It is a world of arranged marriages and loyalty beyond death, a world where suicide is an heroic act. Or a world where life's sadness can be echoed in the falling petals of cherry blossoms. It is a world simultaneously exotic but also universal in appeal--the world of Japan, and it is reflected beautifully in its films. From Souls on the Road to Tampopo, this book is a film-by-film look at more than 80 of Japan's best and most important movies. The entries, in chronological order, present the classics in many actors' and directors' careers. Biographical information points out the hallmarks of their style and also offers a history of the Japanese film industry. Japan's unique characteristics and historical background, which may be unfamiliar to Western audiences, are also explained in the entries, thus adding to the reader's enjoyment and understanding of these films.
Freelance writer Beverley Bare Buehrer taught history, philosophy and film classes at Kishwaukee College in Malta, Illinois until her retirement in 2010. A contributor to The Magill Cinema Annual for many years, she is the author of three books and lives in De Kalb, Illinois.