Is there anyone on the forum who would care to discuss the finer points of Kirasawa,Mifume,John Woo,etc.? I realize this is a specialized taste, and only one of the many forms of the movies I enjoy,it would be nice to have other opinions of certain films. For example; I just recently found a copy of "Ran" [and just waiting for a quiet few hours to digest and enjoy it]
The term" Asian Cinema" covers a range of offerings, from the symbolic and lyrical (Kurosawa) to the downright depraved ("Guinea Pig "series). Ran is excellent, if you're a fan of that style and it is also true to the spirit of the source material (King Lear and Macbeth). The Lady Macbeth character is brilliantly written and acted; pure evil.

I would say that my favourite film by that director (Akira Kurosawa)is [Kagemusha (The Shadow Warrior) . It is a great character study, and the way in which the final battle scene is filmed gives it a profundity and sense of tragedy i've never seen equalled. Speilberg appears as a clumsy amateur in comparison, IMO.

If you have a strong stomach and a particularly dark sense of humour, I would check out films by Takashi Miike, particulalry Ichi the Killer and Audition, but be warned: he makes Quentin Tarantino look like Walt Disney.

Two other Far Eastern films that relly impressed me were Spirited Away, for anime fans and House of Flying Daggers, which is visually stunning. I'd never really thought about production design or art direction before (I don't know taupe from turnips), but HoFD is breathtaking, plus is has all the stylized martial arts and mythic scope a fan of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon could ask for.
Definitely the House of Flying Daggers is a beautiful film[while I loved the action scenes],the story and the visuals were among the best. Gore doesn't bother me as much as the grossness of some films,as in Tarantino's Res.Dogs..the torture of the wounded guard was too much for me. If I can get them,I want a copy of Rashoman,The Hidden Fortress and The 7 Samurai[but will buy any of Kurasawa's I can find.]
Jo Canadian
I enjoy many foreign films, chineese included. With the lack of Special effects and all the hype, they actually have to rely on stories, plots, and character development. Something that's rare nowadays in Hollywood.

Then missile, I'd say give Miike a miss. He's pretty gory, but more than that, his films can be very brutal. Ichi has a main character who makes the cop-torturer in Reservoir Dogs look like Mr. Rogers and the film contains a spirit of misogyny that is shocking. Audition, on the other hand, despite an unsettling change from light comedy to all-out psychological/physical horror at the end, seems to be strongly critical of male objectification of women. It's hard to pin Miike down. Is he misogynist? Is he pure exploitation, or is there a serious purpose at work? I don't know.

I'm not a fan of Kurosawa's earlier work, but for reasons, I think, that often leave me unimpressed by seminal artists in many fields: if you come to their work after having been exposed to the more polished efforts of those they influenced, it's easy to forget just how brilliant the original was and how much easier it is for the young disciple to make a technically superior work, when the heavy lifting was done by the old master. Kagemusha is brilliant and polished.
Maybe,I'll just stick to films I can watch over and over then,and continue looking for all the Sam Peckinpah releases,some of the Sam Fuller'sand the odd Western film. in the last year,I found This Is Spinal Tap, Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, and Warlock..just a few examples so you'll have a good idea of the types I mean

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