Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Quick Filmic Look Back Into the Last Decade

I was recently asked to list ten of my favorite Japanese films of this decade and here’s what I came up with off the top of my head and in no particular order:

Distance (Hirokazu Koreeda, 2001)
9 Souls (Toshiaki Toyoda, 2003)
Crying Out Love, In the Center of the World (Isao Yukisada, 2004)
Eureka (2000, Shinji Aoyama)
Tokyo Sonata (2008, Kiyoshi Kurosawa)
Battle Royale (2000, Kinji Fukasaku)
Vibrator (2003, Ryuichi Hiroki)
Hana and Alice (2004, Shunji Iwai)
Heart Beating in the Dark (2005, Shunichi Nagasaki)
Tokyo Godfathers (2003, Satoshi Kon)

It should be noted that there were several releases that really should have made this list (whether Kurosawa’s Bright Future deserved mention over Tokyo Sonata was a chore in itself) and certainly many more I have not even seen (early indicators suggest that Koreeda’s recent Air Doll might have supplanted Distance on my list, for example). The point of this list is that the 'noughts' have shaped up to be one of the most prolific decades in Japanese film since the fifties and there is plenty of talent to be excited about for the upcoming decade.

So what are your favorite films, Japanese or otherwise, of this decade?


Emily said...

Battle Royale, of course, has a large chunk of my heart but the one I would add is Kurosawa's Kairo (Pulse). I know many a filmgoer has been bored by it, but it remains one of the few films of the decade that gave me genuine nightmares.

rupan777 said...

I agree that Kairo is a great film despite being sort of a slow burn. It would definitely make my top 20. Tokyo Sonata, however, was a much stronger effort thus it made my list.