Japan has been one of the greatest proponents of the medium right from the silent era!
Japan has had a long list of masters from its cinema. Over the years Japan has been one of the largest contributors in the realm of the linguistic advancement of the medium, this is in part due to the number works made in the nation each year, but its popularity around the world is due to several factors such as their unique culture, the depth of their literature and the differences between the Japanese customs and the western world. Yet among the popular masters of the medium in Japan, people often lose out on a lot of great and unique works, and in some cases these works are singular and the artist may not have even made another film since, but these works stand out as bold and interesting visions. Some of them are extremely experimental and that’s the reason they stand out beyond the scope of what is thought possible. This list contains such singular works that every cinephile needs to watch in order to explore a
completely different side of Japanese cinema.
Made by one the most experimental artists in Japan, Suji Terayama, Pastoral is an ode to his own childhood remembered in a surreal lens which is intercut with his current life making the project. This structure is not only mind bending but is also a very well done exploration in logic and reality in narrative cinema. The work shows the artist and his childhood in a heightened reality and presents the things in a tongue and cheek way, even the surreal world the narrative is trying to present is filled with bright colours and fabblistic quality.
This work is purely experimental in the way it is presented and shot. The narrative chooses to focus on characters that are considered outside the norms of society and focuses on them. The visuals toward the end of the story are really stark and shocking, an overall experience that is going to shake anyone to their core. It was created by Toshio Matsumoto whose other work should also be looked into if one wants a taste of visual experiments.
Made by one the greatest narrative storytellers of the medium Hiroshi Teshigahara. The Face of Another is a high concept thriller which deals with a person's identity and other issues such as recognition and jealousy. The work is a masterpiece because of the way it is paced, structured and above all shot. Even the montage of the work is brilliant along with amazing performances from the protagonist whose face is covered in a bandage for a huge part of the runtime.