Japan. But if lonely and abandoned policemen are often depicted as somehow cool, here we have a character that has terrible features and so we cannot side with him. If at the beginning we could understand his pain for the lost of the daughter, the more the movie goes on the more we hate him. And we should say that the real cause of this tragedy is him. Or maybe his blood that is shared by her daughter too as is said in the end by Fujishima himself. Yes, because her daughter too switches from being depicted as a young victim of drug and bullyism to a devil that lead people to death. So a movie that destroys the clichés of classical action movies we named above to which is still a great debtor. Considering then the filming the dark Nakajima's style- yet developed in Confessons- made the atmosphere heavy as the feelings of the lost boys who stand again as the main characters. About music the choices are so good to make feel unease. Think to the psychedelic trance music played at the party or Dean Martin's ending song that adds to this movie a grotesque tone. This last one, then, is also the title of a novel by Natsuo Kirino with the main character very close to Kanako. Overall I consider it a good movie with however just one missing point. That's to say reason of this evil in Nakajima family. I think Nakajima should have explained it more clearly why the father had became so rude and so her daughter. Thinking to a simply cursed bloodline as Macbeth is a too much easy. Finally I found interesting to watch it this year since the snow scene brought me to memory some scenes of "The Hateful Eight" by Tarantino. But also "Old Boy" by Park Chang-wook. Two other masterpieces of violence. Without mercy.

Umimachi Diary
(2015)

When spring wind blows
This movie has all the elements to be a perfect Japanese movie usable for a Wstern audience. We have a story about tree sisters living alone in a traditional house facing everyday problems like many Ghibli productions, trains in the mountains, funerals as in the "Departures", little restaurant and cherry blossoms. However here we have an opposite narration compared to the movies of Ozu that made us fall in love with that absolutely Japanese simplicity as well unexpressed depth of emotions inside them. In other words, the beginning of those black and white masterpieces was one of familiar tranquility. A tranquility then threatened and finally restored. Let's think to "Tokyo Monogatari" in which at the end the old mother went back to the village where the younger daughter waits for her. Or the old father giving her daughter as spouse to another house at the end of "Sanma no aji". So there the key was finding the harmony. Like the regular sound of wood made by a bamboo fountain in a Japanese garden. Here in "Our little sister" we start from a situation of familiar disorder and in the end nothing changes so much. The hardships of the three sisters remain the same. Sachi, the older one, still leads all the house and the garden by herself. Yoshino, the lovable middle one, still looks for a new boyfriend whit out stopping the habit of drinking alone. Chika, the little one, still date with his naif boyfriend. But in the middle of all this something happened. They accepted in their lives the young sister Suzu, born after their father divorced. This young girl brought to their life a moment of happiness as well hope to going on to what they were doing. Suzu didn't change their life. Is not what can be called "a familiar earthquake". She should be compared nothing more to a blow of spring wind refreshing the house of the three sisters. This is another great difference from past production. We don't have strongly deep feelings. The sisters lives the joy of everyday. Somebody criticize Koreeda for this aspect accusing him of making a movie of good atmosphere and not of emotions. However family has changed. Japan has changed. The three sisters here stands for the contemporary Japan with low birth rate and feared by the earthquake of 2011. A Japan concerned more to what is going on today then to what can happen tomorrow. So we find ourself on the other side to the society growing fast, sometimes too much, in the Ozu's productions where smoking chimneys made their comparison a lot of times. The end show us this idea more clear. The four girls looks over the sea on a shore while speaking about their future without having great expectations. We find no more girls waiting for their boyfriends while practicing on surf as in Kitano's "A scene at the sea". A masterpiece filmed in the highest economic welfare of Japan of the late 80es. In Koreeda's movie we find contemporary girls simply hoping their everyday life can be as always was until then. With hardships but also joy. Without concerning too much about past,that is to say family and father, and future,or marriage and work. Paradoxically a contemporary return to the simplicity of "mono no aware". The medieval Japanese aesthetic principle of enjoy what is short-lived. As the cherry blossoms. As the windy teenage pureness of Sachi. The little sister that brings happiness.

Hafu: The Mixed-Race Experience in Japan
(2013)

A mixed rooted Japan
When we think about US or Europe we cannot avoid thinking of a so called melting pot culture. Nowadays as a matter of fact many foreigners, once immigrants, refugees or simply people who wanted to change the place they lived, are making new our traditions, societies and economies. Sometimes they restored what was lost. This happens since people are living beings and society they create changes as well as and together with them. However another country of the so called developed world seems to be different. A country where a monolithic culture is said to be present. We are speaking about Japan. And if we think this way we are doing a huge mistake. For two main reasons. And this movies make us understand this more clearly. First, Japan has a culture made of an unique syncretism since centuries. Most of the writing as well the Buddhism and the tea arrived from the continent and the modern lifestyle from the West. Maybe nowhere, as in Japan, cultures were so accepted and suited by the people. Second, modern Japanese are traveling around the world as well as many people are visiting Japan for the same many reasons (work, tourism, study). Maybe in this second case the numbers are not so high as in other countries of the West (the 2% according to this movie) but still higher than in the past. This second reason in particular is important since it shows how Japan society is going to change or, if it hasn't already started, need to. People differ as well as cultures. But the feelings are the same. So loving someone and having a family is a natural fact. And a fact that can show a new social perspective, however, that can brings a lot of benefits too. This is what is going nowadays in Japan. A country facing a new reality. Or, in other words, a new challenge. Watching this film we understand that mixed roots families and new born children are rising. They are the so called Hafu or half people, mixed. And this production is about them. First of all this term is not offensive since only Japanese use it and with no racist intention. Then, as this movies explain, many of the hafu raised in Japan prefer living there still trying however to make them more accepted as an unique heritage of experience and point of view in a country facing a lot of problems. As the decreasing of birth rate. In addition, because of their mixed culture of origin they can help mutual understandings between Japan and the rest of the World,necessary in particular in this period of worldwide tension. On the other hand, we witness how Japanese half people raised outside the Land of Rising Sun, can visit it to discover their old heritage while growing up as individuals before going back. Since society is changing accepting the other is a challenge that, if won, can bring a lot of advantages. Japan can do it. As did in the past with cultural traditions. And this movie should make think how important is a new generation not only of Japanese half people but of new individuals that can make a place, in this case Japan, where different roots can be shared and join to create something new. The overall pace of this film is that of a documentary film with the stories of five hafu showing the hardships as well as the moments of happiness they have as any other else. But what makes this movie a good instrument of analysis, as well as a different view of society, is that underlines how the unique heritage this people have, must be considered not an obstacle but and advantage, not only for the themselves, but for all the society. For the future Japan. That, we hope, can be more mixed rooted. More HALF.

Yatsuhaka-mura
(1977)

A Greek tragedy in the Japanese mountains
The first thing I thought when I watched this movie was that I reminded "Throne of blood" by Kurosawa Akira. As well as Greek and Shakespeare's tragedies. In fact, we have the theme of a curse made of blood which runs through generations and that can be stopped only by facing it. Even if it costs a lots of efforts. The main character of this great film of the 70es is the pure and chivalric hero who, unconscious of his past, must fight against the evil stuck to his family in the mountains of Japan. And because of this family itself, in particular because of an old crime very close to the betrayal of Macbeth aka Washizu in "Throne of blood", the curse runs until the moment it can be stopped. And this can only happen thanks to one hero who has his blood and soul not yet contaminated. This idea can be found, as well as the mentioned theme of betrayal, both in Shakespeare and in Greek theater. The only difference with the great classic tragedies is given by the figure of the detective Kindaichi, the external observer of the events. Thus, the only one that can explain them better since he's just observing and drawing conclusions. This character reminds us some popular detective stories thanks also to the setting between the mountains enriched by grotesque characters and a thrilling soundtrack. A movie so that can make us think how much the cultures can communicate between them. Based on one of the most popular detective stories of Yokomizo Seiji, developed then as screenplay by Hashimoto Shinobu who worked with Kurosawa, this film underlines the theme of vendetta which made it something more anthropologically complex than a simple detective story. Everything then is surrounded by a cast of all stars of those days in Japan. We must remember the role of Kindaichi played by Atsumi Kiyoshi, popular thanks to "Otoko wa tsurai yo" movie series more close to drama than to mystery, who here must have surprised the audience. Shochiku wanted a masterpiece and achieved its goal. "Village of eight graves" is so a great example of a story about curse and revenge from old Japan that still survives. Even if Japan has changed. Director Nomura seemed to say to audience that you cannot avoid your past, your responsibility, your destiny linked to forest, mountains, caves. Even if Japan was building skyscrapers and becoming more and more modernized. A vision, this one, very close to Shintoism that we must wait until Studio Ghibli's production to be seen again on Japanese big screen. One point of view, we must also remember, yet developed by Greek mythology and medieval culture and that human progress cannot erase. At least in Japan. And about this Nomura and Miyazaki, as well as Kurosawa, Shakespeare and Greek playwrights seem to agree.

Tasogare Seibei
(2002)

Only eternal love survives
I think I've seen this movie five times or more. The reason is simple. In merely two hours we can see both the style of Kurosawa, Ozu and Mizoguchi (the three great directors of the Past) filtered trough the lens of another great film maker, Yamada Yoji, who teach us a precious way of living. Simple and not ambitious. But that can be remembered forever. I think the samurai movie setting, resembling to Kurosawa's "Yojimbo", "The seven samurai" or "Red Beard", is just the scenery where the action takes place. The hero, the samurai Seibei, however, is alone here too but with a difference. He has a family. Something Kurosawa should have not underlined. The family is poor and weak and the samurai has seen his wife passing away and so,after all that, needs to rise up two daughters and look after his old mother. This element could make use think to Ozu productions. However we can find another clue. The female characters so important in this story as well as for the early movies of Mizoguchi, as "Osaka Elegy" and "Sister of Gion". Our hero Seibei then, start a love relationship with a woman, Tomoe, a childhood friend, then divorced from her husband. In this one character, the woman one, we have bounded together the sufferings stressed by Mizoguchi, the mute feelings of Kurosawa (the love between Katsushiro and Chiko in "The seven samurai") and the motherly sweet attitude of many woman in Ozu movie (think to the majestic role of Noriko in "Tokyo Story"). The way the movie develops is so great that you can feel the same of what is felt by the main character. His anxiety, his duty but, after all, his love. And not an ordinary one. A feeling that embraces both his family and Tomoe. Another time, as in Ozu's movies, the obstacle of all this is just the social life. The contrast between simplicity and austerity is stressed by the career and duty Seibei has to follow. The same duty that can be accomplished just because, seems to tell us the director at the end, he forgets for a while his beloved ones. However, and we have the greatest an unique point of this story,that makes it so different from common samurai movies, the same ones wait for him in the last sequence. So, when the work ends, a man should have something to protect. Duty is necessary but transitory. Love is something up to people but eternal. As the memory of Seibei when his younger daughter, already old, put some flowers over his grave. Close to the one of Tomoe. Japan has changed, from a samurai country trough an industrialized one. His duty was part of the past. The memory of Seibei's love and devotion to his dears not. Is eternal.

Chô kôsoku! Sankin kôtai
(2014)

A run trough Japanese cinema with loyal samurai
Is my first time to write a review just 10 minutes after the movie I want to discuss about. However, this one is literally amazing for those who look for a Japanese jidaigeki (samurai costume) movie without a plot difficult to follow and too much blood splashes. Then, the involving soundtrack,the fast scenes as well as both ridiculous and romantic movies make the audience sympathize with the samurai depicted, support them until their last goal and admire their close friendship and pure love. So, a very well done product for family and people who want to know the Japanese old and traditional culture trough the screen. But, on the other way, people already accustomed with traditional masterpiece of Japanese cinema, such as Kurosawa, Mizoguchi and Yamada can like this movie as well. The group of samurai, indeed, resembles the seven samurai of Kurosawa Akira as well as the scenes in the forest, together with the idea of rush trough valleys, gives back the memory to another two jewels of the Kurosawa production, that is to say "The Hidden Fortess" an "Throne of Blood". Then, the sentimental relationship between a geisha and a daimyo reminds to some love story depicted by Mizoguchi.Here, differently from "Sister of Gion" or "The crucified lovers", the female character can gain an happy ending. For the main characters of the story, the loyal samurai and their lord, finally, we have an humble personality that makes us think to the willfulness of Seibei in the Yoshida's great movie "Twilight samurai". So a well done work that everybody interested in Japan and in its cinema can enjoy! You won't regret it.

Sôshun
(1956)

Something more worth than money
The first impression I had of this masterpiece of Ozu's production was a both nostalgic and familiar one. However, this is not a feeling of an old and ended passed time but the somehow sad premonition of the society we still live in.

At the beginning Sugiyama couple wake up with an alarm and the wife starts her duties while the man is going to get the train bound for Tokyo. And the train itself, that opens this movie, gives us the idea of a time no more natural but subjugated to work and money. Another thing that suggests this mood is the job of the main character of this story, Mr. Sugiyama. He works in a busy and big office in Tokyo as salary man. He is nothing without a company that can provide him a sum of money to live. A salary. We can understand it when Sugiyama speaks to two of his former comrades that are artisans, that's to say people still making something tangible. More simple minded but also less stressed and unconscious of the future. The Japanese salary men, especially in this movie filmed soon after the WWII, seem young students without concerns. They eat near the imperial palace as in school trip and they organize a day-trip to sea, a noodle party and, this the main point of the movie, romance between them. The romance that so develops between Sugiyama and Kingyo, the young and single female secretary of the company the main character works in, is the symbol of a new generation. People far from house, without material skills and less practical and patient. As children of a new future. The one made by train, timetables, offices, papers and ties we, as well as Japan, nowadays live in. The betrayed wife of Sugiyama, after her discovery of the relation of the husband, decide to leave him in order to make him concern. However, after the solicitations by her mother and the old colleague of his husband decide to come back to him, transferred in Okayama for three years. This shows how the maybe old fashioned and domestic patience can resolve things in order "to not make them more difficult than they are" as the mother of Mrs Sugiyama says. Because as the colleague suggest "these are proofs that can enforce the couple and not make it end". At the end the couple decide to stay together after all happened in a town of offices and business but no patience and warmth. Not as in their final destination Okayama. A city below chimneys and so more practical but also more traditional and patient.

Ozu seems to say us that the patience that helped Japanese people during war and natural disasters, the one which the foreigners still today admire the most, can be blown away if the practical and stoic spirit loses the strength in front of a crazy rush for money. The money itself the samurai of old Japan despised.

This movie so can be read as the warning of an father in front of a son that is going to became adult and the leader of a new generation. We have a sort of Tokyo Story without the two old parents as main characters. However, also here, the wise and elder helps the younger. The gloomy smoker mother and the humble smiling colleague.

Japan should have seen this movie more before the bubble era, the crazy consumer tendencies and today lack of identity among many of its people. That time was early spring but now we are already in full summer.

Hakuchû no tôrima
(1966)

Hunger of passion vs Hunger of ease
This movie has something incredible. The fastness. We are put, since the first scenes, in a crazy mood made of hunger rather than satisfaction. And this hunger is the one of a rapist.

Eisuke, the "demon of noon" is a serial sexual abuser that, as we witness from the first minutes, tries to put his hands of fury over a young girl called Shino, a waiter who lives in Kansai. Far from her native village in Nagano prefecture from which the "demon" belongs too. Before moving, however, Shino used to have sex with Genji the son of the village master in which she used to live. The reason was escaping from poverty after a flood that destroyed almost all the house of the place they both belong to. The hunger of the girl became so the reason she slept with him. However, he really liked her. So this leaded to a double suicide of love. The Japanese call it "shunji" and could have been a traditional element for a classic plot. But Oshima is an innovator. In fact, Genji, liked by a shy village school teacher called Matsuko, is the only one to die. Shino was escaped and raped by Eisuke, the demons that here makes his first crime. So we realize that Shino was raped twice. Matsuko, rather than feel lost, is more and more attracted by Eisuke, and Shino, after the second rape, decides to inform her the real identity of the demon. The problem is that Matsuko and Eisuke are now a married couple. The teacher, is shy as ever, but this happens only on the surface. And, in Japan especially, not every time to appear means to be. We discover she is so much attracted by his violent and beastly drunk husband to avoid to help the girl. However, at one point, she decides to help but, after the death condemn to Eisuke, to end her days in a double suicide with Shino. They did it but Shino another time survives.

Explaining the plot here is necessary to understand the themes of a story completely untidy made of flashbacks and close ups that seem trying to show us the inner soul of the characters. This is given by the fact that this plot evolves under the skins. Under the surface. Even if the violence occurs at noon. Here Matsuko is not a wife as Ozu could have imagined. Here we have a demon that lies under her as well as the characters of Nomura's movies. The forest, however, as the idea of the sun as heat rather than light, is a theme yet developed in Kurosawa's Rashomon where we have, as in this movie, a generally hidden act that lies under the sun and not surrounded by fog.

Another thing very important is the political message behind this work. Even id we are not in a move like "Night and fog of Japan" where this element is stressed more we can consider the two dead victims, Genji and Matsuko, the real couple of "shunji". They, being both pure before the flood, somehow loved each other but were attracted by the flesh and instincts after the order was destroyed. Eisuke is the tool that, creating the chaos, can show us this. As well the easiness that makes Shino living without caring too much about, not only her liar soul, but also her violated body. She concerns only about the goal. That is eating after the starvation. As the postwar Japan did in front of the bombings by the Americans while old officers were killing themselves. The hunger, if reaches a goal, so not as happens with Eisuke, who feels a thirsts of passions, can be justified. And Shino wins as Japan did.

Sono otoko, kyôbô ni tsuki
(1989)

Grinding without laughing
When Kitano directed and acted in this masterpiece of his production, as well as of the whole Japanese cinematographic panorama, people expected him differently. It was 1989 and Beat Takeshi (as Kitano is known in his homeland) was realizing his first experience on the big screen. He was and still is a comedian, a master of jokes but here we have a hardboiled movie with a soundtrack and slow scenes that reminds some noir ones. So something so different from a style of a comedian. However in this story we have a link given by some grotesque elements that make us grin rather than smile. The way Azuma inspector run after the criminals, the way he punish them, as well the corruption among the police are a proof of this black humor. We sympathize with his methods justified by the circumstances even if are violent. Another element that emerges here is the way of filming with a alternation of close-ups. This technique, developed by Ozu in Japan, put the face of Kitano in front of us as well that of his rivals. We wait for a smile, a joke or, on the other side, an hungry expression full of hate and desire of revenge. But we find something different, a mix of this two way. A grin, the same we have at the end of this amazing movie. A masterpiece that shows a comedian becoming a policeman to show how ridiculous and dumb the institution can be. And all we have to do, is laugh. Rather than cry. As when we guzzle a bitter beer at the end of an hard day like Azuma did here. Wandering what is good and what is not and finding again ourselves doing that thing. Grinding.

Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi
(2001)

When Chihiro becomes real
Before writing this review I was reading some news from Japan about an antiwar demonstration organized by a 19 years-old girl in Sapporo, Hokkaido. The first thing that I realized was that a young female leading a political issue is an important achievement for a country still traditional and hierarchical as actually Japan is. The second thing I thought was Chihiro, the main character of "Spirited Away".

Miyazaki, in the already far 2001, at the begging of the Western crisis due to terrorism, before, and economic factor, later, depicted an adventure of a young girl in a imaginary as well symbolic world. The idea behind the movie, in fact, is the strive to survive of a female character in a world made of mostly masculine and adult hierarchy and tradition.But also consumerism and egocentric values. This struggle, however, will lead not to the defeat of this bad habits but to a peaceful harmony without nobody defected but everyone understood and accepted more.

If we think well, Chihiro starts her adventure when the parents eat too much to end transformed in pigs. They were punished both because they swallowed too much and both because they forget their little daughter warning them. In the same way the destiny of wanderer of many young people,today, starts because of negligence of their parents. Then we have the meeting with Kohaku, the little guy that at the ends we realized being the river in which little Chihiro fall while was younger. He was controlled by Yubaba, the witch that leads the magical bath in which Chihiro worked, but his name, which leaded to his salvation, were reminded to him by the simple heart of Chihiro. Miyazaki inverted the leading role of the male character giving to the girl the power to save the boy. In the modern Japan, seems to be suggested by the director, girls must be no more considered as the shadowed support of the man but the light that can help them while they feel lost with no hopes or directions. Another important element is the stinky guest of the bath completely cleaned by Chihiro showing so the unexpected determination of a young girl that, even if broke some rules, completed her task going beyond the general etiquette but making really satisfied the costumer. Who have said that a young girl cannot do what was achieved by old and experienced men? Miyazaki shows us the fragility of traditional code of manner as well the development a pure heart can bring to change a stable world. But, at the end, we cannot forget the figure of Faceless, the character most feared and loved, the one more easy to identify but more difficult to understand. It stands for the people, for the lost Japan of the after war without a line to follow, an ideal to fight for. He can makes money but will be lonely if not loved by a simple soul. As the one of Chihiro is.

Today Japan, as explained through the allegory of Faceless, is something with no stability, something that can makes money but also destroyed by the loneliness.Something neither bad neither good. Then, people work, as in the bath, in a fixed order when creativity of the others, in this case young people as well as women, risks to be killed by the ordinary routine and society tends to be hedonistic and egoistic forgetting the simplicity of the nature as well that of children. As the parents of Chihiro did.

However, one day a group of young guys, leaded by a young girl, organized a demo against the conservatory shift of Japanese government. And this day is today. And this revolution started in 2001 when Miyazaki trough Chihiro showed us an alternative society made on equality and peace. A new Japan. From a faceless to a warless one.

Ano natsu, ichiban shizukana umi
(1991)

Kitano, the modern Hokusai
When we think about Japanese art, one of the first images we have is the "Great Wave from Kanagawa" realized by Hokusai. If the artist would have been a Westerner we will have for sure the sea and mt. Fuji as screen not as main subject. However we are in Japan and here the aesthetics is related to what is transitory, changeable as the snow on Fuji or the waves of the Ocean. So, this can be considered an achievement given by Zen. Nature is the main element of art. Art shouldn't be too much refined since should be part of a World unstoppable.

If this movie have been filmed by Kubrick or Allen we would have been in front of eyes a masterpiece made by screenplay, plot,music costumes and particulars. We would have an artificial creation. The nature transformed by the mind of man. As marble that become the David by Michelangelo. here, however, we have an essential movie made by what is essential in our life. The nature. As the ceramics of Japan rough and deformed but still in harmony with nature to which they belong. So Kitano is at the opposite side of the Western production. And thus makes a real masterpiece of the East.

The plot is simple and develops around four characters essentially. The young couple of deaf lovers, the silence that surrounds them and the sea. During all the film we have the soundtrack made by Hisaishi Joe that covers the apparent lack of communication. Yes, apparent. During the three quarters of the movie, in fact, we find a third view filming that portrays the young couple life as quite monotone and with no communication and emotions. We see the young boy trying to surf and the young girl watching him. We witness a love both tender and tragic. Incapable of being expressed. However, we will realize to have done a great mistake.

Indeed, as the music rises more intense, at the end of the movie we have a new character. The main one. As we realize, admiring the "Great Wave" engraved by Hokusai,that the wave stands as the subject, here we understand that the main character is the sea. This was the place in which the young couple meet and had fun, felt emotions and dreamed. In other word the only and real witness of their love. We were used to see only the routine of the two young guys but the sea not. He witnesses everything. And in the end, when everything seems to be finished without a great surprise, the sea has his turn to tell us the real love story between them. In a short sequence we see their emotions, their hopes and their happiness. We have in front of our eyes the remaining parts of their routine. A splendid one, made of hugs, laughs and smiles while enjoying a beer. And we cannot feel anything else than a lack. The one given of the love felt by those ones that only the sea in a summer can keep. Silently.

Ran
(1985)

The final defeat of the leaders
The first thing that I realized while I was watching "Ran" was that this movie should be considered one of the masterpieces both of Kurosawa and world cinema. The reason is simple. A perfect adaptation of a Western tragedy by a a director from the other corner of the world, and centuries later, with the liet motiv of Kurosawa's production in it.That's to say the bad habits of the leading classes that destroy themselves by themselves. Like a curse. If is not the case of Washizu condemned by the fate, the same one he wanted to destroy with his Lady in "Throne of Blood", as well as Jiro and his Lady Kaede, a perfect portrait of Japanese femme fatale, in this movie; or the decadence of an industrial family in the "Bad sleep well", as the one of Ichimonji clan in this case, the idea doesn't change. The ones that try to be powerful and are too sure to reach success, as the brigands in the "Seven Samurai" or the Takeda clan officials in "Kagemusha" will fail and will end as villains or fools. On the other hand, the poors show to survive as in the case of the fool jester of Ran, that, even if he was considered mad, in a madden world without value, will result, after the cloud were drifted away, the real winner. Even without an armour and a castle. Or, still better, without a wicked Lady ready to lick his wounds not to relieve but to soak blood. As can be seen in a breathtaking scene of fight and subsequent passion between Kaede and Jiro.The real fool and poor ones. With "Ran", so, the battle of the villains started in "Seven Samurai" seems to be resolved. And the losers are them, the leaders. And the weapon is their arrogance. The Greek play writers called it hybris and thought was the cause of the chaos. Japanese call it RAN.

Fukushima: A Nuclear Story
(2015)

A breathtaking inquiry on a invisible enemy
The 11th of March of 2011 will be remembered in the World for the earthquake and subsequent tsunami of East Japan. However, the high and strong waves, which crashed with their fury over the coast of the north- Eastern region of Tohoku reached the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant too. This leaded to damages of the reactors located there from which were expelled radioactive gases. An invisible enemy. Since you can't see it as well as stop it to spread. Two unpredictable catastrophes caused by nature. And one, sadly, predictable but caused by people. Those who build, since 1966, over 50 nuclear reactors and 18 nuclear power plants over the most "shaking" corner of the world. And the only country who witnessed an double atomic bombing. Since that fatal day hundreds of pages were written, debates opened, and sadly, wide sensationalism too aroused. This great and breathtaking movie will lead us to the acknowledgment of what happened, happens and could have been happened in the reactors hit by the tsunami in the Fukushima prefecture. Those unexplored for months and still hidden to the media. All the inquiry, then, is enriched by scientifically precise descriptions of the work made by the reactors, and realized through computer graphic as well as some scenes developed in unique and amazing Japanese style animation. All makes this movie fast, with an high impact to the audience and also, maybe the most important feature to underline, usable by young people. If a movie about something like nuclear power risks, is seen by a teenager he or she will realize the threats it covers and would try to know more and, in the future, refuse it. However, if the audience will watch the typical documentary with only one narration voice and difficult passages in it, the people who will like it will be those who will understand it. And if it is hard to understand and too much slow, young people will avoid it for sure. However, a movie like Matteo Gagliardi's "A nuclear story", with his strong rhythm helped by a perfect soundtrack ( created by Fabrizio Campanelli), that gives echoes to the strong, fast videos, like the different voices of the characters who appear in it, the scientific graphic explanations and the animations, will make understand young people too the problems to which Fukushima is related. The story, so, develops around the personal inquiry of the Italian news correspondent Pio d'Emilia. His role is also that of the main character and, then, the most of narration follows his figure and is given by his figure speaking. However, as reported above, other characters appear on the screen and are subbed or dubbed thus creating a choir made by many opinions, as reality itself is indeed, about this catastrophe. A catastrophe that movie like this hopefully will help to be not forget and thus avoided and sentenced in the future. Since, after Fukushima, to quote the movie, nobody, as well everybody, was guilty. Like war.

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