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East Asian Cinema

A Time to Live and a Time to Die (Tung nien Wang Shih) (Taiwan, 1985)

Directed by Hou Hsiao-hsien. The film depicts a family transplanted from mainland China to Taiwan in the early 1950s. The Father dies of illness and the elder sister marries. A-ha, the protagonist, struggles to deal with adolescence. 137 min. ; Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

A Tokyo Woman (Tokyo no onna) (1933)

Directed by Ozu Yasujiro. In order to earn money to put her younger brother, Ryoichi, through school Chikako works as a typist by day and moonlights in a seedy bar at night. Unfortunately Ryoichi commits suicide when he learns that his sister earned much of the money as a prostitute. 45 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

A Treatise on Japanese Bawdy Songs (Nihon shunka-ko) (1967)

Director: Nagisa Oshima. Cast: Ichiro Araki, Juzo Itami, Koji Iwabuchi, Akiko Koyama, Kazuko Tajima. When four sexually-hungry high school boys preparing for university entrance exams meet up with their drunk teacher, they are sent down a less-than-academic path. 103 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

A Woman, A Gun and a Noodle Shop (San qiang pai an jing qi) (China | Hong Kong, 2009)

Directed by Yimou Zhang. Cast: Sun Honglei, Xiaoshenyang, Yan Ni, Ni Dahong, Cheng Ye, Maomao, Zhao Benshan. When an older, abusive husband discovers his younger wife is having an affair, he devises a scheme to murder her which sets off a series of revengeful activities. Based on the motion picture "Blood simple". 115 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Actor's Revenge (Yukinojo henge)(aka Revenge of a Kabuki Actor; The Revenge of Ukeno-Jo; The Revenge of Yuki-No-Jo) (1963)

Director, Kon Ichikawa. Cast: Kazuo Hasegawa, Fujiko Yamamoto, Ayako Wakao, Ganjiro Nakamura. While performing in a touring kabuki troop, leading female impersonator Yukinojo comes across the three men who drove his parents to suicide twenty years earlier, and plans his revenge on them. Based on the story by Mikami Otokichi. 113 min. ; Credits and other information from the Internet Movie DatabaseReviews and articles: Allyn, John. Kon Ichikawa : a guide to references and resources Boston, Mass. : G.K. Hall, 1985.

Afraid to Die (Karakkaze yaro) (1960)

Director, Masumura Yasuzo. Cast: Yukio Mishima, Ayako Wakao, Eiji Funakoshi, Takashi Shimura, Shigeru Koyama, Yoshie Mizutani, Keizo Kawasaki, Michiko Ono, Jun Negami, Reiasaburo Reizaburo Yamamoto. After finishing his prison sentence for killing a mob boss, Asahina reluctantly re-enters Japanese society where he tries to stay one step ahead of the mob. 97 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

After Life (1998)

Director, Kore-eda Hirokazu. In Kore-eda's thought-provoking vision, the newly deceased find themselves in a way station somewhere between Heaven and Earth. With the help of dedicated caseworkers, each soul is given three days to choose one cherished memory for their life that they will relive for eternity. As the film reveals, recognizing happiness and finding a life's worth of meaning in a single event is no simple task. 118 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Aftershock (Tangshan dadizhen) (China, 2010)

Directed by Xiaogang Feng. Cast: Xu Fan, Zhang Jingchu, Li Chen, Zhang Zifeng, Zhang Jiajun, Lu Yi, Zhang Guoqiang, Wang Ziwen, Yang Lixin, Lu Zhong, Yong Mei, Liu Lili, Chen Daoming, Chen Jin. Follows a family who became victims in the 1976 Tangshan earthquake. The father, Fang Daqiang, was crushed dead while trying to rescue his twin children, Fang Deng and Fang Da, who were trapped in the house. Unable to save both kids, the mother, Li Yuanni, is forced to sacrifice Fang Deng for her feeble younger brother Fang Da, a decision that proved agonizing for the entire family.

Akahige: Red Beard (1965)

Directed by Akira Kurosawa. Cast: Toshiro Mifune, Yuzo Kayama, Tsutomu Yamazaki. A vain young doctor fresh from study of the latest in Western medicine in Nagasaki is assigned to an impoverished clinic. At first rebellious against the seemingly autocratic ways of the clinic's head, he is won over by the wisdom and compassion of the dedicated director. 185 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

All About Lily Chou-Chou (Riri Shushu no subete) (Japan, 2001)

Directed by Shunji Iwai. Cast: Hayato Ichihara, Shugo Oshinari, Ayumi Ito, Takao Osawa, Miwako Ichikawa, Izumi Inamori, Yu Aoi. Yuichi is in the 8th grade and worships Lily Chou-Chou, a chanteuse whose music is lush and transcendent, the perfect tool to escape the pain and anxiety that fills his brutal life. At home, Yuichi rarely leaves his room, spending all his time in the chat room of Lily Chou-Chou's fan website. Little by litte, the reality of Yuichi's offline life becomes unbearable when he is ensnared in a nighmare of teenage prostitution, petty theft, and murder. 146 min.

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