Creating a short list of the best Japanese films is unquestionably a feat. However, to pique your interest in a subject that we don’t cover as much as we’d like on filmaholic, we’ve compiled a list of eight must-see Japanese films. They may be categorized based on their technical or scenographic success, the number of entries they have received, or the influence they have had in Japan or internationally. Obviously, there is some subjectivity in this list, and it is not intended to be exhaustive. The films that follow are listed in alphabetical order.
Seven samurai (Akira Kurosawa – 1954)
The Seven Samurai is often considered Akira Kurosawa’s most accomplished picture. If it was a part of Japan’s significant cinematic growth, it spawned a slew of other films.the samurai with kimono men It is still mentioned as an example nearly sixty years later, both in the development of its romantic plot and in the exact cinematography of the fights. It’s no surprise that it’s frequently nominated for best samurai film of all time.
Testimonial (Takashi Miike – 1999)
Audition has earned its own place in Takashi Miike’s illustrious cinema, particularly for the totally startling character of its concluding climax, which is brutal in every meaning of the word. One of the most popular horror films of all time, it brilliantly leverages the uncomfortable closed-door situation to reach nearly intolerable torture moments. Audition is unquestionably a reference in its category.
Battle Royale is a battle royale game (Kinji Fukasaku – 2000)
The positioning of Battle Royale, which plays on provocative anticipation, has left a lasting impression on the year 2000. In a future where teen violence has reached dangerous levels, a high school class is transported to an island where they must kill each other until only one remains. Even if it was controversial in Japan because of its content and violence (which was graphic), it remains an absolutely interesting read about a Japanese culture that is growing and facing new difficulties. Should we also mention that it’s a Quentin Tarantino cult classic? Battle Royale is still essential, even though its sequel (directed by his son after Fukasaku’s death) is terrible.
Godzilla (Ishirô Honda, 1954) is a 1954 Japanese monster film directed by Ishirô Honda.
This is more of a collection of flicks than a single film. Godzilla, created in the 1950s, encapsulated the harsh relations between the Japanese and American administrations, as well as Japan’s problems adjusting to life after WWII. Contrary to common perception, the nuclear bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki did not cause the monster to exist, but they did play a role in its rebirth. Continue reading about Godzilla, cult monsters, and kitsch films.
Hanabi is a Japanese word that means (Takeshi Kitano – 1997)
Takeshi Kitano’s ubiquitous “Beat” director Takeshi Kitano’s central film is Hanabi. He portrays a rough cop with a limited understanding of justice who is confronted with death and the meaning of life. As a result of this extraordinary attempt at interpretation, the artist was able to gain recognition in the Western world. Kitano fits so well within our understanding of Japanese cinema that we could have included The Summer of Kikujirô or many others in this list.
Nobody Is Aware (Hirokazu Kore-Eda – 2003)
Nobody Knows sparked controversy when it was released, owing to the fact that it was based on a Japanese news story. Four children are gradually abandoned by a mother who becomes increasingly absent, until she abandons them completely. As a result, siblings of young children must handle themselves in an increasingly difficult daily existence. Nobody Knows is a deeply moving picture that is expertly interpreted and filmed by its director.
ring (Hideo Nakata – 1998)
Ring has swiftly established itself as a horror classic. Its success was so widespread that it spawned a slew of sequels and remakes in the United States. Some believe this has tarnished the name of Ring, the best-selling novel on which the films are based. However, in this production, whose simplicity is matched only by filmic expertise, the original plot, in which a cursed movie brings death seven days later, remains horrific.
Yasujirô Ozu’s Tokyo (Yasujirô Ozu, 1953)
Journey to Tokyo / Tokyo Monogatari, the final film in our lineup, depicts the breakdown of the traditional Japanese family system, in which everyone lives under the same roof and generations aid one another. The way it illustrates the changes in Japanese culture, as well as the interactions between parents and children who choose to live their lives in a remote everyday life, has given this feature film considerable cultural value. The film’s ending, in particular, is incredibly moving.