Category Archive: Japanese

Tokyo Story (Day 97)

My Opinion: 8.8 || A moving meditation on aging, loss, and family ties. The story can feel languid, but this is slowness with a purpose: producing steady imersion and leading to a resonant end. A triumph of quietly precise characterization and delicate storytelling.

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Ikiru (Day 86)

My Opinion: 8.8 || A simple premise explored brilliantly. Inventive story structure, absorbing camera work, and profound feeling. Excellent film.

Woman in the Dunes (Day 68)

My Opinion: 7.6 || Unique film tha’s a kind of horror parable – no blood or chills, just growing existential dread. The story is subtly surreal, but it’s filmed with a deep-focus naturalism that… Continue reading

Ghost In The Shell: Innocence (Day 59)

My Opinion: 8.2 || A philosophically ambitious, Escher-like story told with spectacular visuals. One of the most fascinating movie-watching experiences I’ve had recently.

Key of Life (Day 46)

My Opinion: 5.6 || A comedy of switched identities that never quite works despite having all the right elements. The storyline is cleverly set up, but the comic acting is often weak, and much… Continue reading

Intimidation (Day 44)

My Opinion: 6.2 || A tidy noirish thriller with interesting characters and a few superior moments. The ending is bizarrely abrupt, as if the real ending got lost and something had to be thrown… Continue reading

Rusty Knife (Day 39)

 My Opinion: 4.2 || And I chose this because? I can’t remember. It kicks off well, but the story becomes increasingly hokey and reliant on cantilevered coincidences. By the last third, it’s very difficult… Continue reading

Yojimbo (Day 33)

My Opinion: 6.3 || A Japanese “western” directed with all the skill you’d expect from Kurosawa. Toshirô Mifune carries the movie as the samurai Sanjuro, and he needs to because several of the other… Continue reading

Late Spring (Day 21)

My Opinion: 5.6 || I really wish I could rate this higher. It’s a classic that appears on many people’s lists of the best films ever made. But not until the last twenty minutes… Continue reading

Grave of Fireflies (Day 12)

 MY OPINION: 7.3 || Not sure I’ve ever seen a sadder film. Sad, not depressing — big difference — because the story is so profoundly tender. This is delicate aesthetic ground to tread, with… Continue reading

  • About Me


    I'm an author and consultant in Portland, Oregon. My novel 'Beheld' will be published this June.

  • The Mission

    To watch and write about one new foreign film a day for 100 days. It's a cinematic world tour -- with an emphasis on diversity of language, era, and style.

    In addition to the daily commentaries, I'll post weekly and monthly wrap-ups. And explore cool ways of graphing the films and my responses to them.