Madman deliver a Mad May for Japanophiles
May might very well be the best month to be a Japanophile. Not only does it see the Evangelion Art Exhibition reach Sydney and Melbourne after the Gold Coast, but we also have a whole swag of incredible Japanese cinema in stores now.
Godzilla is a mainstay of the kaiju genre and with Guilermo Del Toro's Pacific Rim just around the corner there's never been a better time to jump on the bandwagon. If you always found the original film a little too old, you're in luck. Released in 1999, Godzilla 2000 rebooted the franchise which ultimately finished with Ryuhei Kitamura's Godzilla: Final Wars.
Not sure where to start your education into all things kaiju? Start with the Millennium Boxset for something a little more current before revisiting the original Heisei and Showa sets.
Credited with being the inspiration for Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill, Lady Snowblood is a blood soaked story of betrayal and revenge. Somewhat of a grindhouse film in its own right, Lady Snowblood hase rightfully earned the "classic" label that many a cinephile have bestowed upon it. In short, it's like the samurai lovechild of Sympathy for Mr Vengeance and I Spit on Your Grave.
While it may be a highly regarded cinema study, it's perfectly enjoyable on its own and a must watch for Tarantino fans - see how many carbon copy shots you can spot!
I could bang on all day about how great the final battle is at Ganryu Island but realistically, the fact that the first film in this trilogy won an Oscar for Best Foreign Film should be praise enough.
Released between 1954 and 1956, the golden period of Samurai cinema, the world's best known Samurai, Toshiro Mifune, took a break from starring in Akira Kurosawa films to star in the incredible Samurai Trilogy. Equal parts cinema and history lesson, Mifune plays the role of the world renowned Samurai, ronin, tactician and author, Miyamoto Musashi.
Do you like your samurai stories a little more blood soaked? Well if Lady Snowblood had too much and The Samurai Trilogy not enough, there's always the Lone Wolf and Cub Ultimate Collection.
Based upon the 1970 manga series by Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima, Lone Wolf and Cub is yet another revenge story. In fact, it's almost a mix between Lady Snowblood and The Samurai Trilogy. After his wife is murdered and he is stripped of his title, former samurai executioner Ogami Itto embarks on an epic tale of adventure, revenge and retribution.
What would you do to get to the top? Beg? Borrow? Steal? FLASH? Well that's exactly what a rookie Weatherwoman does to raise her profile. Spoiler alert... it works.
Weatherwoman has gained somewhat of a cult following and seems to be on latenight SBS at least a few times each year... since the late 90's. In fact, if there's anything I remember from SBS in the 90's it would be Neon Genesis Evangelion and Weatherwoman. Rude, crude and devilishly funny.
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