entertainment

Japanese cinema must adapt to survive, warns rising star director

18 Comments
By Mathias CENA

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2020 AFP

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.


18 Comments
Login to comment

Japanese cinema died with Kurosawa.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Maybe if Japanese cinema didn't depend on casting a bunch of 'tarento' in roles, required actual acting and not a plethora of tropes ranging from 'lovers arguing in the rain ending in one storming off' to 'boss sempai stands powerfully and grunts as he takes charge' and more, Japanese cinema wouldn't be so damned horrible.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

There hasn't been a serious Japanese movie released overseas for some years. The only good drama to make it into Netflix so far was the Naked Director. TV dramas in Japan are just not good enough to interest overseas television.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I agree with the previous posts and would like to add that Japan has lost all originality, just look at the TV programs, the films are nothing more than extended versions of TV. It's not an art form anymore, it's only for commercial success.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

The only thing that will save it is movies based around food and how delicious it is, Curry rice in Shinjuku for example, or cup ramen in the park, now that's the future. Oshieeee.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

What on earth are you guys talking about? Akira Kurosawa was definitely one of the most influential and best directors of all time, but he wasn't the only good director in Japan.

There have been many good films that never got international attention. "When the last sword is drawn" (Mibugishiden) was an amazing film in 2003. There was also "13 Samurai". The list will go on...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This has been true since the 1970's, when there were 3 major film production companies that controlled the tied theatre chains and distribution system, and produced a predictiable mix of jidai geki, yakuza pulp fiction, bubble-headed comedy, and anodyne domestic drama. Oh, and porn, plus the endlessly repetitive Tora-san series. As a result of this cartel arrangement, real writers, actors and directors were largely locked out of the industry, and unable to get their films made, nuch less widely distributed. It took decades - until US cinema companies decided to crack this market - for the system to change. Ironically, the Japanese film industry now finds itself unable to compete with foreign films, and the arthouse/indy/auterur-director films are still playing in tiny independent cinemas.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

arthouse/indy/auterur-director films are still playing in tiny independent cinemas

How is that different from literally every place on the planet?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

How is that different from literally every place on the planet?

Batman Begins didn't just play in tiny independent cinemas.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Taking risks in Japan? No, thank you. Studios are better off milking the cow until it's dry, or the mangaka getting blind he cannot draw anymore.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Maybe not charge the current insane prices and don't spend months after major blockbuster has released internationally to add japanese voice over before releasing it here.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Damn right, Hayao Miyazaki criticized the anime industry is full of otakus who can't imagine anything aside their sexual deviants.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

American movies have also become rather asinine and the hollywood production companies love a cinematic universe or a series they can bleed dry.

companies love money, and if people keep paying to see a reboot or the next in a franchise then why change? Just possibly it’s up to us to go out and see art house films, make the effort to go to small independent movie houses. If we don’t, then of course there is no future for these things.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Over 200 Japanese movies are released each year in Japan.

Only about 5 or 6 become hit or popular among teenagers.

1 or 2 out of those 5 are indie hits.

It's hard to list even Top 5 Great Japanese films from the last 10 years. Great Japanese films I mean like The Human Conditon Trilogy.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japanese cinema has been in the doldrums for decades now. And you can't blame it on overreliance on manga or other source material. Practically every country in the world makes movies based on another source, whether it be a graphic novel or simply a remake or another take on a previous movie. So originality is not to blame.

After all, take a look at South Korean cinema. Many of their movies get their inspiration and ideas from other movies and source material (even Japanese manga as was the case with the classic "Oldboy"). Yet, South Korea has long ago surpassed Japan simply because South Korean fimmakers make their movies seemingly fresh and exciting, and use themes and topics that appeal to an international audience, not just South Koreans. Japanese movies by comparison are boring and fail to excite anyone with their fixation on tarentos hamming up a scene.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There have been many good films that never got international attention. "When the last sword is drawn" (Mibugishiden) was an amazing film in 2003. There was also "13 Samurai". 

You're literally talking about a 17 year old film and a 10 year old film. Even if you toss in the occasional one like 'Eternal Zero', you might have 3 or 4 films in 20 years that aren't anime.

That's basically... horrendous.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Lost count of the Japanese films I've watched over the years but the one's in the last few years, that stand out would be

Depatures (2008) intensely moving drama about a man who takes a career turn to become an undertaker.

Nobody Knows (2004) based on a true story of child abandonment.

Zatoichi (2003) Beat does his usual thing, in a bloody tale of the blind samurai, complete with a musical interlude.

Battle Royale (2000) A cameo from Beat, but it;s all about Lord of the Flies for the 21st century. A wicked commentary on competition and ruthelessness in society.

No need to mention Kurosawa, Ozu or Miyazaki - their brilliance is a given, but those eras are over.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I follow the manga adaptations. But yes movies need to be a bit easier to make. Directors are struggling to make movies, and I have experienced it with my docu. I get the latest updates of movies from https://www.movienews.info. It is the best way to get all the latest news and stay in touch with movies.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites