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Films & Other Videos

Films with: Kobayashi, Masaki

Black river
Examines the rampant moral corruption on and around U.S. military bases in Japan following World War II. Kobayashi spirals out from the story of a love triangle that develops between a good-natured student, his innocent girlfriend, and a coldhearted criminal to reveal a nation slowly succumbing to lawlessness and violence.
DVD 9649
Dodesuka-den
This film follows the lives of the people who live in a slum, built in a garbage dump. A mentally disabled boy is obsessed with streetcars, driving an imaginary streetcar around, chanting "Dodes'ka-den! Dodes'ka-den!"--Mimicking the sound of the wheels. Some of the neighbors are a young woman living with her lecherous uncle; a pair of friends who get drunk and swap wives; a possibly mentally ill beggar and his son who live in a deserted car; and a man with five children who knows he is not the father of any, but treats them as if they were his own. Although they may dream of better times, these people are trapped--both physically and psychologically--doomed to live a life of disappointment (or worse), but many find ways to carry on.
DVD 10412
Human condition.
A pacifist civilian's humane treatment of mine workers and Allied prisoners of war angers the Japanese authorities during World War II.
DVD 1151
Human condition.
Tells the story of Kaji, who is sent to the front in the horrible final days of World War II as punishment for treating Chinese prisoners humanely.
DVD 1152
Human condition.
Tells the story of Kaji, who awakens to a world ravaged by war. Starved and pursued by guilt and fear, he escapes into Siberia.
DVD 1153
I will buy you
Masaki Kobayashi's pitiless take on Japan's professional baseball industry is unlike any other sports film ever made. A condemnation of the inhumanity bred by a mercenary, bribery-fueled business, it follows the sharklike maneuvers of a scout dead set on signing a promising player to the team for the Toyo Flowers.
DVD 9648
Inheritance
On his deathbed, a wealthy businessman announces that his fortune is to be split equally among his three illegitimate children, whose whereabouts are unknown. A bevy of lawyers and associates begin machinations to procure the money for themselves, resorting to the use of impostors and blackmail. Yet all are outwitted by the cunning of the man's secretary, in this entertaining condemnation of unchecked greed.
DVD 9650
Jōiuchi Samurai rebellion /
A clan lord orders an aging swordsman to have his son marry the lord's mistress, but reverses his decision after the young couple falls in love.
DVD 4691
Kaidan
Consists of four stories of the supernatural based on Japanese folk material. In The black hair, a poor young samurai leaves his first wife to marry a rich woman. When he is unhappy in his second marriage, he returns to his first wife, who at first appears unchanged from when he last saw her. In The woman of the snow, a woodcutter is spared by a mysterious ghost-like woman in the snow, but must promise never to tell anyone what he has seen. In Hoichi, the earless, a blind musician-monk named Hoichi is commanded by a gathering of ghosts to sing the saga of their ancient deeds. The head monk paints Hoichi's body with prayer verses to protect him, but unfortunately overlooks Hoichi's ears. In In a cup of tea, a writer wonders what would happen to a person who drinks another's soul and finds out.
DVD 7590
Seppuku Hara kiri /
Peace in 17th-century Japan causes the Shogunate's breakup of warrior clans, throwing thousands of samurai out of work and into poverty. An honorable end to such fate under the samurai code is ritual suicide, or hara-kiri.
DVD 9970
Thick-walled room
Among the first Japanese films to deal directly with the scars of World War II, this drama about a group of rank-and file Japanese soldiers jailed for crimes against humanity was adapted by Abe Kōbō from the diaries of real prisoners.
DVD 9647