Japanese Film Club // Watching Welcome Back, Mr. Mcdonald!

告白 ・ Confessions

Length: 1h 47m
(Rough) Genre: Drama, Thriller, Mystery
IMDB/TMDB Link: Confessions (2010) - TMDB
Trailer Link (if possible): Trailer on YouTube
Known content warnings: Death, Murder

Summary

A psychological thriller of a grieving mother turned cold-blooded avenger with a twisty master plan to pay back those who were responsible for her daughter’s death.

Personal Opinion

I watched this movie a couple years back with my little brother using English subs, as I didn’t know any Japanese at the time, so if you know English you can definitely watch this regardless of your Japanese level.

I really do like this movie, I can’t think of a single bad thing to say about it, it was consistently good, and had a great and fitting end. Despite the topic it deals with, I don’t think it’s “edgy” or overbearing, it felt like it had just the right amount. So if the topic isn’t a trigger for you, I think it’ll be a genuine good watch.

There isn’t any excessive gore, or that much at all. It’s basically just the concept of what happens that makes it something to watch out for, there is blood, but not excessive, and nothing disgusting.

Anyway, really good watch. One of my favorite movies in general.

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I very much appreciate the level of caution – updated the description to be a bit more clear that spoiler tags can be up to one’s reasonable judgment cause I think in cases like yours it’s pretty core to the concept and fine to not hide. I actually watched this movie recently after reading the book! The Discord should be able to have Japanese subtitles if we watch this one :sunglasses:

Oh that’s a fun one, hahaha. Would love to read reactions to it. I was gonna stop at one for now but I mean, nominate it now or later, I’ll definitely be adding more so I might think about one more nomination. Maybe I’ll give it a bit longer to see if we have a bunch of people adding them. But nothing wrong with a good sized field of choices.

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I see, yeah it definitely felt like it wasn’t necessary, but, I gotta follow the rules haha. Removed them now.

Actually, I didn’t know it was a book, until I pulled up the page to share it here, makes me a bit interested to check that out, but not sure. Maybe I can put it on my one day list.

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It’s a really good book! I honestly preferred the way it was able to present things over the movie by a sizeable bit, highly recommend.

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FWIW something I learned when I started running my own clubs is that Discourse polls can only take 20 options so if you’d like a cap at which to stop taking nominations, that’d be a good number to know (if you didn’t already).

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銀河鉄道999・Galaxy Express 999

Length: 2h8m
Genre: Science Fiction, Adventure
TMDB Link
Trailer Link: [映画 銀河鉄道999 予告編 - YouTube)
Known content warnings: Death, Implied nudity

Summary

“In the future, one can achieve immortality by obtaining a mechanized body. Orphaned, young Tetsuro hitches a ride on the space train Galaxy Express 999 in the hope of obtaining a cyborg body to avenge his mother’s death. Along the way, he meets Maetel, who is the spitting image of his dead mother.”

Personal Opinion

Japan is usually on the more skeptical side of advancements in society and technology and this movie is a really fun exploration of these ideas. This is based on a manga and a longer anime series, but I think it does a good job of getting you up to speed with what it is and introduce you to the world of 松本零士 (Leiji Matsumoto) and an appreciation for some more traditional Japanese animation with a lot of great philosophical discussion on difficult topics of what it means to be human.

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I really like that movie (and I still have the book at home but it’s so thick :neutral_face:)

I never understood the ending quite well, even with professional subs… Warning Ending Spoiler!!!

was the baby just a thought experiment and what they showed kind of a computer simulation or were they really growing it :thinking:

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Been a while since I watched it, but I think they were really growing it. I wanna say some of the main characters were the babies grown up, but this is relying on 1-2 year old memory so big grain of salt :sweat_smile:

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Really interested by this club. I love japanese cinema, specially from the 50/60/70s (even if there is great stuff after), as much as classical directors like Ozu and Naruse as more modern like Masumura (that have some rest of classicism, at his start at least) or Fukasaku.
I will try to propose one soon.

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Alright alright, I’ll give us one more for this round. I’m doing the work so I’m going to grant myself 2 nominations at least :sweat_smile:. I’ll have to get braver some day (maybe after I look into what has available JP subtitles…) but I’m realizing so many movies I want to see have reasons that I expect the language to be really hard so I’m avoiding them.

東京物語 / Tokyo Story

Length: 2h17m
(Rough) Genre: Drama
IMDB/TMDB Link: Tokyo Story (1953) - IMDb
Trailer Link (if possible): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zEKw4VQIeY
Known content warnings: If this counts, it’s really sad. Death of a parent

Summary

An old couple visit their children and grandchildren in the city, but receive little attention.

Personal Opinion

I want to explore new things to me soon, but here’s one more that I’ve seen before and can vouch for. Tokyo Story is a really touching film, the kind where you finish the movie and go call your loved ones. It’s super well regarded, making frequent appearances on best film of all time lists. It’s also a chance to explore the period known as the golden age of Japanese cinema and director Yasujiro Ozu’s distinctive style. For anyone interested in cinematography, the framing is incredible and basically unique to him, as he sits the camera at low angles head on towards his subjects. As a film from the 50s and from someone known for lower stakes plots at that, it’s going to be slower paced than other nominations, and it’s also in black and white (which I think looks great but I know people not accustomed to it sometimes don’t enjoy the look as much). Still, I hope we give it a chance sometime, it’s a beautiful film and useful cultural piece of art to know about. IIRC the language is mostly day to day conversation at pretty even pace, though there may be some difficulties from slurry old men and general speaking style shifts given that it features fairly old people in the 50s.

In the US at least it’s on Criterion and Kanopy, but turns out it’s also currently on Youtube right here, also with optional English subs :slightly_smiling_face:. Total coincidence that I lucked into both of my choices being there.


Looks like that bit broke if you get the chance to fix it. but no big deal. Thanks so much for resubmitting!

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Quick reminder, today is the last day to nominate a movie to get into the first poll! You’re free to nominate any time though; it won’t be long before we’re polling again.

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It’s time for our first vote! I’m going to give us 3 votes each; I think that feels about right for this number of choices. Personally, I genuinely want to vote for about everything here, so it’s hard. Guess for the moment I’m mostly voting for my own nominations though :innocent:

The poll will run for 1 week and then we’ll get started! Since people are mostly going to be finding these digitally (and have 2 weeks to watch the pick) my plan is to start the club immediately when the voting ends, if there are no objections.

Excited to see what gets picked!!!

  • 勝手にふるえてろ / Tremble All You Want
  • ラジオの時間 / Welcome Back, Mr. McDonald
  • プラチナデータ / Platinum Data
  • タンポポ / Tampopo
  • カタクリ家の幸福 / The Happiness of the Katakuris
  • 告白 / Confessions
  • 銀河鉄道999 / Galaxy Express 999
  • 東京物語 / Tokyo Story
0 voters
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Reminder, this is the last day to vote! Since it’s taken a couple weeks to get off the ground, as I was saying, since there haven’t been complaints, when the poll closes and I get around to it I’ll make a thread and start our two weeks off.

If Katakuris actually wins I kinda love that, what a wild movie to start with and see people’s reactions to.

It begins very soon :grin:

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Yay, movie club! I love movies. Especially horror, but I recognize that’s not everyone’s jam. I’ve been meaning to watch some classic Japanese movies for a while but haven’t gotten to it yet.

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Happy to have you! I love horror too; I’m hoping there’s enough overall interest to slip a few of them in eventually. Have you seen Noroi: The Curse? It’s sorta found footage in a way that I’m sure not everyone will vibe with but it’s a serious contender for my outright favorite horror movie, highly recommend it. Or stuff by Kiyoshi Kurosawa like Pulse and Cure.

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I loved Noroi!! I’ve seen some criticism of it over its use of found footage and whether it’s the best example of a found footage movie, but I liked the movie so I didn’t care about subgenre pickiness. Pulse is on my list!

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I’ve sort of avoided to vote because I don’t really have access to anything other than Netflix at the moment, and my votes would be biased towards something that is available there, not necessarily because I want to watch something in particular but simply because I have access to it. I thought that it would be boring if my limitations would influence or limit what the club watches, so if it’s okay I prefer to leave the votes to the rest and if it’s something that I happen to have access to then I’ll join you all :slight_smile: . I admit Netflix probably isn’t the platform you go to for rich Japanese films haha. However I’ll try to look for something in there that I’d like to watch and nominate it next time, that’s something I’m comfortable with. My region is probably much worse in that regard in comparison to say US Netflix, though.

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I feel you. I’m hoping you’ll be pleasantly surprised more often than not with what you can get your hands on; a decent chunk of the currently nominated movies are somewhere easily accessible online.

Case in point, if Katakuris doesn’t lose this lead, I discovered it’s on the Internet Archive in good quality! So I’ll definitely be sharing that link when I post the thread, should it win.

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This is not working for me.

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I wonder if the link already died – discord told me it would last a month. They somewhat recently made it so that you can’t make a permanent link without jumping through a whole bunch of hoops (and I think necessarily opening it up for “discovery” elsewhere which is not desirable) so I was already thinking I have to cycle it, but it hasn’t even been two weeks :angry:

For now at least, I’ll have it replaced in just a minute.

Edit: New link is up – I am very confident it said will expire in 30 days and no limit on number of uses, but we’ll see if any of that is true.

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