Masatoshi Nagase

The Rainbow Seeker

IMDb:
1996
min

The heart-warming story of a man who runs a movie theater and tries to show great films to local people despite many hardships.


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The Hidden Blade

IMDb:
2004
min

An honest, low-ranking samurai, Munezo Katagiri finds himself buffeted by the confusion of old and new in mid-19th century Japan. Facing outside pressure, the Shogunate is trying to open Japan to the West and some carefully selected Western ways, while maintaining its fragile political base. Munezo, and his colleague Samon Shimada try to maintain their footing, paying heed to the demanding moral code of the samurai while also learning new military strategies, particularly the mastery of Western artillery. But Munezo also has a personal complication. He is secretly in love–so secretly, he may not even admit it to himself–with his family’s maid, the sweet and beautiful country girl, Kie. His passion leads him to rescue Kie from a loveless marriage after she leaves his household; the samurai even shocks propriety by carrying away the low-caste young woman on his back. Just as Munezo starts to get his domestic situation in something to resembling order, Munezo hears devastating news. A comrade, Yaichiro Hazama, has been caught up in a plot in Edo. Their clan has sent the rebellious samurai home in the humiliating transport of a “prisoner’s basket.” Munezo comes under suspicion because he and Yaichiro, the clan’s best swordsmen, shared a famed instructor, but Munezo refuses to cooperate with the chief retainer’s witch hunt. Tension finally leads Munezo to confess his growing affection to Kie, a development that the young woman begins to hope will lead to the abandonment of caste structures. But before Munezo can realize his romantic destiny, Yaichiro escapes. Munezo is ordered to kill him, and the loyal, honorable samurai is faced with one final challenge to his principles.


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Sweet Red Bean Paste (An)

IMDb:
2015
min

Sentaro runs a small bakery that serves dorayaki pastries filled with sweet red bean paste (“an”). When an old lady, Tokue, offers to help in the kitchen he reluctantly accepts. She will soon prove to have magic in her hands…


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Party 7

IMDb:
2000
min

Low level and bumbling Yakuza Miki Shunichiro snatched $200 million from his syndicate, and hides out at the Hotel New Mexico, a strange isolated hotel filled with quirky employees. Soon, one after another people from his past start showing up at his hotel room door, including his hot ex-girlfriend, her pathetic weakling boyfriend, his Yakuza brother, and an assassin sent to kill them all. Meanwhile, everything happening in his room is being watched by Captain Banana, a professional peeping tom, and his new protege, Okita Soji – although not the Bakumatsu era Samurai sword master of the same name. This Okita Soji is a sweatervest wearing peeping tom with a bad haircut, played by Asano Tadanobu, who is the complete polar opposite of his character Samehada from Sharkskin Man and Peach Hip Girl.


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Kano 2014

IMDb:
2014
min

In 1928, a group of boys in Taiwan play on the local team Kano. The team has never scored a run or won a baseball game. A former baseball player (Masatoshi Nagase) now accountant in Taiwan decides to manage the unusual group of local and Japanese boys. His goal is to take the team to Koshien (Japan’s national baseball championships for high schools).


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Kanata no Ko

IMDb:
2013
min

Miyako (Maki Sakai) participates in a 1 night and 2 days hiking tour of
Mount Fuji. Ryoichi Nozawa (Arata) is the guide for the hiking tour team
of Miyako, Shintaro Kondo (Shinsuke Suzuki), Someno Aoyama (Hiroko
Isayama) and Ai Mitsuke (Ayaka Onishi). While hiking through Mount Fuji,
Someno looks back and sees Miyako is crouced down and has her hands
covering her face. Ryoichi tries to talk to Miyako, but she is frozen.
Miyako sees the faint shape of person. Miyako realizes that she has a
daughter named Natsuki (Mirai Iwasaki).


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Gojoe

IMDb:
2000
min

Synopsis from Midnight Eye: A sumptuous and at times super-charged swordplay fantasy, Gojoe puts the spin on one of Japan’s most popular feudal legends: the battle at Kyoto’s Gojoe Bridge. Though its multitude of characters and warring factions might make Gojoe somewhat confusing to Western eyes, the basic storyline is simple: warriors of the Heike clan get their heads chopped off by an invisible force at Gojoe bridge. Benkei, a former Buddhist monk plagued by the demons of his own past, sets out to destroy the evil force that lurks at Gojoe, aided by his graverobbing sidekick Tetsukichi. They soon discover that the perpetrator is in fact a young warrior, a former lord named Shanao, out for revenge against the clan that ordered the death of his family.

The fact that Sogo Ishii, the creator of such contemporary punk masterpieces as Burst City (Bakuretsu Toshi, 1982) and Crazy Thunder Road (Kuruizaki Sandaa Rodo, 1980) is at the helm should be an indication that this is not your average swords-and-kimonos adventure. Gojoe plays less like a jidai geki than a true Ishii film in period garb. Elements and themes from his films from the 1990s – spiritualism, the metaphysical, man being a small but essential part of the greater cosmic scheme – are combined with a resurgence of the boundless energy of his work from the 80s.


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Dead End Run

IMDb:
2003
min

The film has little plot to speak of, but is instead divided into three short episodes, each of which opens with a man desperately running away before being trapped in a dead end, where something out-of-the-ordinary occurs. The episodes include a musical number, a Mexican stand-off and a police pursuit.


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