By Jade Bonus
As we near the end of our winter of our discontent, it’s not unusual to have lost a bit of that loving feeling for Japan. So for this month’s MediaBug film edition, I thought it might be worthwhile for us all to go back to where it began for to rekindle the flame that bought us here in the first place.
For me, the spark that ignited my love for Japan was a documentary I saw when I was 11 called ‘The New Japanese’ – it had a noise band in it and I thought that was cool.
Noise bands are always cool.
Alas, in the intervening years I have never found that documentary again, which is just as well because the production values are most likely shithouse and a rewatch would probably ruin my childhood even more than Gene Simmons already has. In lieu of this documentary, in the intervening years, I found many films (most of which I have already written about in MediaBug) that in turns slaked my love for Japan and stoked my will to get here by hook or by crook or, as luck had it, by the JET program.
For a change, this MediaBug isn’t all about me and what I like, but about you and what you like (or could like given the chance). Thanks to a recent post on the Aomori JET page, please find a slew of beloved films about Japan below stolen from your compadre’s favourites to get you back in the Japan loving feeling, and remember, winter will be over soon.
Rather than trailers for the following, please enjoy Vanilla Ice’s classic, Ninja Rap… it will make sense in a minute.
Lost In Translation (2003)
One of my favourite ever films and it will be yours, too, if you can deal with Scarlett Johansson pouting and staring into middle distance for long periods of time, but wait, you can deal with it because Bill Murray!
Kill Bill (2003)
There are no words for my love of this film… well, there are, but you’d fall asleep about a fifth of the way into reading them.
The Last Samurai (2003)
A surprisingly popular entry that not many people I spoke to were willing to put their name to.
Battle Royale (2000)
I should point out that we are teachers and shouldn’t like this film…but we do, so I won’t.
Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995)
Here be robots and terrifying subtext.
Seven Samurai (1954)
It’s black and white but persevere; it’s a cinema classic.
Princess Mononoke (1997)
Studio Ghibli is a much beloved favourite amongst y’all, however, as it may contain talking animals that end up dying, I refuse to watch any of it.
Spirited Away (2001)
Another Studio Ghibli film that is a fan favourite about a girl who must work at a bathhouse… for spirits.
Only watch this film with the lights on and an empty stomach.
Fish Story (2009)
One of my favourite movies ever and previously featured on Good Morning Aomori, so really, you should have seen it already.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993)
Submitted by the only person in the known world to have seen this film, make their dreams come true and be the second person to watch this film.
Star Wars Trilogy (1977, 1980, 1983)
No, I don’t get it either but seeing as I personally own three Star Wars t-shirts I will always suggest a rewatch of the classic trilogy because young Mark Hamill was a babe.