Yoshio Yasui

Archivist and film historian, Planet Bibliotheque de Cinema & Kobe Planet Film Archive

Japan

Voted in the critics’ poll

Voted for

Au Hasard Balthazar

1966

Robert Bresson

Big Time Gambling Boss

1968

Kosaku Yamashita

Children of the Beehive

1948

Shimizu Hiroshi

Humanity and paper balloons

1937

Yamanaka Sadao

Long Absence, The

1961

Henri Colpi

Minamata: The Victims and their World

1972

Tsuchimoto Noriaki

Red Desert

1964

Michelangelo Antonioni

Red Peony Gambler: Oryu's Return

1970

Tai Kat

Summer In Narita

Ogawa Shinsuke

Tatooed Life

1965

Suzuki Seijun

Comments

I have selected these best films from those that had a significant impact on my film-centred young life. The cinema still had a sparkling glory in the 1960s and 1970s, when I was a college student. In those days, young fans would always make a weekly visit to a film theatre near their home. All the seats were full and many people had to stand, huge roars of applause breaking out, especially at a lot of so-called Ninkyo films (modern versions of traditional Samurai dramas). The directors, or film craft artists, began to produce pictures with a novel approach that was based on their original aesthetic sense. The ATG (Art Theater Guild) actively introduced excellent European films to Japan. People were surprised and impressed to find a European sense of beauty, which they had never found in American films. And moreover, I would like to add two distinguished documentary films, which were not shown in commercial theatres but were independently and enthusiastically shown in local facilities all over Japan.

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