Let’s be honest. Anyone can pick up a camera, shoot some actors, and call it a good movie. But what really makes a good movie good? Many movie connoisseurs would argue that a good movie is one that challenges, criticises, or presents an alternative, thought-provoking, and raw truth of society. Here are four Japanese movies that do just that and was a success foreign movie markets.
Madadayo meaning is a movie from the late great Akira Kurosawa. The star of this film is a beloved professor who retires to pursue writing. However, with factors such as age and the struggles of World War II, the professor’s life became difficult, thus his former students who took care of him. It became something of an annual ceremony for them to celebrate his birthday during which, the professor would shout “madadayo!” meaning “death is right around the corner, but it hasn’t taken me yet.” Madadayo is the story of a marginalized individual going through ordinary life struggles and it proves that you don’t have to be an epic hero to have an influence on the people around you.
Studio Gibli’s Princess Mononoke is one of the most beloved anime movies from Hayao Miyazaki. Inspired by the Kyushu island Yakushima, the beautiful setting and the story of a strong-willed female character fighting alongside nature and against the unhealthy human consumption of natural resources is brought to life. This movie captured the hearts of many foreigners and natives alike because, although it is very fantastical, it touches on real-world problems and addresses the harsh reality that people may face if they are not careful with how and how much they consume natural resources. It was a brilliant idea to base the setting off of the beautiful, nature preserve Yakushima.
3.Ghost in the Shell
Ghost in the Shell was popular in 1995 and grew ever more popular with the anime that aired late at night on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. The plot takes place well into the future where the entire world runs on an electronic network and the main heroine, a cyborg, tries to stop a hacker whose main goal is to oppose this world network. This movie raised questions about the effects that technology has on people, both the good and (more importantly) the bad. This movie is so popular that Netflix created a live action which, considering that there are no Japanese people in the cast, is not accepted by many.
Ringu is probably the most popular among foreign countries, especially with the American adaptation “The Ring.” Like in the American version, Ringu is about a girl who gets trapped in a well and haunts and kills anyone who watches the tape seven days after viewing. A brave reporter watches the video associated with the deaths that had been occurring. She tries to solve the case and has only seven days to do it. This movie has been remade many times which attests to how much people love it. A 3D rendition of the movie features the super handsome Yusuke Yamamoto with the title of “Sadako.” Ringu is a horror story on film, but in real life, it’s addressing people’s fear of the media.
Whether they go to the movies for entertainment or to analyze the director’s techniques and the writers writing skills, people commonly gravitate towards movies that present life in it’s purest most realistic form while simultaneously resting underneath the layers of cinematic art and storytelling. If there are movies on this list that you haven’t heard, do check them out. You’ll be left with your thoughts and good quality entertainment.
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