As 2011 draws to a close and 2012 begins, it’s time to usher in a new theme month, focusing exclusively on the output of films from one country. I’ve chosen to inaugurate this first of hopefully many surveys by sampling the expansive and varied body of films of Japan. I think it’s only fair to preface this upcoming exploration by proclaiming that I’m not an expert on Japanese culture or a scholar of Japanese movies, just a lifelong enthusiast. Here in the States, many seem to prefer familiarity and sameness to innovation, so anything truly “different” needs to be imported from somewhere else. No other country’s cinematic offerings leave me scratching my head as much or possess a touch as distinctive as the varied films from the Land of the Rising Sun. With this in mind, I hope you’ll forgive any cultural misunderstandings, and take my commentary with a grain of salt.
Over the next several weeks I’ll cover comedies, ghost stories, anime, horror and science fiction, revisiting some old favorites and hopefully discovering some new ones as well. I apologize in advance if I’ve left out one of your personal favorites, but I can always revisit this exploration in 2013 (if the Mayan calendar is wrong). As always, suggestions are welcome and encouraged! Who knows where I’ll be next?
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