Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Top Ranked Films from Japan

© William L. Sinclair
The top ranked films from Japan, based on our survey of internet polls. A total of 38 made the top 1000, up from 34 in 2009.


1. Seven Samurai, The [Kurosawa, Akira; 1954] #7 [photo top]
2. Rashomon (1950) Kurosawa, Akira #29 Japan
3. Ran (1985) Kurosawa, Akira #39 Japan-France
4. Tokyo Story (1953) Ozu, Yasujiro #76 Japan
5. Spirited Away (2001) Miyazaki, Hayao #78 Japan
6. Ugetsu (1953) Mizoguchi, Kenji #85 Japan
7. Ikiru (1952) Kurosawa, Akira #101 Japan
8. Yojimbo (1961) Kurosawa, Akira #163 Japan
9. Hotaru no Hakaa (Grave/Fireflies, 1988) Takahata, Isao #228 Japan
10. Sansho the Bailiff (1954) Mizoguchi, Kenji #240 Japan
11. Throne of Blood (1957) Kurosawa, Akira #244 Japan
12. Howl's Moving Castle (2004) Miyazaki, Hayao #352 Japan
13. Mononoke-hime (1997) - anime Miyazaki, Hayao #355 Japan
14. I Was Born, But… (1932) Ozu, Yasujiro #370 Japan
15. My Neighbour Totoro (1988) Miyazaki, Hayao #382 Japan
16. Princess Yang Kwei Fei (Yokihi, 1955) Mizoguchi, Kenji #415 Japan-Hong Kong
17. High and Low (1963) Kurosawa, Akira #450 Japan
18. Late Spring (1949) Ozu, Yasujiro #454 Japan
19. Ponyo (anime, 2008) Miyazaki, Hayao #569 Japan
20. In the Realm of the Senses (1976) Oshima, Nagisa #583 France-Japan
21. Nobody Knows (2004) Kore-eda, Hirokazu #608 Japan
22. Story of the Late Chrysanthemums, The (1939) Mizoguchi, Kenji #618 Japan
23. Life of Oharu, The (1952) Mizoguchi, Kenji #636 Japan
24. Woman in the Dunes (1964) Teshigahara, Hiroshi #637 Japan
25. Floating Clouds (1955) Naruse, Mikio #638 Japan
26. Dersu Uzala (1975) Kurosawa, Akira #647 Japan-Russia
27. Castle in the Sky (1986) Miyazaki, Hayao #668 Japan
28. Kagemusha (1980) Kurosawa, Akira #682 Japan
29. Still Walking (2008) Koreeda, Hirokazu #707 Japan
30. Autumn Afternoon, An (1962) Ozu, Yasujiro #767 Japan
31. An Actor's Revenge (1963) Ichikawa, Kon #786 Japan
32. Hidden Fortress, The (1958) Kurosawa, Akira #789 Japan
33. 13 Assassins (2010) Miike, Takashi #852 Japan
34. Harakiri (1962) Kobayashi, Masaki #867 Japan
35. Children of Hiroshima (1952) Shindô, Kaneto #891 Japan
36. Akira (anime, 1988) Ôtomo, Katsuhiro #907 Japan
37. Red Beard (1965) Kurosawa, Akira #963 Japan
38. Black Rain (1989) Imamura, Shohei #990 Japan

Masahiro Motoki in Departures

My Favorites

1. Seven Samurai, The (1954) Kurosawa, Akira #2 Japan
2. Departures (2008) Takita, Yôjirô * Japan
3. Shall We Dance? (1995) Suo, Masayuki * Japan
4. The Twilight Samurai (2002) Yamada, Yôji * Japan
5. Ugetsu (1953) Mizoguchi, Kenji #85 Japan
6. Stray Dog (1949) Kurosawa, Akira #1899 Japan
7. Crazed Fruit (1956) Nakahira, Kô * Japan
8. High and Low (1963) Kurosawa, Akira #450 Japan
9. Dersu Uzala (1975) Kurosawa, Akira #647 Japan-Russia
10. Rashomon (1950) Kurosawa, Akira #29 Japan
11. Hotaru no Hakaa (Grave/Fireflies, 1988) Takahata, Isao #228 Japan
12. The Bird People in China (1998) Miike, Takashi * Japan
13. Ikiru (1952) Kurosawa, Akira #101 Japan
14. Yojimbo (1961) Kurosawa, Akira #163 Japan
15. Samurai 1: Musashi Miyamoto (1954) Inagaki, Hiroshi * Japan
16. Tokyo Story (1953) Ozu, Yasujiro #76 Japan
17. Ran (1985) Kurosawa, Akira #39 Japan-France
18. Burmese Harp (1956) Ichikawa, Kon #1525 Japan
19. Harakiri (1962) Kobayashi, Masaki #867 Japan
20. Hidden Fortress, The (1958) Kurosawa, Akira #789 Japan
21. Floating Weeds (1959) Ozu, Yasujiro #1435 Japan
22. Woman in the Dunes (1964) Teshigahara, Hiroshi #637 Japan
23. Throne of Blood (1957) Kurosawa, Akira #244 Japan
24. Sansho the Bailiff (1954) Mizoguchi, Kenji #240 Japan
25. Godzilla (1954) Honda, Ishirô #1599 Japan
26. Kagemusha (1980) Kurosawa, Akira #682 Japan

These are an acquired taste but nearly everyone agrees that The Seven Samurai is one of the all-time classics of both black and white cinematography, and action-adventure captured dramatically on film, making viewers feel part of the action. The original title in Japan: The Magnificent Seven! When the U.S. western based on this came out, Kurosawa's film title was changed in the west to avoid confusion.

Ugetsu is one of the more haunting stories put on film, suffice to say that there are surprising plot twists that no one can see coming.

Departures won 33 awards overall. Shall We Dance? won 52 awards out of 55 nominations.