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Japan Challenge (Official, September 2019)

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Japan Challenge (Official, September 2019)

#1

Post by hurluberlu » August 28th, 2019, 9:03 pm

Welcome to the 2019 Official Japan Challenge !

Image

Goal:
Watch as many films from Japan as you can.
Challenge runs 1 September 2019 - 30 September 2019.

Rules:
- Rewatches allowed.
- A feature film or a mini-series episode (at least 40 min) counts as one entry.
- A total of 60 minutes of short films or mini-series episodes (less than 40 min) count as one entry.
- A total of 120 minutes of TV episodes count as one entry.

Posting and Fair-play:
- #. English Title (director, year) is the preferred format
- Don't edit your film count in a post created before the latest update of the OP
- Post regularly if you hit top 5

If you are new, check out the Basic rules thread.

Side Challenge: Banzai !!!
Be the first to complete all the Banzai challenge tasks
Side Challenge RulesShow
Tasks (points):
- Guess 4 films from the OP Poster. Stills are numeroted from 1 to 18 from left to right and top to Bottom. (4)
- Watch one film from Takashi Miike (1)
- Watch one film with Machiko Kyô (1)
- Watch three films from the Official and Non-Official lists mentioned in the OP (3)
- Watch four films from four different decades (4)
- Watch a film with a character watching the horizon and post the still (1)
- Watch a film in theater (1)

Rules:
First to complete the challenge (15 points) wins, based on posting time stamp. Ranking based on points and posting time.
You may report your progress in your regular postings covered by a spoiler (don't share your guesses before final submission). Shout when you post your final submission - no second chance for stills guesses.
Once a still has been correctly guessed by a poster, it cannot count anymore for any other poster (guess others).
Report films you watched for each task - a film can only count for one task.
I will participate but not compete (obviously).

Stuck for ideas of what to watch? Look no further:

Official Lists
Rank Change Participant Count
1 - flavo5000 153
2 - Traveller 84
3 - 72allinncallme 79
4 - St. Gloede 50
4 - jdidaco 50
6 - jeroeno 41
7 - fori 35
8 - Ritesh 34
9 - morrison-dylan-fan 32
10 - vortexsurer 30
11 - Lonewolf2003 25
11 - shugs 25
13 - edward5 23
14 - weirdboy 21
15 - sol 20
16 - hurluberlu 17
17 - allisoncm 16
18 - frbrown 12
18 - AB537 12
18 - cinephage 12
21 - maxwelldeux 11
21 - Onderhond 11
23 - blocho 9
24 - DareDaniel 8
25 - sebby 7
26 - wasabi 6
27 - 3eyes 5
27 - Knaldskalle 5
27 - albajos 5
30 - ororama 4
30 NEW RogerTheMovieManiac88 4
32 -1 zzzorf 3
33 -2 blueboybob 2
34 -1 Daviddoes 0


Banzai !!! Side Challenge

Rank Participant Points Timestamp
1 shugs 14 13/09/2019 10:02
2 Traveller 12 19/09/2019 18:14
3 flavo5000 10 01/10/2019 04:58
4 maxwelldeux 9 01/10/2019 09:20
5 jdidaco 8 30/09/2019 06:53
5 albajos 6 01/10/2019 10:24
6 Onderhond 2 01/10/2019 20:29
Last edited by hurluberlu on October 3rd, 2019, 6:14 pm, edited 33 times in total.
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#2

Post by Onderhond » August 28th, 2019, 9:23 pm

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https://www.onderhond.com/toplist/heisei

My Top 205 from the Heisei era, for those who want some more recent Japanese recommends. Some true underseen gems in there. Films like The Clone Returns Home, Woman of Water or Mirrored Mind should appeal to people here I think.
Last edited by Onderhond on August 28th, 2019, 9:33 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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#3

Post by 72aicm » August 28th, 2019, 9:25 pm

I’m in. Arigato for hosting Hurlu.

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#4

Post by albajos » August 28th, 2019, 10:09 pm

hurluberlu wrote:
August 28th, 2019, 9:03 pm
- Watch a film in theater (1)
Unless I want to rewatch Studio Ghibli, my only option is one screening of Toshio Matsumoto's shorts (6 of them) September 15th. Hmmmmm
Last edited by albajos on August 29th, 2019, 6:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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#5

Post by hurluberlu » August 28th, 2019, 10:29 pm

albajos wrote:
August 28th, 2019, 10:09 pm
hurluberlu wrote:
August 28th, 2019, 9:03 pm
- Watch a film in theater (1)
Unless I want to rewatch Studio Ghibli, my only option is one screening of Toshio Matsumoto's shorts (6 of them) September 15th. Hmmmmm

And 6 looks like Xxxxxxx
Yeah theater watch will be a real challenge;even in large cities you don’t have that many Japanese screenings. But that is only one point so you can pass that task and try to make all the others, hoping no one will beat that.

Don’t post your guesses until your final submission with all your watchings for the side challenge (please edit your post).
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#6

Post by Traveller » August 29th, 2019, 4:14 am

In. Lots of stuff I want to see.
ICM
December Challenge: Image
But at the bottom, the immanent philosopher sees in the entire universe only the deepest longing for absolute annihilation, and it is as if he clearly hears the call that permeates all spheres of heaven: Redemption! Redemption! Death to our life! and the comforting answer: you will all find annihilation and be redeemed!

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#7

Post by shugs » August 29th, 2019, 10:44 am

In. My main focus will be a Godzilla marathon.

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#8

Post by 3eyes » August 30th, 2019, 12:18 am

In.
:run: STILL the Gaffer!

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#9

Post by Daviddoes » August 30th, 2019, 2:17 am

I'll try to watch at least a handful.

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#10

Post by flavo5000 » August 30th, 2019, 1:22 pm

This will be my main challenge next month. I love Japanese media!

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#11

Post by sol » September 1st, 2019, 4:03 am

It starts!

First in. B)

1. Godzilla (1954)

Image

Apparently inspired by the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, this monster movie has some interesting things to say about nuclear weaponry dangers. Most of this is very spelled out and obvious though and the first 45 minutes are a bit dull with countless scenes of characters discussing what to do. Things improve around halfway in as Godzilla finally makes it on land, and the fire-breathing creature causing chaos and destruction is pretty cool.
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#12

Post by albajos » September 1st, 2019, 4:05 am

I give the japanese versrion 9/10, while the american edition (which basically is one actor commenting on the actiion all the way through) 5/10. So big difference in what to pick.

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#13

Post by sol » September 1st, 2019, 4:08 am

I watched the Japanese version (of course) - though my special edition DVD has both versions on it were I so inclined to check out the US version also this month.
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#14

Post by maxwelldeux » September 1st, 2019, 4:58 am

albajos wrote:
September 1st, 2019, 4:05 am
I give the japanese versrion 9/10, while the american edition (which basically is one actor commenting on the actiion all the way through) 5/10. So big difference in what to pick.
I was all set to agree forcefully with you (which I still kinda do), except I just noticed that my rating for Gojira is 7/10. Perhaps I need to rewatch that.

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#15

Post by albajos » September 1st, 2019, 5:26 am

maxwelldeux wrote:
September 1st, 2019, 4:58 am
albajos wrote:
September 1st, 2019, 4:05 am
I give the japanese versrion 9/10, while the american edition (which basically is one actor commenting on the actiion all the way through) 5/10. So big difference in what to pick.
I was all set to agree forcefully with you (which I still kinda do), except I just noticed that my rating for Gojira is 7/10. Perhaps I need to rewatch that.
It's a 9- . Another day I would perhaps give it a 8(+)

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#16

Post by maxwelldeux » September 1st, 2019, 5:36 am

albajos wrote:
September 1st, 2019, 5:26 am
maxwelldeux wrote:
September 1st, 2019, 4:58 am
albajos wrote:
September 1st, 2019, 4:05 am
I give the japanese versrion 9/10, while the american edition (which basically is one actor commenting on the actiion all the way through) 5/10. So big difference in what to pick.
I was all set to agree forcefully with you (which I still kinda do), except I just noticed that my rating for Gojira is 7/10. Perhaps I need to rewatch that.
It's a 9- . Another day I would perhaps give it a 8(+)
That's where it was in my memory - I actually searched to see if I rated it an 8 or 9, only to discover I rated it a 7. That's just the hallmark for me that something is due for a rewatch with a new/updated perspective.

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#17

Post by Onderhond » September 1st, 2019, 8:04 am

sol wrote:
September 1st, 2019, 4:03 am
and the first 45 minutes are a bit dull with countless scenes of characters discussing what to do.
There's a lot of that in the Gojira franchise. People always think of these films as big action/monster movies, but there's a lot of talking, usually with some political background.

As Japanese cinema is part of my regular routine, I might check in some films here.

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#18

Post by sol » September 1st, 2019, 9:25 am

Onderhond wrote:
September 1st, 2019, 8:04 am
sol wrote:
September 1st, 2019, 4:03 am
and the first 45 minutes are a bit dull with countless scenes of characters discussing what to do.
There's a lot of that in the Gojira franchise. People always think of these films as big action/monster movies, but there's a lot of talking, usually with some political background.
Thanks for the tip. I have a Godzilla boxset (not the Criterion one) and I have been considering giving some of them a whirl this month. My viewing schedule is looking pretty full though as it is between unseen Paste Anime films, Neon Genesis Evangelion popping up on Netflix and far too many J-horror films in my blind that I would like to check off this month. :sweat:
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#19

Post by Onderhond » September 1st, 2019, 9:31 am

sol wrote:
September 1st, 2019, 9:25 am
Onderhond wrote:
September 1st, 2019, 8:04 am
sol wrote:
September 1st, 2019, 4:03 am
and the first 45 minutes are a bit dull with countless scenes of characters discussing what to do.
There's a lot of that in the Gojira franchise. People always think of these films as big action/monster movies, but there's a lot of talking, usually with some political background.
Thanks for the tip. I have a Godzilla boxset (not the Criterion one) and I have been considering giving some of them a whirl this month. My viewing schedule is looking pretty full though as it is between unseen Paste Anime films, Neon Genesis Evangelion popping up on Netflix and far too many J-horror films in my blind that I would like to check off this month. :sweat:
Looking forward to your Paste viewings then, there's some awesome stuff in that list. If you're still in an anime mood after that, you can combine it with some Godzilla to watch the animated trilogy on Netflix, which is by far the best Gojira stuff I've seen so far (but probably the least typical, it's very reminiscent of 90s sci-fi anime).

Not too big on the typical J-Horror stuff (though I've seen most of them), but they have some pretty cool horror stuff if you venture of the beaten path.

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#20

Post by edward5 » September 1st, 2019, 2:09 pm

1. The Eagle and the Hawk (Umetsugu Inoue, 1957, tt0324502) C-
2. Umbrella Flower (Shinji Sômai, 2000, tt0261000) B-

1. 鷲と鷹 (井上梅次, 1957) C-
2. 風花 (相米慎二, 2000) B-


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#22

Post by morrison-dylan-fan » September 1st, 2019, 2:49 pm

Thanks for hosting hurluberlu, been looking forward to this.

Image

FTV:1:Chaos/ Kaosu(2000)10

Controlling the chaos with rain bookending the film, (a recurring motif across his credits) directing auteur Hideo Nakata brings the stilted silent dread of Horror into this twist towards psychological Thriller/Neo-Noir, stringing the long black hair chills out with cinematographer Tokusho Kikumura, down winding tracking shots and unsettlingly long takes wide-shots held on the palpable fear of another twist bending in the kidnapping plan.

Backed by the primal rage of tribal drums from his regular composer Kenji Kawai, Nakata weaves a measured atmosphere to tightening the knots, patting the blues and yellows during the murky dealings down to dust, blemished with smacks of red when the kidnapping goes off the rails, sealed in startling close-ups aimed at when a new element to the tale is revealed.

Leaving the dining table with Saori in the opening,Hisashi Saito’s adaptation of Shogo Utano's novel Sarawaretai Onna/The Woman Who Wants to Be Kidnapped pays immaculate attention to the layering of the dialogue brewing psychological anxiety over Saori’s kidnapping being not what it appears, thanks to Saito bringing an importance to the dialogue in turning the screws on the image Saori,her husband, kidnapper Kuroda and model Satomi makes people believe is their true selves. Placing the paths coming together between Kuroda/ Saori’s husband Komiyama and model Satomi on a high level of pure chance, Saito impressively makes this work with a thrilling dovetail deconstruction, via first playing out Saori’s kidnapping straight, then folding each corner to the power-playing being twisted under the skin.

Reuniting with Nakata after Ringu, Miki Nakatani gives a utterly mesmerising dual performance as Saori/ Satomi, burning with a refined, Femme Fatale seductiveness as Saori, paired up to a seeping into knife-edge madness Satomi, who holds Komiyama and Kuroda’s gaze as a almost mirage presence to their desires. Finding himself thrown into the middle of mind-games, Masato Hagiwara gives a great turn as kidnapper Kuroda,who Hagiwara has firmly attempt to do everything by the book, but becomes increasingly tied to the chaos.

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#23

Post by vortexsurfer » September 1st, 2019, 4:52 pm

1. Zatôichi monogatari/The Tale of Zatoichi (Kenji Misumi, 1962)
2. Cure (Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 1997)

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#24

Post by St. Gloede » September 1st, 2019, 5:25 pm

I'm in, will aim for 30 as usual. Have a decent-size Japanese backlog, but not too many that I am overly excited about. Have seen about 800 Japanese films, and have run through most that interest me. Granted, the recent decades are a little blank. I might get more excited if I find new directors to explore. That tends to end with a lot of binge-watching.

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#25

Post by Ritesh » September 1st, 2019, 5:38 pm

1. Zatoichi's Fighting Journey (1963)
2. Zatoichi's Revenge (1965)
3. Zatoichi and the Doomed Man (1965)

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#26

Post by Traveller » September 1st, 2019, 6:11 pm

01. Ninja Scroll (1993, Yoshiaki Kawajiri) - 8/10
02. Whisper of the Heart (1995, Yoshifumi Kondo) - 5/10
03. Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (2000, Yoshiaki Kawajiri) - 7/10
04. Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (2004, Mamoru Oshii) - 9/10

Was honestly surprised how much I enjoyed Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, even more so than the first one. New favorite. Ninja Scroll, too, was a fun flick, as was Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust. Found Whisper of the Heart to be only average at best.
ICM
December Challenge: Image
But at the bottom, the immanent philosopher sees in the entire universe only the deepest longing for absolute annihilation, and it is as if he clearly hears the call that permeates all spheres of heaven: Redemption! Redemption! Death to our life! and the comforting answer: you will all find annihilation and be redeemed!

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#27

Post by Onderhond » September 1st, 2019, 7:55 pm

Traveller wrote:
September 1st, 2019, 6:11 pm
Was honestly surprised how much I enjoyed Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, even more so than the first one.
It's one of the best examples of how you do a sequel. Both films are landmarks in the feature anime business. I like the second one a little better too. Top 10 material for me, the first one is Top 60.

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#28

Post by AB537 » September 1st, 2019, 8:13 pm

1. Kurutta ippêji - A Page of Madness (Teinosuke Kinugasa, 1926) 6.5/10

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#29

Post by 72aicm » September 1st, 2019, 9:22 pm

1. Jôen / The Affair (Yoshishige Yoshida, 1967)
2. Mata au hi made / Till We Meet Again (Tadashi Imai, 1950)
3. Chikamatsu monogatari / The Crucified Lovers (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1954)
4. Miyamoto Musashi / Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto (Hiroshi Inagaki, 1954)
5. Ukigumo / Floating Clouds (Mikio Naruse 1955)

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#30

Post by flavo5000 » September 1st, 2019, 11:32 pm

Image
1. Anjô-ke no butôkai a.k.a. The Ball at the Anjo House (Kôzaburô Yoshimura, 1947)

Image
2. Gurotesuku a.k.a. Grostesque (Kôji Shiraishi, 2009)

Image
3. Baiohazâdo: Dijenerêshon a.k.a. Resident Evil: Degeneration (Makoto Kamiya, 2008)

Image
4a. Ikebana (Hiroshi Teshigahara, 1957)
4b. Ako (Hiroshi Teshigahara, 1965)

Image
5. Urutoraman sâga a.k.a. Ultraman Saga (Hideki Oka, 2012)
SpoilerShow
1. Anjô-ke no butôkai a.k.a. The Ball at the Anjo House (Kôzaburô Yoshimura, 1947)
2. Gurotesuku a.k.a. Grostesque (Kôji Shiraishi, 2009)
3. Baiohazâdo: Dijenerêshon a.k.a. Resident Evil: Degeneration (Makoto Kamiya, 2008)
4a. Ikebana (Hiroshi Teshigahara, 1957)
4b. Ako (Hiroshi Teshigahara, 1965)
5. Urutoraman sâga a.k.a. Ultraman Saga (Hideki Oka, 2012)

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#31

Post by wasabi » September 2nd, 2019, 12:12 am

I'm in, it's a great chance to cross out some Ozu and Kurosawa movies from my watching list. lol

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#32

Post by morrison-dylan-fan » September 2nd, 2019, 1:26 am

Image

FTV:2:Osou! (1978) 8

Driving with Yano as she flicks through a Adult magazine in her cop car over the opening, director Yasuharu Hasebe continues his Pinku run with a nicely sleazy atmosphere, framing Yano detached in her questioning of suspects, who are having sex during the enquires,and a surprisingly restrained masturbation scene of Yano trying to accept herself again. Paying tribute to the Giallo via the black gloves of the rapist being the only part shown of him, Hasebe holds the perspective of the rape sequences from Yano’s horrified face, handling a grubby atmosphere of the disembodied hands of the rapist gripping Yano.

Wearing inspiration of not only the Giallo sub-genre, but also A Clockwork Orange, Hasbe creates a abrasive juxtaposition in the rape scenes uncomfortably being played out to sped-up Classical music, which shatters on the handcuff bruises covering Yano’s wrists, that hold her from being able to find pleasure from vengeance after getting left broken. Not listed on the IMDb credits, the screenplay by Hideichi Nagahara spilt the sleaze from interviewing of suspects,with a harsh bitterness of the confirmed identity of the rapist left hanging in the air for Yano. Stripped of her sunny side in the opening, cute Yoko Azusa gives a terrific performance as Yano, grasping in desperation to hold onto the last slithers of pleasure and a desire for vengeance to stop the attacks.


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#34

Post by Knaldskalle » September 2nd, 2019, 3:01 am

I didn't even know there was a Japanese challenge this month, so it's a stroke of luck that today's movie was

1. The Wind Rises (Miyazaki, 2013). If this really does turn out to be Miyazaki's last movie, it's a good one to go out on. Not his greatest most magical movie, but but definitely his most mature work.
Personal film goals for 2019.
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#35

Post by jeroeno » September 2nd, 2019, 6:05 am

1. A Diary of Chuji's Travels III (Daisuke Itô, 1927)
2. Bitterness of Youth (Tatsumi Kumashiro, 1974)

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#36

Post by sebby » September 2nd, 2019, 6:40 am

Knaldskalle wrote:
September 2nd, 2019, 3:01 am
I didn't even know there was a Japanese challenge this month, so it's a stroke of luck that today's movie was

1. The Wind Rises (Miyazaki, 2013). If this really does turn out to be Miyazaki's last movie, it's a good one to go out on. Not his greatest most magical movie, but but definitely his most mature work.
Unless he dies he'll have a new one out next year.

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#37

Post by shugs » September 2nd, 2019, 7:12 am

1. Yakuza keibatsu-shi: Rinchi! [Yakuza Law] (Teruo Ishii, 1969) - 7/10
Fast paced exploitation film following three Yakuza stories in three different time periods. The hyper violence mixed well with the melodramatic storytelling (especially in the first two stories).

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#38

Post by sol » September 2nd, 2019, 1:38 pm

I am Godzilla. You are Japan!Show
1. Godzilla (1954)

2. Cure (1997)

Image

This thriller benefits from an offbeat premise and fascinating antagonist who likes playing mindgames and who is dangerous to talk to (think Hannibal Lector) as he constantly turns the tables on others whenever questioned. The nonchalant, near emotionless murders are well filmed too. The overall movie though leaves far more questions than answers, especially regarding the antagonist's motives, and the abrupt ending left me wanting more.
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#39

Post by Traveller » September 2nd, 2019, 4:43 pm

05. Sleepy Eyes of Death: The Chinese Jade (1963, Tokuzo Tanaka) - 5/10
06. Sleepy Eyes of Death: Sword of Seduction (1964, Kazuo Ikehiro) - 5/10
07. Sleepy Eyes of Death: A Trail of Traps (1967, Kazuo Ikehiro) - 6/10
08. Sleepy Eyes of Death: Castle Menagerie (1969, Kazuo Ikehiro) - 6/10

The later ones were okay I guess, but overall a bunch of lackluster, average samurai flicks. Not gonna bother with the rest.
ICM
December Challenge: Image
But at the bottom, the immanent philosopher sees in the entire universe only the deepest longing for absolute annihilation, and it is as if he clearly hears the call that permeates all spheres of heaven: Redemption! Redemption! Death to our life! and the comforting answer: you will all find annihilation and be redeemed!

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#40

Post by edward5 » September 2nd, 2019, 5:18 pm

3. Face (Junji Sakamoto, 2001, tt0256127) B-
4. M/Other (Nobuhiro Suwa, 1999, tt0201743) B+
SpoilerShow
1. The Eagle and the Hawk (Umetsugu Inoue, 1957, tt0324502) C-
2. Umbrella Flower (Shinji Sômai, 2000, tt0261000) B-
SpoilerShow
1. 鷲と鷹 (井上梅次, 1957) C-
2. 風花 (相米慎二, 2000) B-
3. 顔 (阪本順治, 2001) B-
4. M/Other (諏訪敦彦, 1999) B+

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