The Strange And Beautiful World Of Asian Cinema

by kosmikino | created - 14 Mar 2014 | updated - 1 month ago | Public

Strange, beautiful and weird films from South-East Asia.

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1. The Taste of Tea (2004)

143 min | Comedy, Fantasy

77 Metascore

A spell of time of a rural family's slightly surreal life.

Director: Katsuhito Ishii | Stars: Maya Banno, Takahiro Satô, Tadanobu Asano, Satomi Tezuka

Votes: 5,395

2. Midori (1992)

56 min | Animation, Drama, Horror

A little orphaned girl joins a freak-show circus troupe whose members rape and abuse her. She then finds a glimmer of hope in the enigmatic magician who joins the group.

Director: Hiroshi Harada | Stars: Minako Naka, Norihiko Morishita, Keinosuke Okamoto, Kazuyoshi Hayashi

Votes: 1,261

3. I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK (2006)

Not Rated | 105 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A girl who thinks she is a combat cyborg checks into a mental hospital, where she encounters other psychotics. Eventually, she falls for a man who thinks he can steal people's souls.

Director: Chan-wook Park | Stars: Soo-jung Lim, Rain, Seong-hun Cheon, Hee-jin Choi

Votes: 21,571

4. Belladonna of Sadness (1973)

Unrated | 86 min | Animation, Drama, Fantasy

70 Metascore

An evil feudal lord rapes a village girl on her wedding night and proceeds to ruin her and her husband's lives. After she's eventually banished from her village, the girl makes a pact with the devil to gain magical ability and take revenge.

Director: Eiichi Yamamoto | Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Katsuyuki Itô, Aiko Nagayama, Shigako Shimegi

Votes: 3,134 | Gross: $0.11M

5. Kamikaze Girls (2004)

102 min | Comedy

56 Metascore

Momoko, a strange and seemingly emotionless girl obsessed with 18th century France, befriends a Yanki biker and the two experience the ups and downs of their unusual lives in a rural Japanese town.

Director: Tetsuya Nakashima | Stars: Kyoko Fukada, Anna Tsuchiya, Hiroyuki Miyasako, Sadao Abe

Votes: 6,538

6. A Story of Yonosuke (2013)

160 min | Drama

Were people's lives changed by having known Yonosuke?

Director: Shûichi Okita | Stars: Jun Kunimura, Ayumi Itô, Kimiko Yo, Gô Ayano

Votes: 1,266

7. Paprika (2006)

R | 90 min | Animation, Drama, Fantasy

81 Metascore

When a machine that allows therapists to enter their patients' dreams is stolen, all Hell breaks loose. Only a young female therapist, Paprika, can stop it.

Director: Satoshi Kon | Stars: Megumi Hayashibara, Tôru Emori, Katsunosuke Hori, Tôru Furuya

Votes: 62,950 | Gross: $0.88M

8. Save the Green Planet! (2003)

Unrated | 118 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

70 Metascore

Byeong-gu believes that the world is on the verge of an alien invasion, and sets out to save the world.

Director: Joon-Hwan Jang | Stars: Ha-kyun Shin, Yun-shik Baek, Jung-min Hwang, Jae-yong Lee

Votes: 7,189 | Gross: $0.01M

9. Tokyo Gore Police (2008)

Not Rated | 110 min | Action, Comedy, Horror

In future Tokyo, a young woman in the privatized police force tracks down her father's killer while battling against mutant rebels known as engineers.

Director: Yoshihiro Nishimura | Stars: Eihi Shiina, Itsuji Itao, Yukihide Benny, Jiji Bû

Votes: 10,389

10. Meatball Machine (2005)

Not Rated | 90 min | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi

Full-throttle splatter-ific Japanese cyberpunk science fiction/horror at its most aggressive, this mind-blower about alien parasites that turn their human hosts into slave "Necroborgs" will leave you dizzy and drained - in a good way.

Directors: Yudai Yamaguchi, Jun'ichi Yamamoto | Stars: Issey Takahashi, Aoba Kawai, Kenichi Kawasaki, Shôichirô Masumoto

Votes: 1,739

11. Cyborg Girl (2008)

115 min | Action, Comedy, Romance

A lonely university student develops a romance with a beautiful interesting woman, who turns out to be a cyborg from the future.

Director: Jae-young Kwak | Stars: Haruka Ayase, Keisuke Koide, Risa Ai, Nya Daigo

Votes: 3,334

12. Casshern (2004)

Not Rated | 142 min | Action, Sci-Fi

Live-action sci-fi movie based on a 1973 Japanese animé of the same name (Shinzo Ningen Casshân). Theme song by Utada Hikaru.

Director: Kazuaki Kiriya | Stars: Yûsuke Iseya, Kumiko Asô, Akira Terao, Kanako Higuchi

Votes: 12,849

13. The Bird People in China (1998)

118 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

A salaryman and yakuza are each sent by their bosses to a remote Chinese village but discover more then they expected.

Director: Takashi Miike | Stars: Masahiro Motoki, Renji Ishibashi, Mako, Michiko Kichise

Votes: 4,269

14. Air Doll (2009)

Unrated | 125 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

64 Metascore

A life-size blow-up doll develops a soul and falls in love with a video store clerk.

Director: Hirokazu Koreeda | Stars: Doona Bae, Arata Iura, Itsuji Itao, Joe Odagiri

Votes: 5,562

15. Funky Forest: The First Contact (2005)

150 min | Comedy

An outrageous collection of surreal, short attention span non-sequiturs largely revolving around Guitar Brother, his randy older sibling, and the pair's portly Caucasian brother.

Directors: Katsuhito Ishii, Hajime Ishimine, Shunichiro Miki | Stars: Andrew Alfieri, Hideaki Anno, Moyoco Anno, Tadanobu Asano

Votes: 2,165

16. Symbol (2009)

Not Rated | 93 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Mystery

A man wakes up in a white room empty other than buttons on the walls, he must find out which button to push to get what he wants.

Director: Hitoshi Matsumoto | Stars: Hitoshi Matsumoto, David Quintero, Luis Accinelli, Lilian Tapia

Votes: 3,111

17. Big Man Japan (2007)

PG-13 | 113 min | Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi

62 Metascore

An eccentric man living alone in a decrepit house in Tokyo periodically transforms into a 100-foot tall giant in order to defend Japan against similarly sized monsters.

Director: Hitoshi Matsumoto | Stars: Hitoshi Matsumoto, Riki Takeuchi, Ua, Ryûnosuke Kamiki

Votes: 3,263 | Gross: $0.04M

18. Windstruck (2004)

123 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

The heart-warming romance story between Kyungjin and Myungwoo. Even though he has passed away, he will be always with Kyungwoo forever.

Director: Jae-young Kwak | Stars: Ji-hyun Jun, Hyuk Jang, Su-ro Kim, Ki-woo Lee

Votes: 6,506

19. God's Puzzle (2008)

134 min | Sci-Fi

A set of twins -- one a hard-working student and the other a drifter -- team up with a dropout to unlock the secrets of the universe and to build one of their own.

Director: Takashi Miike | Stars: Hayato Ichihara, Mitsuki Tanimura, Ken'ichi Endô, Yusuke Hirayama

Votes: 346

20. The Clone Returns to the Homeland (2008)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi

The Clone Returns Home is a compelling meditation on the paradox of life and death, and the meaning of love and family. Set in an imaginary - yet utterly imaginable - future, this quietly ... See full summary »

Director: Kanji Nakajima | Stars: Mitsuhiro Oikawa, Eri Ishida, Hiromi Nagasaku, Kyûsaku Shimada

Votes: 571

21. Mind Game (I) (2004)

103 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

66 Metascore

After a deadly encounter with two yakuza, a loser with a crush on his childhood girlfriend goes to heaven and back, embarking on a psychedelic self-discovery experience with her and his friends.

Directors: Masaaki Yuasa, Kôji Morimoto | Stars: Kôji Imada, Sayaka Maeda, Takashi Fujii, Seiko Takuma

Votes: 7,601 | Gross: $0.04M

22. Barefoot Gen (1983)

TV-PG | 83 min | Animation, Biography, Drama

A powerful statement against war, Barefoot Gen is a disturbing story about the effect of the atomic bomb on a boy's life and the lives of the Japanese people.

Director: Mori Masaki | Stars: Issei Miyazaki, Catherine Battistone, Yoshie Shimamura, Iona Morris

Votes: 6,609

23. Linda Linda Linda (2005)

TV-PG | 114 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

71 Metascore

A music group of girls need to learn to play a song before the school festival.

Director: Nobuhiro Yamashita | Stars: Doona Bae, Aki Maeda, Yû Kashii, Shiori Sekine

Votes: 3,071

24. A Gentle Breeze in the Village (2007)

121 min | Drama

When eighth grade cool guy Hiromi transfers from Tokyo to a small elementary/middle school with only six kids enrolled, wholesome and honest Soyo becomes enthralled with his sophisticated world.

Director: Nobuhiro Yamashita | Stars: Kaho, Masaki Okada, Elisa Yanagi, Shôko Fujimura

Votes: 858

25. Moratoriamu Tamako (2013)

78 min | Comedy

Tamako graduated from a university in Tokyo, but she now lives with her father back in Kofu. Tamako doesn't help her father or tries to get a job. She spends her time just eating and sleeping throughout the four seasons of the year.

Director: Nobuhiro Yamashita | Stars: Atsuko Maeda, Shôko Fujimura, Rie Hagiwara, Ryûzaburô Hattori

Votes: 589

26. The Woodsman and the Rain (2011)

129 min | Comedy

Rookie movie director Koichi and his crew travels to the mountain village of Yamamura to film his next movie. The villagers are eventually enlisted to help film the movie and, in particular... See full summary »

Director: Shûichi Okita | Stars: Shun Oguri, Kôji Yakusho, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Masatô Ibu

Votes: 533

27. Welcome Back, Mr. McDonald (1997)

103 min | Comedy

A radio play is going to go on air at a Tokyo radio station. It is a weepy melodrama written by housewife Miyako, who is the winner of the competition run by the station. Suddenly, the ... See full summary »

Director: Kôki Mitani | Stars: Toshiaki Karasawa, Kyôka Suzuki, Masahiko Nishimura, Keiko Toda

Votes: 1,392 | Gross: $0.01M

28. The Liar and His Lover (2013)

117 min | Romance

A love story between a famous 25-year-old songwriter, who keeps his identity hidden from the public, and a 16-year-old high school student who possesses a gifted voice.

Director: Norihiro Koizumi | Stars: Takeru Satoh, Ryô Yoshizawa, Masataka Kubota, Takashi Sorimachi

Votes: 859

29. See You Tomorrow, Everyone (2013)

120 min | Drama

After Satoru Watarai graduated from elementary school, he dropped out of school and decided to live within his apartment complex, never to venture outside. Satoru Watari then meets his old ... See full summary »

Director: Yoshihiro Nakamura | Stars: Gaku Hamada, Bengaru, Ami Hachiya, Haru

Votes: 247

30. Miracle Apples (2013)

129 min | Drama

In their hometown of Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture, Akinori Kimura (Sadao Abe) and his wife Mieko (Miho Kanno) open an apple orchard. Because of Meiko's allergic reaction to pesticides, ... See full summary »

Director: Yoshihiro Nakamura | Stars: Sadao Abe, Miho Kanno, Mieko Harada, Hiroyuki Ikeuchi

Votes: 185

31. Sweet Rain: Accuracy of Death (2008)

113 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

Kaneshiro plays a Grim Reaper who appears to his victims in human form and spends a week with them before deciding whether to off them or not.

Director: Masaya Kakehi | Stars: Takeshi Kaneshiro, Manami Konishi, Sumiko Fuji, Yuki Enomoto

Votes: 1,055

32. Tokyo Girl (2008)

98 min | Fantasy, Romance

The occurrence of an earthquake in Japan is not unusual. What would be, however, is the existence of a hole through time and the passage of a phone through which two people - one hundred ... See full summary »

Director: Kazuya Konaka | Stars: Kaho, Naomi Akimoto, Marika Fukunaga, Yoshimasa Kondô

Votes: 183

34. Castaway on the Moon (2009)

PG-13 | 116 min | Drama, Romance

A failed suicide attempt leads a heartbroken man to live a life in the wilderness.

Director: Hae-jun Lee | Stars: Jae-yeong Jeong, Ryeowon Jung, Yeong-seo Park, Mi-kyeong Yang

Votes: 14,701 | Gross: $3.73M

35. Hwayi: A Monster Boy (2013)

Not Rated | 126 min | Action, Thriller

A boy with five fathers who is attached to the criminal underworld. A sinister past is about to be revealed as he is forced to join the killing spree.

Director: Joon-Hwan Jang | Stars: Yoon-seok Kim, Jin-woong Cho, Hyun-Sung Jang, Seong-gyoon Kim

Votes: 3,430

36. Barking Dogs Never Bite (2000)

Not Rated | 110 min | Comedy

66 Metascore

An idle part-time college lecturer is annoyed by the yapping sound of a nearby dog. He decides to take drastic action.

Director: Bong Joon Ho | Stars: Doona Bae, Sung-Jae Lee, Hee-Bong Byun, Su-hee Go

Votes: 4,120

37. Oki's Movie (2010)

Not Rated | 80 min | Comedy, Drama

78 Metascore

A love story between a middle-aged professor, a young student who prepares a movie and a student/film-maker who drinks too much.

Director: Sang-soo Hong | Stars: Sun-kyun Lee, Yu-mi Jung, Seong-kun Mun, Tae-goo Eom

Votes: 891

38. A Thousand & One Nights (1969)

X | 128 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

The incredible and often tragic adventures of Aladdin as he travels through the Middle East in search of love, fortune, and power.

Director: Eiichi Yamamoto | Stars: Sachiko Itô, Haruko Katô, Noboru Mitani, Hiroshi Akutagawa

Votes: 369

39. A Man Who Was Superman (2008)

102 min | Comedy, Drama

A snobbish producer makes a documentary about the extraordinary behavior of her neighbor who believes himself to be Superman.

Director: Yoon-chul Chung | Stars: Jung-min Hwang, Ji-hyun Jun, Gil-seung Bang, Woo-hyuk Choi

Votes: 1,749

40. Hello Ghost (2010)

111 min | Comedy, Drama

A man's failed suicide attempt enables him to see ghosts, who later keep following him everywhere. It is now up to him to fulfill their wishes to make them go away.

Director: Young-Tak Kim | Stars: Tae-Hyun Cha, Ye-won Kang, Moon-su Lee, Chang-Seok Ko

Votes: 3,496

41. Hana and Alice (2004)

135 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

When two best friends develop a crush on the same boy, they develop a plan to trick him into dating them.

Director: Shunji Iwai | Stars: Anne Suzuki, Yû Aoi, Tomohiro Kaku, Shôko Aida

Votes: 3,507

42. Robot Contest (2003)

118 min | Comedy, Drama

Satomi is not putting much effort into her school work. She is told by her instructor that she is short of the minimum number of credits to advance. One option is for her to participate in ... See full summary »

Director: Tomoyuki Furumaya | Stars: Masami Nagasawa, Shun Oguri, Atsushi Itô, Takashi Tsukamoto

Votes: 154

43. Mourning Grave (2014)

90 min | Horror, Thriller

A teenager, with the ability to see ghosts, returns to his hometown to face his demons.

Director: In-chun Oh | Stars: So-eun Kim, Jeong-tae Kim, Hye-Rin Han, Doo-Sik Park

Votes: 647

44. Sawako Decides (2010)

112 min | Drama

After 5 years in Tokyo, 5 part-time jobs, 5 boyfriends, Sawako's life is going nowhere. When her father gets seriously ill she have to take over his struggling factory. Gradually she becomes the decider of her own life.

Director: Yûya Ishii | Stars: Hikari Mitsushima, Kôtarô Shiga, Ryô Iwamatsu, Kira Aihara

Votes: 350

45. Confessions (2010)

Not Rated | 106 min | Drama, Thriller

A psychological thriller of a grieving mother turned cold-blooded avenger with a twisty master plan to pay back those who were responsible for her daughter's death.

Director: Tetsuya Nakashima | Stars: Takako Matsu, Yoshino Kimura, Masaki Okada, Yukito Nishii

Votes: 32,753

46. All About Lily Chou-Chou (2001)

146 min | Crime, Drama, Music

73 Metascore

The problematic lives of teenager students for whom the singer Lily Chou-Chou's dreamy music is the only way to escape an alienating, violent and insensitive society.

Director: Shunji Iwai | Stars: Hayato Ichihara, Shûgo Oshinari, Ayumi Itô, Takao Ohsawa

Votes: 7,382 | Gross: $0.02M

47. Love Exposure (2008)

Unrated | 237 min | Action, Comedy, Drama

78 Metascore

A bizarre love triangle forms between a young Catholic upskirt photographer, a misandric girl and a manipulative cultist.

Director: Sion Sono | Stars: Takahiro Nishijima, Hikari Mitsushima, Sakura Andô, Yutaka Shimizu

Votes: 10,324

48. Lesson of the Evil (2012)

Unrated | 129 min | Horror, Thriller

A popular high school teacher concocts an extreme plan to deal with the rise of bullying and bad behavior among the student body.

Director: Takashi Miike | Stars: Mayu Matsuoka, Fumi Nikaidô, Takayuki Yamada, Hideaki Itô

Votes: 4,897