The Eyes Have It: The Vengeance Cinema of Kaji Meiko

Note: this feature presents Japanese names in the traditional fashion of family name first, followed by given name. Japanese language film titles and genres are presented in italics for ease of reading


Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion and Stray Cat Rock: Delinquent Girl Boss, both discussed below, are currently available on BFI Player as part of the Japan 2020 season


An entire feature could be written on Kaji Meiko’s signature stare.

Expressing an ocean of fury and recrimination, that “look” is evident in the Japanese actress’ two most famous films, 1972’s Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion and 1973’s Lady Snowblood.

But, there is more to Kaji Meiko than a glare so glacial it ices blood in the veins...

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Relic

Director: Natalie Erika James

Writer: Natalie Erika James, Christian White

Cast: Emily Mortimer, Bella Heathcote, Robyn Nevin

Producers: Jake Gyllenhaal, Riva Marker, Anna McLeish, Sarah Shaw

Music: Brian Reitzell

Cinematography: Charlie Sarroff

Editor: Denise Haratzis, Sean Lahiff

Cert: 15 (TBC)

Running time: 89mins

Year: 2020



What’s the story: When the mentally and physically frail Edna (Nevin) goes missing, daughter Kay (Mortimer) and granddaughter Sam (Heathcote) fear the worst. At Edna’s remote house in Australian woodland, Kay and Sam begin hearing odd noises. Matters grow even stranger when Edna reappears.

What’s the verdict: One of life’s great horrors is watching the body age and decay...

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Da 5 Bloods – The Movie Robcast

Episode 94 of The Movie Robcast sees Robs Daniel & Wallis in the same vicinity for the first time in three months! They decided to meet in town on a sunny Sunday morning to do a social distanced podcast. Both rocking a Bane look with their face masks (and you can hear Rob D shifting his a few times, well it kept sliding down…) they tried not to get freaked out by how randomly noisy they found the great outdoors.

Take a listen, you’ll hear what we mean. We swear it wasn’t like this before lockdown…

After some discussion of what possibly lies in store vis-à-vis filmgoing for the rest of the year, the Robs take a tour of duty discussing Spike Lee’s Netflix movie, Da 5 Bloods...

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The Vast of Night – The Electric Shadows Podcast

Episode 93 of The Movie Robcast sees our intrepid Robs looking to the skies to discuss The Vast of Night, now streaming on Amazon Prime. On this quest they are joined once again by Tessa Scott, back after a triumphant appearance on the Whiplash episode.

The trio give their verdict on Andrew Patterson’s debut, a glorious evocation of 50s sci-fi wonder and paranoia. They discuss the influence of The Twilight Zone, what impressed them and much more.

Rob Wallis also took one for the team and watched Artemis Fowl, the fell-at-the-starting-line wannabe franchise starter that has slunk out on to Disney+.


CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE EPISODE


Or if you subscribe to Spotify…


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Whiplash – The Movie Robcast

*SPOILER WARNING* – This episode features Whiplash spoilers throughout, including discussion of the plot twists and the film’s climax.  

Episode 92 of The Movie Robcast sees Robs Daniel & Wallis looking back at Damien Chazelle’s blistering, Oscar winning 2014 debut, Whiplash. And to make sure the Robs are not rushing or dragging, they’ve invited their friend Tessa Scott along for her opinion. It was Tess’ first time watching the movie and she delivers a cymbal crash of great insights.

Across a lively 70mins, the trio discuss what makes Chazelle’s debut so memorable six years after release, the performances from Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons (who picked up a Best Supporting Actor Oscar playing the music teacher from Hell), how the film compares to La La Land, and much more...

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BFI Japan 2020’s Classics Collection – 5 Must-See Movies

Hideko Takamine in When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (1960)

BFI Player is currently playing host to the excellent Japan 2020 season.

Its Japanese Classics collection showcases great movies from the Golden Ages of the 1930s and 1950s, the post-war generation who shook the system from the 1960s onward, plus the filmmakers who came to prominence in the 1980s and 1990s.

Spanning multiple genres, the collection contains some of the best films ever made. Choosing five you should start with was tough.

But, here is a quintet of movies we think provide a good introduction to the collection…


For more information on BFI Japan 2020, click here

To view Japan 2020 on BFI Player, click here


FLOATING CLOUDS (1955)

We make no apologies for this being the first of two M...

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Yasujiro Ozu & BFI Japan 2020 (feat. Alexander Jacoby) – The Movie Robcast

Yoko Tsukasa in Yasujiro Ozu’s Late Autumn (1960)

Welcome to this bonus episode of The Movie Robcast. The BFI Player Japan 2020 season continues in June with a collection dedicated to Yasujiro Ozu, joining fantastic collections on Akira Kurosawa and Classic Japanese movies.

We had the opportunity to talk with Dr. Alexander Jacoby about Yasujiro Ozu and why the director is so important to Japanese cinema. An expert on Japan and Japanese film, Alex conveys why the director’s films remain enjoyable, accessible and continue to dazzle today.

The BFI Player collection includes the numerous masterworks Ozu made, including Early Spring, his final movie An Autumn Afternoon and his most famous film, Tokyo Story.

This episode is a cut down of a longer interview...

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Family Matters – Alexander Jacoby Discusses Yasujiro Ozu

Yasujiro Ozu on set

The BFI Player Japan 2020 season continues in June with a collection dedicated to Yasujiro Ozu, joining fantastic collections on Akira Kurosawa and Classic Japanese movies.

A giant of Japanese cinema, Ozu made 54 films before succumbing to cancer on his 60th birthday in 1963. The BFI Player collection will feature 25 of the 36 surviving Ozu movies, by far the most that have been made available on VOD.

The collection includes the numerous masterworks Ozu made, including Early Spring, his final movie An Autumn Afternoon and his most famous film, Tokyo Story. The latter has appeared in the top 10 of Sight and Sound’s Greatest Films of All Time polls since 1992. In 2012 it placed no...

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Tokyo Story

Director: Yasujiro Ozu

Writer: Yasujiro Ozu, Kogo Noda

Cast: Chishu Ryu, Chieko Higashiyama, Setsuko Hara, Haruko Sugimura, So Yamamura

Producers: Takeshi Yamamoto

Music: Takanobu Saito

Cinematography: Yuharu Atsuta

Editor: Yoshiyasu Hamamura

Cert: U

Running time: 136mins

Year: 1953


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What’s the story: Japan, 1953. Elderly couple Shukichi (Ryu) and Tomi (Higashiyama) travel from the south of the country to visit their adult children in a Tokyo suburb. But, they are largely ignored, save for their widowed daughter-in-law, Noriko (Hara).

What’s the verdict: That some audiences may be daunted by the prospect of viewing Yasujiro Ozu’s 1953 masterpiece is understandable.

First up, it’s a masterpiece from 1953, originating in J...

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Nolanverse: 10 Ways to Spot You’re Watching a Christopher Nolan Film

On location for Dunkirk, Christopher Nolan shows Kenneth Branagh the way home

‘Coming To Theaters’ announces the new trailer for Christopher Nolan’s Tenet. Perhaps wisely, it is not date specific. That current 17th July release may end up as wobbly as the temporal laws in the film itself.

But, we will see Tenet at some point in the next twelve months, preferably sooner rather than later. The trailers for Nolan’s 11th theatrical outing promise the you’ve-forgotten-all-about-your-popcorn-event-cinema experience we’ve now come to greedily expect.

Since debuting with 1998’s Following, Nolan’s films have ventured into deep space, deep inside the mind, redefined the superhero movie, and showed us what new ground (air and sea) can be covered in the war movie.

Like his character...

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