Makoto Shinkai's blockbuster is an eyeful and a heartful, but look closely and you'll see the seams
Maverick director Masaaki Yuasa retells one of Gō Nagai's infamous operas of ultraviolence, with Yuasa adding both his trademark psychedelic visuals and a story that ultimately aims to break your heart, not just turn your stomach
The third and final movie adapted from Project Itoh's novels retains the timely and unsettling ideas from its source material, but also its dramatic awkwardness
My favorite movies are the ones that defy me, that dare me to try and wrap my arms around them. Every aspect of Toshio Matsumoto's Funeral Parade Of Roses shouts defiance: its non-linear, non-narrative narrative; its polymorphous and anarchic sexuality; its free embrace of everything from Douglas Sirk melodrama to vérité filmmaking to knockabout farce to blood-spattered horror; its lead role, inhabited by one of modern Japan's most flamboyant and outré public figures. All of this comes by way of what amounts to several films in one: a love triangle in Tokyo's homosexual underworld, a docu-manifesto for personal erotic freedom and social protest, and a modern-day retelling of a certain classic tragedy. I won't say which tragedy; that would ruin the fun. And now that it's available again to English-speaking audiences in a lustrous 4K remaster, you deserve to discover for yourself just how much this one-of-a-kind movie dares to do, and how completely it gets away with all of it.
If there is one feature-length animated production I never hesitate to recommend to those curious about how the medium can be a medium, it is Mind Game. If there is one feature-length animated production I never hesitate to recommend, period, it is Mind Game. It's the Joe Vs. The Volcano of animated films — a project with a devoted cult following and a philosophy of seizing life unrepentantly by the throat.
The dilemma is simple. There, on the ground in front of you, is the icon of your faith. All you must do is desecrate it — trample it, spit on it, blaspheme. Then you shall be free; all those who follow the faith with you shall also be free. Not hung over pits to bleed out, or wrapped in mats and burned alive. But the point of having a faith is to be able to avow it. You can disavow, but at the cost of spending the rest of your life being unable to avow freely. Or you can cling to your faith, and watch as others die for your stubbornness. What is to be done?