by Chris MaGee
In my opinion one of the neatest Asian film websites out there (barring the J-Film Pow-Wow of course) is Wildgrounds. It consistently features interesting bits of Asian and specifically Japanese film history that you'd have trouble tracking down anywhere else. Case in point: ten years worth of Top Tens from the venerable Japanese film journal Eiga Geijutsu circa 1972 to 1982. The vast majority of the films favoured here are indie and pink films which is a nice change from the standard top ten lists that we see. Kazuo Hara's "Extreme Private Eros: Love Song 1974", Yasuharu Hasebe's "Assault! Jack the Ripper", Shuji Terayama's "The Boxer", and Seijun Suzuki's "Kagero-za" (above)? They're all here, but you have to head to Wildgrounds to see where exactly they rated.
Out of curiosity I googled around looking for additional information on Eiga Geijutsu and stumbled across their Top Ten Best Films of 2008 list at yet another great Japanese film blog, Stefan Nutz's A page of Madness. Here's what the film journal felt were the best of the best for last year. Agree or disagree?
1. Non-Ko (Nonko 36-Sai) - Kazuyoshi Kumakiri
2. United Red Army - Koji Wakamatsu
3. Kiss (Seppun) - Kunitoshi Manda
4. Tokyo Sonata - Kiyoshi Kurosawa
5. Don’t Laugh at me Romance - Nami Iguchi
6. Passion - Ryûsuke Hamaguchi
7. Children of the Dark - Junji Sakamoto
8. Chameleon - Junji Sakamoto
9. Hana ha Chiredomo - Kaneto Shindô
10. Your Friend (Kimi no Tomodachi) - Ryûichi Hiroki