Friday, January 14, 2011

Sang-Il Lee's "Akunin (Villain)" leads Kinema Junpo's best of 2010 list

by Chris MaGee

In mid-December I was belly-aching about how every year there seems to be one film that keeps sweeping the Japanese films awards leaving me with the laborious task of tracking down promotional stills from said film that haven't been used a million times before online. At that point I was saying that Takashi Miike's "13 Assaissins" seemed to be that film (and the bane of my blogging existence), but now, only a few weeks later, it seems like that honour has shifted to another film, namely Sang-il- Lee's "Akunin (Villain)".

Kinema Junpo, Japan's oldest and most respected film publication, announced their top ten picks for 2010 this past week and Lee's adaptation of Shuichi Yoshida serialized novel about a cold-blooded killer who may or may not actually be a killer snagged the number one spot. Following "Akunin" in the top three films is Tetsuya Nakashima's dark revenge tale "Confessions" (*above center) and Takahisa Zeze's 4-hour improvised film "Heaven's Story" (above right). This of course doesn't leave Miike's remake of Eiichi Kudo's 1963 chanbara film out of the running entirely. Kinema Junpo places "13 Assassins" at number four.

Personally I am very happy to see Koji Wakamatsu's "Caterpillar" appearing at number six on Kinema Junpo's top ten of 2010, as well as Takashi Ishii's "Night in Nude" Salvation". Both are a couple of my very favorites of last year. But enough of my opinions... Check out the full Kinema Junpo Top 10 of 2010 below courtesy of the folks at Wildgrounds.

1. Villain (Lee Sang Il) 2. Confessions (Tetsuya Nakashima) 3. Heaven’s Story (Takahisa Zeze) 4. 13 Assassins (Takashi Miike) 5. Sawako Decides (Yuya Ishii) 6. Caterpillar (Koji Wakamatsu) 7. Sword of Desperation (Hideyuki Hirayama) 8. The Hero Show (Kazuyuki Izutsu) 9. Sketches of Kaitan City (Kazuyoshi Kumakiri) 10. A Night in Nude: Salvation (Takashi Ishii)

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