Decoupage has written 16 reviews for films rated ★★★½ .

  • Japanese Girls at the Harbor

    Japanese Girls at the Harbor

    Japanese Girls at the Harbor ranks as the best of Hiroshi Shimizu's early silent films, and the only one I can recommend. There's still an imitative, melodramatic construction to the characters and the plot; however, he really shortened the scene and shot lengths here. The faster pace and tempo allows the adventurous editing and lyrical, poetic visual flourishes to outshine the written material.

    Truly beautiful ending, with a wonderful piano score commissioned by The Criterion Collection.

  • The Flavor of Green Tea Over Rice

    The Flavor of Green Tea Over Rice

    The titular final sequence is outstanding, of course, but Early Spring is Ozu's definitive marriage film, and as far as nieces going to visit Aunt and Uncle goes, I much prefer watching Michiko Kuwano boozing it up with geisha and falling in love with a bad math tutor in What Did The Lady Forget?

  • The Munekata Sisters

    The Munekata Sisters

    Pretty much said this with my first review, but The Munekata Sisters is style over substance. Good Ozu to have on in the background if you're half paying attention.

  • The Blue Mountains: Part II

    The Blue Mountains: Part II

    Parts I and II together are almost great, but the ridiculous and stupid fight scene near the end drops this one into the " just good" category. Still, the school investigation scene goes on for like 30 minutes and amazingly never gets boring, the scene with Yoko Sugi and Ryo Ikebe sunbathing must have felt like a Roman Porno flick to 1949 Japanese audiences, and the final bicycle ride and scene on the beach vibing to the famous Blue Mountains theme song make this a worthy two-night viewing.

  • The Blue Mountains: Part I

    The Blue Mountains: Part I

    The Blue Mountains was supposedly one of Kurosawa's favorite films, probably because Setsuko Hara shows a little nipple and then dances with a girl who falls down and puts her face in the actress's lap. What ... no? Actually it's a good if dated film about a city girl who goes into the country and teaches the locals how backwards they all are.

    Really liked Yoko Sugi in this one to be honest.

  • Record of a Tenement Gentleman

    Record of a Tenement Gentleman

    If someone says they want to watch Ozu comfort food, recommend this film.

  • Three Women of the North

    Three Women of the North

    Surprisingly defeatist propaganda film released near the end of World War II in Japan. Setsuko Hara, Hideko Takamine, and Hisako Yamane give effective performances.

  • Toward the Decisive Battle in the Sky

    Toward the Decisive Battle in the Sky

    Inferior IJN recruitment film compared to The War At Sea From Hawaii to Malay (1942), but there's a lot more Setsuko Hara in this one and it all kind of comes together with the camaraderie and singing at the end.

  • Battle of Hawaii

    Battle of Hawaii

    Technically and narratively well-made, The War At Sea From Hawaii to Malay now seems like an historical afterthought because of Japan's defeat and the causes they were fighting for. Eiji Tsuburaya uses the same special effects magic he would later make famous with Godzilla, except this time it's Japanese bombers targeting the USS Arizona and Battleship Row.

    Setsuko Hara, of course, stars in a supporting woman's role as the ideal Japanese homefront girl in the most important propaganda film of the war. Not much acting here but this was peak cinema for Imperial Japan.

  • There Was a Father

    There Was a Father

    There Was a Father was Ozu's ultimate Father-Son film and a companion piece to his earlier ultimate Mother-Son film The Only Son.

    Good but not great Ozu, I prefer The Only Son.

  • Brothers and Sisters of the Toda Family

    Brothers and Sisters of the Toda Family

    Mid-level Ozu. The Brothers and Sisters of the Toda Family was a phenomenal success for the director at the time, but historically it's nothing more than a rough draft for Tokyo Story.

    My Japanese movie star crush from this era, Michiko Kuwano, makes another beautiful appearance.

  • Shanghai Landing Party

    Shanghai Landing Party

    Tactically well-made but a strategic failure, Shanghai Landing Party recreates the Japanese victory at the Battle of Shanghai with faux documentary-like footage. National actress Setsuko Hara plays an unruly Chinese girl rather unconvincingly.