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Itami Juzo ...

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15 Apr 2002
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I just watched "The funeral" last night again. It's one of his more boring movies I had thought but since this was my 3rd time and my Japanese is much better I could spend time watching all the small things happening. I actually laughed out loud several times or shook my head in agreement.

Many of you have asked or wondered how you could learn more about Japan. I think I've just stumbled across an unbelievable tressure source.

Juzo Itami movies are great 80's material to study. He dissects his movies so delicately or precisely that even dense [gaijin] can learn something.

I've never figured out if he was trying to be serious or a comical since his movies help you along the scale of emotions.

If you have a chance, skip the samurai movies and pick up a few of Itami Juzos instead.

The Taxing woman
The Taxing woman 2
The Funeral
The Great Sick Person

Ugh, I forgot the rest of his titles. There's a yakuza one too.

oh well, anyway this should hold you over until we fill in the rest of the titles.
I've watched two of his movies: "Tampopo" (wow, I get hungry just thinking of it) and "Minbo" which happened to be the last movie he produced.

"Minbo" was highly critical of the yakuza (a movie about resistance and moral courage), and rumour has it he had killed himself because of their constant threats. Never the yakuza looked as dumb as in that movie. A must see!

Related link:

could be. Everybody knows that the Yakuza did not appreciate being portrayed in that movie. I hate seen it yet. lolo ... what am I doing?

Anyway, difinitely on Director to admire.
Correction: "Minbo no onna" wasn't Itami's last movie. His seventh and last movie was "Daibyonin", telling the story of a misanthropic film director dying of cancer (more info).

His wife Miyamoto Nobuko appeared in many of his movies: she played the restaurant owner in "Tampopo" as well as the courageous lawyer in "Minbo" who supported the hotel staff in their fierce fight against the yakuza mob.
Hehe posted above.

The great sick person.

I haven't seen that one and the yakuza one. I saw part of the monbo no onna now that I think of it.

Itami's wife plays the lead role in all his movies I think. Also, most of the cast, at least the main characters, play in all the movies. Like Gon from Tampopo (the cowboy hat truck driver) he plays the husband in "The Funeral" and in the other movies.

Pretty interesting to reuse actors.

Originally posted by moyashi
Pretty interesting to reuse actors.
Takeshi Kitano does the same. Some members of his cast work with him since the days of "Takeshi jo" (Takeshi's Castle).
hmm, I saw Battle Royale like 3 times. Even the special Directors cut. Which made more sense actually. Hmmm, next will be Brothers I think, although Takeshi Jo looks interesting.
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