Looking over what I’ve written for this site so far, I notice that most of it is Japan-related. This surprises me, since, tragically trendy fellow that I am, I’ve concentrated largely on Hong Kong cinema until fairly recently. But the gratifying fact is that Japanese movies are suddenly hot again. There are even whispers of another Golden Age to follow the previous one of the ‘50s and ‘60s. Since I started paying attention to movies with subtitles a good number of years ago, the conventional wisdom has been that the industry never really recovered from the harrowing collapse of the old-fashioned studio system in the ‘70s. I don’t hear anybody saying that lately. The “Japanese Cinema Now” mini-retrospective at the Film Society of Lincoln Center (February 21-28) did and didn’t justify the renewed enthusiasm: most of the films were interesting and enjoyable to one degree or another, but… well, I am wont to get my expectations up too high, and in this case only one movie exceeded them.
Discover some Japanese cinema in part two of JAPANESE CINEMA NOW>>>