Ichikawa Mikako Archive

Movie List

Movie List

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968 USA UK) directed by Stanley Kubrick
starring Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester, Douglas Rain
“It can only be attributable to human error.” Hal

8½ | Otto e Mezzo (1963/Italy) directed by Federico Fellini
starring Marcello Mastroianni, Claudia Cardinale, Anouk Aimée
“The beauty of the film lies in its confusion.” Corriere della Sera

61* (2001/USA) directed by Billy Crystal
starring Barry Pepper, Thomas Jane, Anthony Michael Hall
“You’d think I was trying to replace Jesus Christ or something.” Roger Maris

About Love (2005/Japan) directed by Ten Shimoyama, Chih-yen Yee
starring Bo-lin Chen, Mavis Fan, Yui Ichikawa
“How unexpectedly we find love, and how easy it is to lose.” Desi

About Time (2013/UK) directed by Richard Curtis
starring Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy, Lydia Wilson, Lindsay Duncan
“There’s a song by Baz Luhrmann called Sunscreen. He says worrying about the future is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life will always be things that never crossed your worried mind. ” Tim

An Affair to Remember (1957 USA) directed by Leo McCarey
starring Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr, Richard Denning
“Winter must be cold for those with no warm memories…” Terry McKay

After the Wedding | Efter brylluppet (2006 Denmark) directed by Susanne Bier
starring Mads Mikkelsen, Rolf Lassgård, Sidse Babett Knudsen
“Is it because the houses are far apart that the people are far apart?” Pramod

Ahiru to kamo no koinrokkâ (2007 Japan) directed by Yoshihiro Nakamura
starring Gaku Hamada, Kei Tamura, Megumi Seki, Eita, Nene Ohtsuka
“You’ve come into a story that’s not your own.” Reiko

Amadeus (1984 USA) directed by Miloš Forman
starring F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce, Elizabeth Berridge, Roy Dotrice
“The beginning simple, almost comic. Just a pulse, bassoons and basset horns, like a rusty squeezebox. Then suddenly; high above it, an oboe, a single note, hanging there unwavering, till a clarinet took over and sweetened it into a phrase of such delight! ” Antonio Salieri

American Hustle (2013/USA) directed by David O. Russell
starring Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence
“The art of survival is a story that never ends.” Irving Rosenfeld

Annie Hall (1977/USA) directed by Woody Allen
starring Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts
“Don’t knock masturbation. It’s sex with someone I love.” Alvy Singer

Anonymous (2011/USA) directed by Roland Emmerich
starring Rhys Ifans, Vanessa Redgrave, Sebastian Armesto
“All artists have something to say…” Earl of Oxford

Another Happy Day (2011/USA) directed by Sam Levinson
starring Ellen Barkin, Ezra Miller, Ellen Burstyn, Demi Moore
Sundance Film Festival Screenwriting Award

Argo (2012/USA) directed by Ben Affleck
starring Ben Affleck, Allen Arkin, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Victor Garber
“You’re worried about the Ayatollah? Try the WGA.” Lester Siegel

The Artist (2011/France) directed by Michel Hazanavicius
starring Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo
“Farewell Norma, I never loved you.” George Valentin

As Good As It Gets (1997/USA) directed by James L. Brooks
starring Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, Greg Kinnear
“I’m drowning here, and you’re describing the water!” Melvin Udall

As It Is In Heaven (2004/Sweden) directed by Kay Pollak
starring Michael Nyqvist, Frida Hallgren, Helen Sjöholm
“It is now that my life is mine.” Gabriella

Australia (2008/Australia UK) directed by Baz Luhrmann
starring Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, David Ngoombujarra, Brandon Walters, David Gulpilil, David Wenham, Bryan Brown
“Most people like to own things. You know, land, luggage, other people. Makes them feel secure. But all that can be taken away. And in the end, the only thing you really own is your story. Just tryin’ to live a good one. ” Drover

Back to the Future (1985/USA) directed by Robert Zemeckis
starring Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover
“Jesus, George, it was a wonder I was even born.” Marty McFly

Bagdad Cafe (1987/Germany) directed by Percy Adlon
starring Marianne Sägebrecht, C. C. H. Pounder, Jack Palance
“How come she act so funny like she was gonna stay here forever?” Brenda

The Ballet Boys (2014/Norway) directed by Kenneth Elvebakk
starring Lukas Bjørneboe Brændsrød, Syvert Lorenz Garcia, Torgeir Lund
“It’s a bit stupid if you come here only to meet girls. But since we’re already here it’s a pretty cool bonus.” Syvert

Barry (2016/USA) directed by Vikram Gandhi
starring Devon Terrell, Anya Taylor-Joy, Jason Mitchell, Ellar Coltrane, Linus Roache
“You know, every time I open my mouth in class, it’s like I’m supposed to speak on behalf of all Black people. Meanwhile, I quit going to Black Student Union meetings because I didn’t feel like I belong there either.” Barry

Begin Again (2013/USA) directed by John Carney
starring Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, Adam Levine
“Are you really an A & R man? You look more like a homeless man.” Gretta

Beginners (2010/USA) directed by Mike Mills
starring Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer
“Where have you been all my life?” Christopher Plummer

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011/UK) directed by John Madden
starring Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson
“Would it help if I apologize again?” Douglas Ainslie

Big Hero 6 (2014/USA) directed by Don Hall, Chris Williams
starring Ryan Potter, Scott Adsit, Jamie Chung, Damon Wayans Jr., Genesis Rodriguez, James Cromwell
“You have sustained no injuries. However, your hormone and neurotransmitter levels indicate that you are experiencing mood swings, common in adolescence. Diagnosis: puberty. ” Baymax

Big Night (1996/USA) directed by Campbell Scott, Stanley Tucci
starring Stanley Tucci, Tony Shalhoub, Isabella Rossellini, Minnie Driver
“I am a businessman. I am anything I need to be at any time.” Pascal

Blue in the Face (1995/USA) directed by Wayne Wang, Paul Auster
starring Harvey Keitel, Lou Reed, Jim Jarmusch, Michael J. Fox, Lily Tomlin, Mira Sorvino
“I don’t know anyone in New York who doesn’t say ‘I’m leaving’. I’ve been thinking of leaving New York for… uh… thirty-five years now.” Man with Strange Glasses

Boy (2010/NZ) directed by Taika Waititi
starring James Rolleston, Taika Waititi, Moerangi Tihore
“Hey, Chardonnay! Wanna see some Michael Jackson dance moves?” Boy

The Boys From Brazil (1978/UK USA) directed by Franklin J. Schaffner
starring Gregory Peck, Laurence Olivier, James Mason
“He betrayed me, he betrayed you, he betrayed the Aryan race!”Josef Mengele

Bridget Jones Diary (2001/UK) directed by Sharon Maguire
starring Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant
“I’ve got to leave my job because I shagged my boss.” Bridget

Casablanca (1942/USA) directed by Michael Curtiz
starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains
“Sam, I thought I told you never to play…” Rick

Casino Royale (2006/UK USA Czech Republic Germany) directed by Martin Campbell
starring Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Judi Dench
“Why is it that people who can’t take advice always insist on giving it?” James Bond

Chaos Theory (2008/USA) directed by Marcos Siega
starring Ryan Reynolds, Emily Mortimer, Stuart Townsend, Sarah Chalke
“Those who fail to control whim are destined to be controlled by it.” Frank Allen

Chef (2014/USA) directed by Jon Favreau
starring Jon Favreau, Emjay Anthony, John Leguizamo, Sofía Vergara
“How’s the beer? Tastes like piss, huh.” Martin

Cherry Blossoms (2008/Germany) directed by Doris Dörrie
starring Elmar Wepper, Hannelore Elsner
“Strikes to the heart of the matter.” DB Guidinger

Chinatown (1974/USA) directed by Roman Polanski
starring Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston, Roman Polanski
“Fine… long as you don’t serve the chicken that way.” Jake Gittes

City of God (2002/Brazil) directed by Fernando Meirelles
starring Alexandre Rodrigues, Leandro Firmino, Phellipe Haagensen
“You need more than guts to be a good gangster. You need ideas.” Buscapé

The Clay Bird (Matir Moina) (2002/Bangladesh) directed by Tareque Masud
starring Nurul Islam Bablu, Russell Farazi, Jayanto Chattopadhyay
“Father, please come with us!” Anu

Crackers (1984/USA) directed by Louis Malle
starring Donald Sutherland, Jack Warden, Sean Penn, Wallace Shawn, Gary Guidinger
“The Watergate break-in ran smoother than the operation executed in this flick.” Charles Watson

Creed (2015/USA) directed by Ryan Coogler
starring Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad
“That’s the toughest opponent you’re ever going to have to face.” Rocky Balboa

Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989/USA) directed by Woody Allen
starring Martin Landau, Woody Allen, Anjelica Huston, Alan Alda
“God is a luxury I can’t afford.” Judah Rosenthal

Dances with Wolves (1990/USA) directed by Kevin Costner
starring Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Graham Greene
“Can you see that you will always be my friend?” Wind In His Hair

Das Boot (1981/Germany) directed by Wolfgang Petersen
starring Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, Klaus Wennemann
“Wissen Sie was? Sie sind jetzt im Casino und sie feiern unsere Versenkung.” u Bootskapitän

Day for Night | La Nuit Américaine (1973/France) directed by François Truffaut
starring Jacqueline Bisset, Jean-Pierre Léaud, François Truffaut
“Tell him I speak English, but I don’t understand it.” Ferrand

Dead Man (1995/USA) directed by Jim Jarmusch
starring Johnny Depp, Gary Farmer, Crispin Glover, Robert Mitchum, Iggy Pop
“What name were you given at birth, stupid white man?” Nobody

Dead Poets Society (1989/USA) directed by Peter Weir
starring Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke, Josh Charles, Gale Hansen
“No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.” John Keating

The Decoy Bride (2011/UK) directed by Sheree Folkson
starring Kelly Macdonald, David Tennant, Alice Eve
“First in a series of blockbuster films made in Scotland.” The Herald

Déjà Vu (2006/USA) directed by Tony Scott
starring Denzel Washington, Paula Patton, Jim Caviezel, Adam Goldberg
“Satan reasons like a man but God thinks of eternity.” Doug Carlin

Departures | Okuribito (2008/Japan) directed by Yôjirô Takita
starring Masahiro Motoki, Ryôko Hirosue, Tsutomu Yamazaki
“Anyway, fate brought you here. Give it a try.” Ikuei Sasaki

The Descendants (2011/USA) directed by Alexander Payne
starring Shailene Woodley, Amara Miller, George Clooney
“I’m the backup parent. The understudy.” Matt King

The Diving Bell & The Butterfly (2007/France) director Julian Schnabel
starring Mathieu Amalric, Emmanuelle Seigner, Marie-Josée Croze
“Two things aren’t paralyzed, my imagination and my memory.” Jean Do

Doctor Zhivago (1965/UK USA) directed by David Lean
starring Omar Sharif, Julie Christie, Geraldine Chaplin, Rod Steiger
“Wouldn’t it have been lovely if we’d met before?” Lara

Dodes’ka-den (1970/Japan) directed by Akira Kurosawa
starring Yoshitaka Zushi, Kin Sugai, Toshiyuki Tonomura
“A heady mixture of scandal, sentiment and spiritual uplift.” NY Times

Downton Abbey (2010/UK) created by Julian Fellowes
starring Hugh Bonneville, Dan Stevens, Michelle Dockery, Maggie Smith
“No family is what it seems from the outside.” Dowager Countess

Everyone Says I love You (1996/USA) directed by Woody Allen
starring Woody Allen, Goldie Hawn, Edward Norton, Drew Barrymore, Alan Alda
“My knowledge of art is limited to Kirk Douglas as Vincent van Gogh.” Joe

Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010/UK USA) directed by Banksy
starring Thierry Guetta, Space Invader, Banksy
“Someone with mental problems who happened to have a camera.” Banksy

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2011/USA) directed by Stephen Daldry
starring Thomas Horn, Sandra Bullock, Tom Hanks
“If things were easy to find, they wouldn’t be worth finding.” Thomas Schell

Fahrenheit 911 (2004/USA) directed by Michael Moore
starring Michael Moore, Al Gore, George W. Bush
“Some people call you the elite, I call you my base.” George W. Bush

Fahrenheit 451 (1966/UK, USA, France) directed by François Truffaut
starring Oskar Werner, Julie Christie, Cyril Cusack
“To learn how to find, one must first learn how to hide.” Guy Montag

Fever Pitch (1997/UK) directed by David Evans
starring Colin Firth, Ruth Gemmell, Mark Strong, Holly Aird
“Would you please, please, please, please fucking fuck off!” Paul

Finding Graceland (1998/USA) directed by David Winkler
starring Harvey Keitel, Johnathon Schaech, Bridget Fonda
“It’s never too late for a comeback.” Elvis

Finding Neverland (2004/USA) directed by Marc Forster
starring Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet, Julie Christie, Dustin Hoffman
“A film that celebrates the imagination.” Movie Metropolis

Fish Story (2009/Japan) directed by Nakamura Yoshihiro
starring Vincent Giry, Hamada Gaku, Itô Atsushi, Tabe Mikako, Moriyama Mirai
“A cool, surreal film, and not a little fishy.” The Times (UK)

The Flight of the Phoenix (1965/USA) directed by Robert Aldrich
starring James Stewart, Richard Attenborough, Peter Finch
“He’s crazy Lou, he builds toy airplanes.” Frank Towns

Forrest Gump (1994/USA) directed by Robert Zemeckis
starring Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Sally Field, Gary Sinise
“And that’s all I have to say about that.” Forrest

The French Lieutenant’s Woman (1981/UK) directed by Karel Reisz
starring Meryl Streep, Jeremy Irons, Hilton McRae, Lynsey Baxter
“Now that I know there was truly a day upon which you loved me, I can bear anything.” Miss Woodruff

From Prada to Nada (2011/USA) directed by Angel Gracia
starring Camilla Belle, Alexa Vega, Wilmer Valderrama, Adriana Barraza
“Good-natured and warm-hearted charms.” Movies.com

The Front (1976/USA) directed by Martin Ritt
starring Woody Allen, Zero Mostel, Herschel Bernardi
“Recreates the awful noise of ignorance.” NY Times

Funny Girl (1968/USA) directed by William Wyler
starring Barbra Streisand, Omar Sharif, Walter Pidgeon
“Oh my man I love him so.” Fanny Brice

Gandhi (1982/UK India) directed by Richard Attenborough
starring Ben Kingsley, Rohini Hattangadi, Saeed Jaffrey, Roshan Seth
“Take the 7th step, that we may ever live as friends.” Mahatma Gandhi

The Girl in the Café (2005/UK) directed by David Yates
starring Bill Nighy, Kelly Macdonald, Ken Stott, Meneka Das
“Sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great. You can be that great generation.” Nelson Mandela

Girl on the Train / La fille du RER (2009/France) directed by André Téchiné
starring Émilie Dequenne, Catherine Deneuve, Michel Blanc
“The police? No way, she’s my daughter!” Louise

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009/Sweden) directed by Niels Arden Oplev
starring Michael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace, Ewa Fröling
Palm Springs International Film Festival Audience Award

Goal! (2005/UK USA) directed by Danny Cannon
starring Kuno Becker, Stephen Dillane, Marcel Iureş, Alessandro Nivola, Anna Friel
“The ball can travel faster than you!” Coach

The Godfather (1972/USA) directed by Francis Ford Coppola
starring Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall
“Well, my friend, are you ready to do me this service?” Don Corleone

Gone With The Wind (1939/USA) directed by Victor Fleming
starring Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Hattie McDaniel, Leslie Howard
“All we have is cotton and slaves and arrogance.” Rhett Butler

The Graduate (1967/USA) directed by Mike Nichols
starring Dustin Hoffman, Katharine Ross, Anne Bancroft
“This conversation is getting a little strange.” Benjamin

Grand Budapest Hotel (2014/USA) directed by Wes Anderson
starring Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric
“Did he just throw my cat out of the window?” Deputy Kovacs

Grand Canyon (1991/USA) directed by Lawrence Kasdan
starring Kevin Kline, Danny Glover, Steve Martin, Mary McDonnell
“All of life’s riddles are answered in the movies.” Davis

Gravity (2013/USA UK) directed by Alfonso Cuarón
starring Sandra Bullock, George Clooney
“Clear skies with a chance of satellite debris.” Ryan Stone

Gridlock’d (1997/USA) directed by Vondie Curtis-Hall
starring Tupac Shakur, Tim Roth, Thandie Newton, Howard Hesseman
“You ever feel like your luck’s running out man?” Spoon

Hanamizuki (2010/Japan) directed by Nobuhiro Doi
starring Yui Aragaki, Tôma Ikuta, Arata
“Sit back enjoy & watch this well done gem.” tumblr.

The Hangover (2009/USA) directed by Todd Phillips
starring Zach Galifianakis, Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms
“Yeah, listen. Uh… We fucked up.” Phil

The Hangover Part II (2011/USA) directed by Todd Phillips
starring Zach Galifianakis, Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Paul Giamatti
“Oh my God! We kidnapped a monk!” Stu

Hannah and Her Sisters (1986/USA) directed by Woody Allen
starring Woody Allen, Michael Caine, Mia Farrow, Dianne Wiest
“I always like an underconfident person.” Mickey

Harold and Maude (1971/USA) directed by Hal Ashby
starring Ruth Gordon, Bud Cort, Vivian Pickles, Eric Christmas
“But tell me, where do the children play?” Cat Stevens

He Got Game (1998/USA) directed by Spike Lee
starring Denzel Washington, Ray Allen, Milla Jovovich, Rosario Dawson
“I hate my name. What kind of name is Jesus anyway?” Jesus Shuttlesworth

Hei no Naka no Chuugakou (2010/Japan) directed by Makoto Kiyohiro
starring Ken Watanabe, Joe Odagiri, Shota Sometani
“Heart touching – I advise you to watch it.” D-Addicts

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005/UK USA) directed by Garth Jennings
starring Martin Freeman, Mos Def, Zooey Deschanel, Sam Rockwell
“It may disturb you. It scares the willies out of me. ” Slartibartfast

Hollywood Ending (2002/USA) directed by Woody Allen
starring Woody Allen, Téa Leoni, Mark Rydell, Treat Williams, Mark Webber
“For God sakes, this is a woman I was married to for 10 years. We made love. I’d hold her head over the toilet bowl when she threw up.” Val

Howards End (1992/UK) directed by James Ivory
starring Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson, Helena Bonham Carter
“The poor are the poor, and one’s sorry for them.” Henry Wilcox

How to Train Your Dragon (2011/USA) directed by Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders
starring Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera
“You son of a half-troll, rat-eating, sludge bucket!” Astrid

Hugo (2011/USA) directed by Martin Scorsese
starring Asa Butterfield, Chloë Grace Moretz, Ben Kingsley
“I’d imagine the world was one big machine.” Hugo Cabret

The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014/USA) directed by Lasse Hallström
starring Helen Mirren, Om Puri, Manish Dayal, Charlotte Le Bon
“I will turn the music down, but I will turn the heat up.” Papa

The Hunger Games (2012/USA) directed by Gary Ross
starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Lenny Kravitz, Donald Sutherland, Stanley Tucci
“What if they did? Just one year. What if everyone just stopped watching?” Gale Hawthorne

Ides of March (2011/USA) directed by George Clooney
starring George Clooney, Paul Giamatti, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ryan Gosling
“Intelligent filmmaking.” San Jose Mercury News

The Infidel (2010/UK) directed by Josh Appignanesi
starring Omid Djalili, Richard Schiff, Archie Panjabi, Yigal Naor
“Look, Rabbi, I haven’t even told my wife and family about this!” Mahmud

Innocent Steps (2005/Korea) directed by Park Young-hoon
starring Moon Geun-young, Park Geon-hyeong, Yoon Chan
“Now that I’ve seen you, I can go.” Jang Chae-ryn

The Insatiable Moon (2010/New Zealand) directed by Rosemary Riddell
starring Rawiri Paratene, Sara Wiseman, Ian Mune, Bruce Phillips
“Real and rewarding.” Empire Magazine

Inside Out (2015/USA) directed by Pete Docter, Ronnie Del Carmen
starring Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Lewis Black, Richard Kind, Kaitlyn Dias
“Congratulations San Francisco, you’ve ruined pizza! First the Hawaiians, and now YOU!” Anger

Interiors (1978/USA) directed by Woody Allen
starring Mary Beth Hurt, Diane Keaton, Geraldine Page, Maureen Stapleton
“What happens to those of us who can’t create?” Joey

Iron Man (2008/USA) directed by Jon Favreau
starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeff Bridges, Terrence Howard
“Give me a scotch. I’m starving.” Tony Stark

I Wish (2011/Japan) directed by Koreeda Hirokazu
starring Maeda Koki, Maeda Ohshirô, Uchida Kyara
“It goes ba-boom and then rumble-rumble.” Koichi

Janie Jones (2010/USA) directed by David M. Rosenthal
starring Abigail Breslin, Alessandro Nivola, Elisabeth Shue
“What the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle is really like.” Av Club

The Japanese Wife (2010/India) directed by Aparna Sen
starring Rahul Bose, Raima Sen, Moushumi Chatterjee, Chigusa Takaku
“I have always been very curious about India.” Miyage

Jerry Maguire (1996/USA) directed by Cameron Crowe
starring Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr., Renée Zellweger, Kelly Preston
“I don’t like black people? I am Mister black people.” Jerry Maguire

JFK (1991/USA) directed by Oliver Stone
starring Kevin Costner, Sissy Spacek, Joe Pesci, Tommy Lee Jones
“One may smile and smile and be a villain.” Jim Garrison

Kabei (2008/Japan) directed by Yôji Yamada
starring Sayuri Yoshinaga, Tadanobu Asano, Mirai Shida, Mitsugoro Bando
“Shigeru-sama, Ogenki desuka?” Kabei

Kamome Shokudō (2006/Japan) directed by Naoko Ogigami
starring Satomi Kobayashi, Hairi Katagiri, Masako Motai, Jarkko Niemi
“Itadakimasu!” Sachie, Midori, Masako

Kaze Tachinu (2013/Japan) directed by Miyazaki Hayao
starring Anno Hideaki, Kunimura Jun, Shida Mirai
“An engrossing, real world epic love story.” CraveOnline

Killing Fields (1984/UK) directed by Roland Joffé
starring Sam Waterston, Haing S. Ngor, John Malkovich, Julian Sands
“The enemy is inside us. No one can be trusted.” Dith Pran

Kōhī Jikō | Café Lumière (2003/Japan Taiwan) directed by Hsiao-Hsien Hou
starring Yo Hitoto, Tadanobu Asano, Masato Hagiwara, Kimiko Yo
“Witness one major filmmaker paying tribute to another.” NY Times

Kokuriko-zaka Kara | From Up on Poppy Hill (2011/Japan) directed by Miyazaki
starring Nagasawa Masami, Okada Junichi, Takeshita Keiko, Ishida Yuriko
“Fair girl, why do you send your thoughts to the sky?” Shun-san

KONY 2012 (2012/USA) directed by Jason Russell
starring Joseph Kony, Jason Russell
“Shine a light on it.” George Clooney

The Lady (2011/France UK) directed by Luc Besson
starring Michelle Yeoh, David Thewlis, Jonathan Raggett
“Please use your liberty to promote ours.” Aung San Suu Kyi

L. A. Without a Map (1998/Finland) directed by Mika Kaurismäki
starring Vincent Gallo, David Tennant, Vinessa Shaw
“L. A. Without a Map is a lovely and delightful cult-movie.” Claudio Carvalho

Last Life in the Universe (2003/Japan) directed by Pen-Ek Ratanaruang
starring Tadanobu Asano, Sinitta Boonyasak, Laila Boonyasak
“It was beautiful from the very start until the end.” Gigabyte_1907

Last Night (1998/Canada) directed by Don McKellar
starring Don McKellar, Sandra Oh, Callum Keith Rennie, David Cronenberg
“How do we spend our last night on earth?” offoffoff.com

The Last Starfighter (1984/USA) directed by Nick Castle
starring Lance Guest, Dan O’Herlihy, Catherine Mary Stewart, Robert Preston
“Listen, Centauri, I’m not any of those guys. I’m a kid from a trailer park.” Alex

L’avventura (1960/Italy) directed by Michelangelo Antonioni
starring Monica Vitti, Gabriele Ferzetti, Lea Massari
“Why have I fallen in love with you so?” Claudia

Lawrence of Arabia (1962 UK USA) directed by David Lean
starring Peter O’Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Omar Sharif
“All right! I’m extraordinary! What of it?” Lawrence

Life of Pi (2012 USA) directed by Ang Lee
starring Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Shravanthi Sainath, Ayush Tandon
“Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it…” Yann Martel

Like Crazy (2011/USA) directed by Drake Doremus
starring Felicity Jones, Anton Yelchin, Jennifer Lawrence
“A refreshing take on an age-old dilemma.” Empire Magazine

Like Someone in Love (2012/France Japan) directed by Abbas Kiarostami
starring Takanashi Rin, Okuno Tadashi, Kase Ryō
“An enchanting game of misfired passions.” The Hollywood Reporter

Lincoln (2012/USA) directed by Steven Spielberg
starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones
“Shall we stop this bleeding?” Abraham Lincoln

Lisbon Story (1994/Germany Portugal France Spain) directed by Wim Wenders
starring Rüdiger Vogler, Teresa Salgueiro, Patrick Bauchau
“Turn around, and trust your eyes again. No, they are not on your back. Trust that old camera. It can still turn out moving pictures. Why waste your life on disposable junk images Fritz when you can make indispensable ones with your heart on magic celluloid.” Winter

Little Big Man (1970/USA) directed by Arthur Penn
starring Dustin Hoffman, Faye Dunaway, Chief Dan George
“Do you hate them? Do you hate the White man now?” Jack Crabb

Living in the Material World (2011/UK) directed by Martin Scorsese
starring John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr
“Such sweet memories have I.” George Harrison

Lost in Translation (2003/USA) directed by Sofia Coppola
starring Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson
“For relaxing times, make it Suntory time.” Bob

Love | Ai (2012/Taiwan) directed by Doze Niu
starring Zhao Wei, Shu Qi, Amber Kuo, Mark Chao, Ching-Tien Juan, Eddie Peng
“Why can’t you date some normal girls?” Zoe Fang

Love Actually (2003/UK) directed by Richard Curtis
starring Hugh Grant, Martine McCutcheon, Bill Nighy, Emma Thompson
“Oh dear, it’s the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the other line.” Prime Minister

Mad Bastards (2010/Australia) directed by Brendan Fletcher
starring Dean Daley-Jones, Ngaire Pigram, Lucas Yeeda
“An insightful glimpse filled with revelations and fascination.” Urban Cinefile

A Man Who Was Superman (2008/Korea) directed by Yoon-Chul Jeong
starring Jeong-min Hwang, Gianna Jun
“A battle of grass root moral codes.” twitch

Management (2008/USA) directed by Stephen Belber
starring Jennifer Aniston, Steve Zahn, Woody Harrelson
“Mike, oh Mike, my man keeps showing up like UPS Sue, you’re such a bitch. ” Sue

Manhattan (1979/USA) directed by Woody Allen
starring Woody Allen, Mariel Hemingway, Diane Keaton
“People should mate for life, like pigeons or Catholics.” Isaac Davis

Margin Call (2011/USA) directed by J.C. Chandor
starring Jeremy Irons, Kevin Spacey, Demi Moore, Stanley Tucci
“A methodical, coolly absorbing boardroom thriller.” Variety

The Martian (2015/USA) directed by Ridley Scott
starring Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels
“I admit it’s fatally dangerous, but I’d get to fly around like Iron Man.” Mark Watney

Mask (1985/USA) directed by Peter Bogdanovich
starring Cher, Eric Stoltz, Sam Elliott, Laura Dern
“I look weird, but otherwise I’m real normal.” Rocky Dennis

The Mask (1994/USA) directed by Chuck Russell
starring Jim Carrey, Cameron Diaz, Peter Riegert, Peter Green
“Tell Auntie Em to let Old Yeller out.” The Mask

The Master (2012/USA) directed by Paul Thomas Anderson
starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Amy Ferguson
“Leave your worries for a while. They’ll be there when you get back.” Lancaster Dodd

Match Point (2005/UK) directed by Woody Allen
starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Scarlett Johansson, Emily Mortimer
“It’s scary to think so much is out of one’s control.” Chris

Megane | Glasses (2007/Japan) directed by Ogigami Naoko
starring Kobayashi Satomi, Ichikawa Mikako, Motai Masako
“Iie kekko desu.” Taeko

Melinda and Melinda (2004/USA) directed by Woody Allen
starring Radha Mitchell, Chloë Sevigny, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Will Ferrell
“No, I’m allergic to coffee, but do you have any vodka?” Melinda

The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009/USA) directed by Grant Heslov
starring George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Spacey
“It’s ok we’re Americans, we’re here to help you!” Lyn Cassady

Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983/Japan) directed by Nagisa Ôshima
starring David Bowie, Sakamoto Ryûichi, Kitano Takeshi
“Today, I am Father Christmas.” Sergeant Hara

Midnight Cowboy (1969/USA) directed by John Schlesinger
starring Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight, Sylvia Miles, John McGiver
“I only get carsick on boats.” Joe Buck

Midnight in Paris (2011/USA) directed by Woody Allen
starring Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Kurt Fuller
“I’m jealous and I’m trusting. It’s cognitive dissonance.” Gil

Mighty Aphrodite (1995/USA) directed by Woody Allen
starring Woody Allen, Mira Sorvino, Helena Bonham Carter, Olympia Dukakis
“Achilles only had an Achilles heel, I have an entire Achilles body.” Lenny

Million Dollar Arm (2014/USA) directed by Craig Gillespie
starring Jon Hamm, Suraj Sharma, Madhur Mittal, Lake Bell, Pitobash
“It will be done, don’t worry, it will be done.” India…

Moneyball (2011/USA) directed by Bennett Miller
starring Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Wright
“Like we’re looking for Fabio. We got to think differently.” Billy Beane

Monsters University (2013/USA) directed by Dan Scanlon
starring Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi
“I act scary, Mike. But most of the time, I’m terrified.” Sully

The Most Distant Course (2007/Taiwan) directed by Jing-Jie Lin
starring Kwai Lun Mei, Wen Sheng Hao, Jia Xiao Guo, Mo Zi Yi
“Taiwan has never sounded lovelier.” Love HK Film

Mozart’s Sister (2010/France) directed by René Féret
starring Marie Féret, Marc Barbé, Clovis Fouin, David Moreau
“They say you’re a genius Wolfie, but you’re an idiot!” Nannerl

Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown (2014/USA) directed by Alex Gibney
starring James Brown, Christian McBride, Bobby Byrd, Louis Jordan, Mick Jagger
“Sometimes you struggle so hard to feed your family one way, you forget to feed them the other way, with spiritual nourishment. Everybody needs that.” James Brown

Mr. and Mrs. Incredible (2011/China) directed by Vincent Kok
starring Louis Koo, Sandra Ng Kwan Yue, Chapman To
“Delivers the crowd-pleasing goods in its own eccentric way.” sbs.com.au

Mr. Nobody (2009/Canada) directed by Jaco Van Dormael
starring Jared Leto, Sarah Polley, Diane Kruger, Linh Dan Pham, Rhys Ifans
“Why am I me and not somebody else?” Nemo

Mrs. Doubtfire (1993/USA) directed by Chris Columbus
starring Robin Williams, Sally Field, Pierce Brosnan, Robert Prosky
“We’ve come to this planet looking for intelligent life. Oops, we made a mistake.” Daniel

My Dinner With Andre (1981/USA) directed by Louis Malle
starring Andre Gregory, Wallace Shawn
“We can’t be direct, so we end up saying the weirdest things.” Andre

My Fair Lady (1964/USA) directed by George Cukor
starring Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Stanley Holloway
“Why can’t a woman be more like a man?” Professor Higgins

My Last Day Without You (2011/USA Germany) directed by Stefan Schaefer
starring Ken Duken, Nicole Beharie, Reg E. Cathey, Marlene Forte, Laith Nakli
“A refreshing spin on love, attraction, and chance.” Brooklyn Film Festival Review

My Sassy Girl (2001/Korea) directed by Jae-young Kwak
starring Tae-hyun Cha, Gianna Jun
“Highest grossing Korean comedy of all time.” koreanfilm.org

My Week with Marilyn (2011/UK) directed by Simon Curtis
starring Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne, Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench
“A shimmering, memorable, magnificent movie.” Urban Cinefile

My Worst Nightmare (2011/France) directed by Anne Fontaine
starring Isabelle Huppert, Benoît Poelvoorde, André Dussollier
“I’m nothing but a pathetic tosser. I’m toxic.” Patrick

The Natural (1984/USA) directed by Barry Levinson
starring Robert Redford, Glenn Close, Robert Duvall, Kim Basinger
“My dad wanted me to be a baseball player.” Roy Hobbs

Night Train to Lisbon (2013/Germany Switzerland Portugal) directed by Bille August
starring Jeremy Irons, Jack Huston, Mélanie Laurent, Charlotte Rampling, August Diehl, Marco D’Almeida
“We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place. We stay there, even though we go away. And there are things in us that we can find again only by going back there.” Amadeu

Notting Hill (1999/UK) directed by Roger Mitchell
starring Hugh Grant, Julia Roberts, Rhys Ifans, James Dreyfus
“You are lovelier this morning than you have ever been. ” William

North by Northwest (1959/USA) directed by Alfred Hitchcock
starring Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason
“The moment I meet an attractive woman, I have to start pretending I have no desire to make love to her.” Roger Thornhill

Oba: The Last Samurai (2011/Japan) directed by Hideyuki Hirayama
starring Yutaka Takenouchi, Sean McGowan, Mao Inoue, Toshiaki Karasawa
“Well, It’s ah… it’s a matter of pride. It’s a way of thinking. They’ve been nurturing in their heads for centuries.” Captain Lewis

Offside (2006/Iran) directed by Jafar Panahi
starring Sima Mobarak-Shahi, Shayesteh Irani, Ayda Sadeqi, Safdar Samandar
“A revelation of the legal oppression of women in Iran.” Movie Retrospect

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975/USA) director Milos Forman
starring Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Danny DeVito, Will Sampson
“D’you nuts wanna play cards or do ya wanna fuckin’ jerk off?” Mac

One Last Dance (2003/USA) director Lisa Niemi
starring Patrick Swayze, Lisa Niemi, George De La Pena, Matthew Walker
“Lisa Niemi, Patrick Swayze, and George de la Peña are superb dancers.” bridececily

Only You (1994/USA) directed by Norman Jewison
starring Marisa Tomei, Robert Downey Jr., Bonnie Hunt, Joaquim de Almeida
“I married a liar. Why? Because I married a man.” Kate

Open Range (2003/USA) directed by Kevin Costner
starring Kevin Costner, Robert Duvall, Annette Bening, Michael Gambon, Diego Luna
“Man’s got a right to protect his property and his life, and we ain’t lettin’ no rancher or his lawman take either.” Boss Spearman

Open Road (2012/Brazil USA) directed by Marcio Garcia
starring Camilla Belle, Andy Garcia, Colin Egglesfield, Juliette Lewis
“Now I come and go as I please. The whole world is my home.” Angie

Ordinary People (1980/USA) directed by Robert Redford
starring Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, Timothy Hutton
“Don’t admire people too much, they might disappoint you.” Cal

The Other Son (2012/France) directed by Lorraine Lévy
starring Emmanuelle Devos, Areen Omari, Mehdi Dehbi, Jules Sitruk
“Am I still Jewish?” Joseph

Our Idiot Brother (2011/USA) directed by Jesse Peretz
starring Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Emily Mortimer, Zooey Deschanel
“Charming and at times very funny.” At the Movies

Page Eight (2011/UK) directed by David Hare
starring Bill Nighy, Rachel Weisz, Michael Gambon, Ralph Fiennes, Judy Davis
“You trust me because I lied?” Nancy Pierpan

The Painted Veil (2006/China USA) directed by John Curran
starring Naomi Watts, Edward Norton, Liev Schreiber, Toby Jones, Diana Rigg
“As if a woman ever loved a man for his virtue.” Kitty Fane

Paradise Kiss (2011/Japan) directed by Takehiko Shinjo
starring Keiko Kitagawa, Osamu Mukai, Yusuke Yamamoto, Shunji Igarashi
“Coming-of-age entertainment that is easy to watch.” A Koala’s Playground

Paris, Texas (1984/West Germany, France, UK, USA) directed by Wim Wenders
starring Harry Dean Stanton, Nastassja Kinski, Dean Stockwell, Aurore Clément, Hunter Carson
“He thought if she never got jealous of him that she didn’t really care about him. Jealousy was a sign of her love for him, and then one night, one night she told him that she was pregnant, she was about three or four months pregnant and he didn’t even know and then suddenly everything changed, he stopped drinking, he got a steady job, he was convinced that she loved him now that she was carrying his child and he was going to dedicate himself to making a home for her.” Travis

Perfect Girl (2014/Singapore) directed by Jason Chan
starring Jason Chan, Khaleila Hisham, Christian Lee
“One beautiful April morning, in search of a cup of coffee to start the day, the boy was walking from west to east, while the girl, intending to send a special-delivery letter, was walking from east to west, but along the same narrow street …” Haruki Murakami

Ping Pong (2002/Japan) directed by Sori Fumihiko
starring Kubozuka Yôsuke, Arata, Nakamura Shidô, Takenaka Naoto
“Enter… The Hero!” Peco

Platoon (1986/USA) directed by Oliver Stone
starring Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe, Tom Berenger, Keith David
“Somewhere out there is the beast and he’s hungry tonight.” King

Proof (2005/USA) directed by John Madden
starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Anthony Hopkins, Jake Gyllenhaal, Hope Davis
“It is forty pages long. I didn’t memorize it. It is not a muffin recipe!” Catherine

Purple Rose of Cairo (1985/USA) directed by Woody Allen
starring Mia Farrow, Jeff Daniels, Danny Aiello
“What, there’s hay in the bedroom?” Tom Baxter

Pushing Tin (1999/USA) directed by Mike Newell
starring John Cusack, Billy Bob Thornton, Cate Blanchett, Angelina Jolie
“That wasn’t a metaphor. That was a simile. ‘Laying pipe’ is a metaphor.” Know-It-All Schoolboy

Les Quatre Cents Coups (1959/France) directed by François Truffaut
starring Jean-Pierre Léaud, Albert Rémy
“Timeless and true – Truffault’s masterpiece.” Apollo Guide

Rango (2011/USA) directed by Gore Verbinski
starring Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Maile Flanagan
“No man can walk out of his own story.” Spirit of the West

Rashōmon (1950/Japan) directed by Akira Kurosawa
starring Toshirô Mifune, Machiko Kyô, Masayuki Mori
“We all want to forget something, so we tell stories.” Commoner

Red Dog (2011/Australia) directed by Kriv Stenders
starring Josh Lucas, Rachael Taylor, Keisha Castle-Hughes
“Woof.” Red Dog

The Remains of the Day (1993/UK USA) directed by James Ivory
starring Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson, James Fox
“I am placing my mind elsewhere while you chatter away.” Stevens

Rent-a-Cat | Rentaneko (2012/Japan) directed by Ogigami Naoko
starring Ichikawa Mikako, Kusamura Reiko, Mitsuishi Ken
“Rent a neko… neko, neko.” Sayoko

Reversal of Fortune (1990/USA) directed by Barbet Schroeder
starring Jeremy Irons, Glenn Close, Ron Silver
“I checked. God is unavailable.” Claus von Bülow

The River Why (2010/USA) directed by Matthew Leutwyler
starring Zach Gilford, Amber Heard, William Hurt, Kathleen Quinlan
“More than just a fish story.” The Seattle Times

A Room with a View (1985/UK) directed by James Ivory
starring Maggie Smith, Helena Bonham Carter, Julian Sands
“I mean, something’s happened to me… and to you.” George Emerson

A Royal Night Out (2015/UK) directed by Julian Jarrold
starring Sarah Gadon, Jack Reynor, Bel Powley, Emily Watson
“Tonight, nobody gave a damn who I was.” Elizabeth

Running on Empty (1988/USA) directed by Sidney Lumet
starring River Phoenix, Christine Lahti, Judd Hirsch, Martha Plimpton
“So, now that we’ve determined that I belong here, let’s talk about you.” Lorna

The Runway (2010/Ireland) directed by Ian Power
starring Demián Bichir, Kerry Condon, James Cosmo
“Light-hearted entertainment at it’s finest.” The Movie Bit

SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN (2011/UK) directed by Lasse Hallström
starring Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt, Amr Waked, Kristin Scott Thomas
“When things get tricky in my life, I talk to my fish.” Dr. Jones

The Sapphires (2012/Australia) directed by Wayne Blair
starring Chris O’Dowd, Deborah Mailman, Jessica Mauboy, Shari Sebbens
“In soul music they are struggling to get it back, they haven’t given up.” Dave

Saving Mr. Banks (2013/USA) directed by John Lee Hancock
starring Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Annie Rose Buckley, Colin Farrell, Paul Giamatti
“Disappointments are to the soul what the thunderstorm is to the sky.” P.L. Travers

Sayonara (1957/USA) directed by Joshua Logan
starring Marlon Brando, Taka Miiko, Red Buttons, Umeki Miyoshi
“I will love you if that is your desire.” Hana Ogisan

The Scent of Green Papaya (1993/Vietnam France) directed by Anh Hung Tran
starring Tran Nu Yên-Khê, Man San Lu, Thi Loc Truong
“A magical feeling that’s more important than narrative.” Paste Magazine

Searching for Sugar Man (2012/UK) directed by Malik Bendjelloul
starring Stephen Segerman, Eva Rodriguez, Sixto Rodriguez
“He’s my most memorable artist.” Steve Rowland

Secondhand Lions (2003/USA) directed by Tim McCanlies
starring Robert Duvall, Michael Caine, Haley Joel Osment
“Succeeds in winning us over.” Movie Metropolis

Seven Beauties (1975/Italy) directed by Lina Wertmüller
starring Giancarlo Giannini, Fernando Rey, Shirley Stoler
“The ones who vote white in order not to get dirty.” Narrator

Seven Days in Utopia (2011/USA) directed by Matt Russell
starring Lucas Black, Robert Duvall, Melissa Leo
“Golf is a metaphor for Buddhism.” FilmsInReview.com

Seven Samurai (1954/Japan) directed by Akira Kurosawa
starring Toshirô Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Isao Kimura
“Danger strikes when everything seems fine.” Kambei Shimada

Shakespeare in Love (1998/UK USA) directed by John Madden
starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes, Geoffrey Rush, Ben Affleck
“You will never age for me, nor fade, nor die.” William Shakespeare

Shall We Dance (1996/Japan) directed by Masayuki Suo
starring Kôji Yakusho, Tamiyo Kusakari, Naoto Takenaka
“A weak first step transmits nothing.” Mai Kishikawa

Shawshank Redemption (1994/USA) directed by Frank Darabont
starring Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, James Whitmore, Bob Gunton
“Hope can drive a man insane.” Red

Shine (1996/Australia) directed by Scott Hicks
starring Geoffrey Rush, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Alex Rafalowicz
“Am I mad enough, professor? Am I?” David Helfgott

Silver Linings Playbook (2012/USA) directed by David O. Russell
starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver
“I ordered raisin bran because I didn’t want there to be any mistaking it for a date.” Pat

Sirens (1993/Australia UK) directed by John Duigan
starring Hugh Grant, Tara Fitzgerald, Sam Neill, Elle Macpherson
“A congenial film about art and sex.” Spirituality and Practice

Sleepless in Seattle (1993/USA) directed by Nora Ephron
starring Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Ross Malinger, Bill Pullman, Rob Reiner
Fatal Attraction scared the shit out of every man in America!” Sam

Sleepwalk with Me (2012/USA) directed by Mike Birbiglia, Seth Barrish
starring Mike Birbiglia, Lauren Ambrose, James Rebhorn, Carol Kane
“They really cut to the chase in the urologist’s examination room…” Matt

Smoke (1995/USA) directed by Wayne Wang, Paul Auster
starring Harvey Keitel, William Hurt, Forest Whitaker
“You have to know how to push all the right buttons.” Paul Benjamin

Snatch (2000/UK) directed by Guy Ritchie
starring Jason Statham, Alan Ford, Dennis Farina, Brad Pitt
“The dog. The dog must have ate it.” Vinny

A Soldier’s Story (1984/USA) directed by Norman Jewison
starring Howard E. Rollins Jr., Adolph Caesar, Denzel Washington, Art Evans
“The Black race can’t afford you no more.” Sergeant Waters

Somewhere (2010/USA) directed by Sofia Coppola
starring Stephen Dorff, Elle Fanning, Chris Pontius
“Why are you taking a bath next door?” Cleo

Sound of Music (1965/USA) directed by Robert Wise
starring Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Eleanor Parker
“Oh, how clumsy of me – I meant to accuse you.” Captain von Trapp

So weit die Füße tragen (2001/Germany) directed by Hardy Martins
starring Bernhard Bettermann, Iris Böhm, Anatoliy Kotenyov
“Daddy, would you promise to send a postcard?” Lieschen Forell

Spectre (2015/UK USA) directed by Sam Mendes
starring Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux, Ralph Fiennes
“He was an assassin. He wouldn’t have taken it personally.” James Bond

Stage Beauty (2004/UK USA Germany) directed by Richard Eyre
starring Billy Crudup, Claire Danes, Tom Wilkinson, Rupert Everett
“Crudup delivers a mesmerizing performance.” Now Playing Magazine

Stanley & Iris (1989/USA) directed by Martin Ritt
starring Jane Fonda, Robert De Niro
“A simple story featuring two great actors making it look easy.” D. B. Guidinger

Stardust Memories (1980/USA) directed by Woody Allen
starring Woody Allen, Charlotte Rampling, Tony Roberts
“You can’t control life. It doesn’t wind up perfectly.” Sandy Bates

Star Wars (1977/USA) directed by George Lucas
starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Alec Guinness
“Learn about the Force, Luke.” Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi

Stealing Beauty (1996/Italy/France/UK) directed by Bernardo Bertolucci
starring Jeremy Irons, Liv Tyler, Carlo Cecchi, Sinéad Cusack, Ignazio Oliva
“Why are you crying?” Lucy “Because I want to kiss you.” Osvaldo

Still Walking / Aruitemo Aruitemo (2008/Japan) directed by Koreeda Hirokazu
starring Abe Hiroshi, Natsukawa Yui, You, Tanaka Shohei
“When I grow up, I want to be a piano tuner just like you Dad.” Atsushi

St. Vincent (2014/USA) directed by Theodore Melfi
starring Bill Murray, Jaeden Lieberher, Melissa McCarthy, Naomi Watts, Chris O’Dowd
” ‘It is what it is’? Everyone’s saying that now. You know what it means? You’re screwed, and you shall remain screwed.” Vincent

Sugar (2008/US) directed by Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck
starring Algenis Perez Soto, Jose Rijo, Walki Cuevas
“You’ve got to be like a racehorse, focused on your final goal.” KC Coach

Summer Coda (2010/Australia) directed by Richard Gray
starring Rachael Taylor, Alex Dimitriades, Isabella Woodlock
“Bucolic rhythms of life in the orange grove.” Sydney Morning Herald

Sunny (2008/Korea) directed by Lee Jun-Ik
starring Soo Ae, Jung Jin Young, Uhm Tae Woong
“Soo Ae will steal your heart …” DB Guidinger

Sunshine (1999/Canada Hungary) directed by István Szabó
starring Ralph Fiennes, Rosemary Harris, Jennifer Ehle, William Hurt
“Politics has made a mess of our lives.” Valerie

Surviving Picasso (1996/USA) directed by James Ivory
starring Anthony Hopkins, Natascha McElhone, Julianne Moore
“I make a lot of mistakes, but so does God.” Pablo Picasso

Sway (2006/Japan) directed by Miwa Nishikawa
starring Jô Odagiri, Teruyuki Kagawa, Masatô Ibu
“Questioning, investigating, challenging, perceptive…” Midnight Eye

Swept Away (1974/Italy) directed by Lina Wertmüller
starring Giancarlo Giannini, Mariangela Melato, Riccardo Salvino
“One bitch up there, and another down here…” Gennarino Carunchio

Swimming to Cambodia (1987/USA) directed by Jonathan Demme
starring Spalding Gray, Sam Waterston, Ira Wheeler
“Farewell to those beautiful smiling people.” Spalding Gray

Swing Girls (2004/Japan) directed by Shinobu Yaguchi
starring Juri Ueno, Yûta Hiraoka
“Equal combinations of fluff, inspiration, and general affability.” Beyond Hollywood

Taipei Exchanges (2010/Taiwan) directed by Ya-chuan Hsiao
starring Kwai Lun Mei, Kosuke Atari, Zhang Han, Lin Chen Xi
“Well-crafted, and its fairy-tale feel is charming.” Taipei Times

Tangled (2010/USA) directed by Nathan Greno, Byron Howard
starring Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi, Donna Murphy, Roy Conli
“Assume for the moment that everyone in here doesn’t like me!” Flynn Rider

Taste of Cherry (1968 USA UK) directed by Abbas Kiarostami
starring Homayoun Ershadi, Abdolrahman Bagheri, Afshin Khorshid Bakhtiari
“I don’t want to give you a gun to kill me. I’m giving you a spade, a spade.” Mr. Badii

Tengoku Kara no Yell (2011/Japan) directed by Kumazawa Chikato
starring Abe Hiroshi, Sakuraba Nanami, Mimura, Yano Masato
“People used to help each other.” Oshiro Hikaru

Terms of Endearment (1983/USA) directed by James L. Brooks
starring Shirley MacLaine, Jack Nicholson, Debra Winger
“Impatient boys sometimes miss dessert!” Aurora Greenway

The Thin Red Line (1998/USA) directed by Terrence Malick
starring Jim Caviezel, Sean Penn, Nick Nolte, Elias Koteas, Ben Chaplin
“They want you dead, or in their lie.” 1st Sgt Welsh

This Must Be The Place (2011/Italy France Ireland) directed by Paolo Sorrentino
starring Sean Penn, Frances McDormand, Judd Hirsch
“I’m not entirely sure how to articulate why I enjoyed it so much.” Mike D’Angelo

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011/UK France) directed by Tomas Alfredson
starring Gary Oldman, John Hurt, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Kathy Burke
“I’m feeling seriously under-fucked!” Connie Sachs

Titanic (1997/USA) directed by James Cameron
starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Gloria Stuart
“I figure life’s a gift and I don’t intend on wasting it.” Jack Dawson

Tootsie (1982/USA) directed by Sydney Pollack
starring Dustin Hoffman, Jessica Lange, Bill Murray, Charles Durning
“What y’all really want is some gross, caricature of a woman.” Dorothy

Touching Home (2008/USA) directed by Logan Miller, Noah Miller
starring Ed Harris, Brad Dourif, Logan Miller, Noah Miller
“Can’t argue with success.” Charlie Winston

The Tourist (2010/USA) directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
starring Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Paul Bettany
“The scenery is spectacular and the supporting cast is a hoot.” Richard Roeper

Toy Story (1995/USA) directed by John Lasseter
starring Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles
“This isn’t flying, this is falling with style!” Buzz

Trainspotting (1996/UK) directed by Danny Boyle
starring Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller
“Who needs reasons when you’ve got heroin?” Rent-boy

The Treatment (2006/USA) directed by Oren Rudavsky
starring Chris Eigeman, Famke Janssen, Ian Holm
“If its so boring and stupid, why do you cry in fear beforehand?” Dr. Morales

Trouble with the Curve (2012/USA) directed by Robert Lorenz
starring Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, Justin Timberlake, John Goodman
“What are you fella’s starin’ at? I’m not a pole dancer.” Gus Lobel

Turnout (2011/UK) directed by Lee Sales
starring George Russo, Ophelia Lovibond, Francis Pope, Neil Maskell
“A lot of talent both in front of and behind the camera.” Shadows on the Wall

Under the Greenwood Tree (2005/USA) directed by Nick Laughland
starring Keeley Hawes, James Murray, Terry Mortimer
“I knew you felt the same, Fancy, I knew it. I tasted it on your lips the first time I kissed you.” Dick Dewy

Up Close & Personal (1996/USA) directed by Jon Avnet
starring Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert Redford, Stockard Channing, Kate Nelligan
“I’m Sally, and I’m going to be a star.” Tally Atwater

The Upside of Anger (2005/USA) directed by Mike Binder
starring Joan Allen, Kevin Costner, Erika Christensen, Keri Russell, Alicia Witt, Evan Rachel Wood
“Yeah, it does. It heals. It just heals funny. You know, you more or less walk … with a limp.” Denny

The Usual Suspects (1995/USA) directed by Bryan Singer
starring Kevin Spacey, Gabriel Byrne, Benicio Del Toro, Kevin Pollak
“How do you shoot the Devil in the back?” Verbal

Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008/USA Spain) directed by Woody Allen
starring Javier Bardem, Penélope Cruz, Scarlett Johansson, Rebecca Hall
“I’ll go to your room, but you’ll have to seduce me.” Cristina

Waiting for Forever (2010/USA) directed by James Keach
starring Tom Sturridge, Rachel Bilson, Richard Jenkins, Blythe Danner
“A refreshingly pure, honest and original love story.” Boxoffice Magazine

War Horse (2011/USA) directed by Steven Spielberg
starring Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson, Peter Mullan
“Guaranteed to raise a lump in your throat.” Newsday

The Way Way Back (2013/USA) directed by Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
starring Liam James, Sam Rockwell, AnnaSophia Robb, River Alexander
“You’re having way to much fun. It’s making everyone uncomfortable.” Owen

A Wedding for Bella (2001/USA) directed by Melissa Martin
starring Scott Baio, Rosemary Prinz, John Seitz, Kristin Minter
“Maybe she never marry. Maybe that break my heart a little.” Bella

When Harry Met Sally (1989/USA) directed by Rob Reiner
starring Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan, Carrie Fisher, Bruno Kirby
“You’re high maintenance, but you think you’re low maintenance. ” Harry

Where the Road Meets the Sun (2011/USA) directed by Mun Chee Yong
starring Will Yun Lee, Eric Mabius, Fernando Noriega, Luke Brandon Field
“The cinematic equivalent of a blind date.” NY Times

Whiplash (2014/USA) directed by Damien Chazelle
starring Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Melissa Benoist, Paul Reiser
“If you want the fucking part, earn it!” Terence Fletcher

Woman in Gold (2015/UK) directed by Simon Curtis
starring Helen Mirren, Ryan Reynolds, Daniel Brühl
“They’ll never admit to what they did, because if they admit to one thing, they’ll have to admit to it all.” Maria Altmann

The World’s End (2013/UK) directed by Edgar Wright
starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine
“What the fuck does WTF mean?” Gary King

You Instead (2011/UK) directed by David Mackenzie
starring Luke Treadaway, Natalia Tena
“Captures all the magic and mud of the perfect festival experience.” Digital Spy

Zeitgeist: Moving Forward (2011/USA) directed by Peter Joseph
starring Peter Joseph, Robert Sapolsky, Gabor Mate
“Today, the main threat to human survival is culture.” James Gilligan

Zero Dark Thirty (2012/USA) directed by Kathryn Bigelow
starring Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Jennifer Ehle, Reda Kateb
“Bin Laden is there. And you’re going to kill him for me.” Maya

MGM

Grandfather

Grandfather

I’ve heard it said that people experience true love only once in their lives. Maybe that’s true, I can’t say for sure. All the same, there was this one girl …

I had come into San Francisco’s City Lights looking for something by a Japanese author to carry along on my next trip to Tokyo. During an earlier trip Mishima’s Spring Snow had given me an intimate glimpse of Japan’s people; so much so I promised myself never to travel to Japan or anywhere else without a book featuring that country’s people. If you know City Lights then you know there’s a raised area on the street level in the back, next to where the stairs leading up to the poetry section are located. It’s on this raised area where you’ll find the novels written by foreign authors; those that are translated into English.

It was cold in the City. I draped my scarf over my jacket on the back of a chair and turned toward the section where two years earlier I had found Spring Snow. I didn’t see her when I entered; the area was empty. But there she was standing in front of where I wanted to look, gazing at a book she held, apparently spellbound. I knew she was Japanese. I’d spent far too much time in the Land of the Rising Sun to miss that.

Quietly, I moved next to her, browsing the titles. My thinking was, like with Spring Snow, something would jump out at me, and I’d have my book. Still, it was kind of funny standing next to a person in an otherwise empty room, nearly touching and, at least on my part, pretending she wasn’t there. Whenever I saw something that looked interesting and when I reached for it, the girl was inevitably in the way, staring at her book, as if oblivious to my presence. This went on unchanged for some time; she staring at her book, me trying to reach past, looking for something, not sure what.

Then, without warning, she returned the book to the shelf and walked away, leaving the shop through the front door. My eyes stayed with her as she moved passed on the sidewalk outside. Never did she look in my direction or even acknowledge my presence. I pondered this for a moment then turned back to the shelf where the book she had been holding was placed. Her book was slightly askew, like it was meant to be noticed, and my hand automatically retrieved it. Immediately I felt the warmth from where her hands had been placed and the thought excited me. I glanced at the titleWind-Up Bird Chronicle

I could see a tiny-white feather protruding from the pages, and I opened to it …

Between the end of that strange summer and the approach of winter, my life went on without change. Each day would dawn without incident and end as it had begun. It rained a lot in September. October had several warm, sweaty days. Aside from the weather, there was hardly anything to distinguish one day from the next. I worked at concentrating my attention on the real and useful. I would go to the pool almost every day for a long swim, take walks, make myself three meals.

But even so, every now and then I would feel a violent stab of loneliness. The very water I drank, the very air I breathed, would feel like long, sharp needles. The pages of a book in my hands would take on the threatening metallic gleam of razor blades. I could hear the roots of loneliness creeping through me when the world was hushed at four o’clock in the morning.”

I looked over at the window, hoping she’d be there, staring in. But other than a couple wrapped close, the sidewalk was empty. Words from what I just read flashed into my thoughts … a violent stab of loneliness. I ran my fingers over the cover of the book, stopping at the writer’s name Haruki Murakami. I immediately gathered my things, moved to the front desk and paid for the book, departing through the same door as the girl. For a moment I considered walking up Columbus Avenue in the direction she had gone, but I didn’t. Instead, I walked down the hill, heading toward the St. Francis Hotel where I was scheduled to meet a business associate from Tokyo. He was on a stopover on his way to New York and had suggested in an email we meet for a drink at his hotel. As I walked along I remembered his mentioning that he was traveling with someone who was looking forward to meeting me.


An hour later, Mr. Yamaguchi and I were seated in the hotel’s lobby discussing a project we were engaged with when I noticed an exceptionally attractive woman heading our way. She moved with a confidence reminiscent of dancers I had known and I couldn’t take my eyes from her. When she neared, Mr. Yamaguchi stood.

“I wish to introduce my daughter, Kazumi.”

She was the girl from City Lights!

“I am honored to meet you,” she said with a bow.

“As I am with you,” I replied, attempting to return her bow. My eyes, however, were locked with hers, causing me to stumble slightly. Instantly her smile came to my rescue, and we shared our second intimate moment.

Her beauty was startling.

She sat directly across from me. We exchanged a few words about San Francisco before her father and I resumed the conversation. Though I endeavored to be as engaging as possible, Kazumi’s presence was distracting and it took a super-human effort to avoid staring at her. When we finished, Kazumi leaned to her father and whispered in his ear.

Mr. Yamaguchi looked at me and smiled. “This is my daughter’s first visit to San Francisco. She has asked, if it would not be too much trouble, if you could show her a few of the sites of your beautiful city.”

It would be my honor.

True to my word, I showed Kazumi San Francisco. The following day we rode the cable car to the wharf where we ate cracked crab with the tourists, then walked to the Buena Vista Cafe for Irish coffee.

When the moment seemed right, I asked her about City Lights.

An embarrassed smile spread across Kazumi’s face, causing her to look down before answering. “I wanted to share a passage from the book, and you were next to me. I am sorry. I did not know you worked with my father.”

“But you acted like you didn’t even know I was there.”

“I knew.”

Later, we caught a cab that took us up to and then down Lombard Street, arriving at Coit Tower in time to see the setting sun silhouette the Golden Gate Bridge. That night we dined in a restaurant out on Clement. The maître d’ led us to a table in the back beneath a painting of the Golden Gate Bridge with a sun setting across its mid-span. It was as if the maître d’ knew we had just witnessed the same event.

For the next few hours we ate, sipped red wine, laughed, and shared more stories. It was a pleasure listening to her voice, particularly when she spoke of Japan. Her accent gave her words great depth, as if she were doing the voice over in a sensational movie. After we finished dinner, I glanced at the painting on the wall, commenting on how fantastic it was to think that sunsets in America were sunrises for her and her family in Asia. Spurred-on by the thought, I asked if she would tell me the story of her family. Her hesitation before answering hinted that my request had surprised her and she needed a moment to gather herself. She then reminded me that the world she grew up in was very different from the western world and I may not find it interesting. I laughed, saying I could not imagine that possible. She smiled and told me I would be the first person outside of her country to know about her family. I said it would be my honor. Before she could respond, however, a siren caught our attention and we both looked toward the street. An ambulance flashed passed and we listened as the wailing sound made its way across the City. When I looked back at Kazumi, her eyes told me we were about to depart on a journey of our own.

“In my country, it is common for children to be raised by their grandparents. When I was a little girl my grandfather was my best friend. We were together every day and he is forever in my heart.”

“Grandfather, will rain come tomorrow?”

My grandfather’s eyes wandered the horizon before settling on a flock of low flying birds. “Yes Granddaughter, tomorrow will bring rain.”

“How do you know Grandfather?”

“Birds fly low Granddaughter because moisture in the sky brings worms to Earth’s surface.”

“Grandfather, can I touch a dragonfly?”

“Extend your arm Granddaughter when you see a dragonfly. It will land on your finger.”

“Grandfather, were you in the war?”

“Yes Granddaughter, I was in the war.”

Before the war, my grandfather was a mailman, making his deliveries on horseback. As was his custom he rode bareback and barefoot, even in the cold of winter.

“Grandfather, why didn’t you wear shoes?”

“Granddaughter, a horse is more easily controlled with the touch of a foot than a kick from a boot.”

As was their custom, people would wait for my grandfather and his horse in front of their homes. In Japan, receiving a letter is an honor worthy of high respect. Once war came to their land, however, the people would hide from my grandfather and his horse in fear he would deliver a red envelope. A red envelope meant a father or son was called to serve the Imperial Japanese Army and the people were afraid. One day, another man rode a horse along my grandfather’s route delivering the mail. My grandfather had received a red envelope of his own and he was home, preparing to leave my grandmother and their three small children. After training, he was sent to China where he joined many thousands of other Japanese soldiers.

That was all my grandfather told me about the war.

After his death, my grandmother refused to violate her husband’s privacy by speaking of his experiences in the war. Then, when she too was near death and I was next to her, she suddenly sat up, looked me straight in the eye, and finished my grandfather’s war story.

My grandfather’s unit fought many battles with the Chinese. After each, he was so overcome with emotion that he would lie on the ground shaking while his mind raced home to his wife and their three small children. One day, his unit was overrun by Chinese horse cavalry and, with the exception of himself and an officer named Lieutenant Uchikawa, everyone in his unit was killed. My grandfather survived by pretending he was dead, lying motionless on top of the severely wounded lieutenant. Victorious Chinese soldiers moved through the fallen Japanese troops firing bullets into the heads to insure there would be no survivors. Hearing the approaching Chinese soldiers my grandfather thought of my grandmother and their three small children. Then he prepared to receive a bullet in his brain. That was his last thought before he passed out.

After dark, he awoke, staggered to his feet, and looked around. In the moonlight, the dead soldiers lay in clusters, as if they were holding and comforting one another. My grandfather bent down and lifted the severely wounded Lieutenant Uchikawa over his shoulder, then looked to the North Star. He knew Japan was just to the star’s right and so he walked in that direction, carrying his wounded officer.

My grandfather’s movements were methodical, counting each step as one less in the total required to reach my grandmother and their three small children. Approaching a river, a silhouetted movement caught his attention and he slowly lowered Lieutenant Uchikawa to the ground. Automatically his hand retrieved the bayonet hanging from his belt and he crawled toward the riverbank. As he moved, he resisted thinking of my grandmother and their three small children for he knew he could not afford the distraction. Now much closer, he saw movement again and prepared to pounce. Then a familiar sound entered his ears and he relaxed. It was that of a horse hoof stomping the soft dirt, bringing a smile to his face. Draping Lieutenant Uchikawa’s unconscious body over the horse’s back, my grandfather mounted and rode north, just to the right of the North Star.

During daylight, out of fear of being seen by Chinese soldiers, he hid Lieutenant Uchikawa, the horse, and himself in groves of trees they came upon. He traveled only at night when he could see the North Star. As a boy, my grandfather learned from his grandfather how to live off the land and every day and every night in China he put those skills to use. When he approached a farm, he would hide and wait until he was certain the people were sleeping before raiding their vegetable garden. On more than one occasion he thought of the stories he had heard of Chinese eating their dogs and he was thankful he never encountered barking.

One night, while stealing from a farm, a young girl interrupted him. Another soldier might have killed the young girl to keep her from alerting Chinese soldiers. My grandfather, however, was incapable of such an act. Instead, he bowed to the young girl, and fled. The following morning, Chinese bandits captured him and the wounded Lieutenant Uchikawa. When the bandits realized my grandfather and the wounded officer had no possessions of value, they left the unconscious Lieutenant Uchikawa lying face down in the dirt, tied my grandfather to a tree, and ran the horse off.

Three days later, the young girl climbed onto the back of a horse that had suddenly appeared in the open area before her family’s house and, with her father trailing close behind, hung tightly to its mane as the horse galloped toward Lieutenant Uchikawa and my grandfather, who was now on the verge of death himself. Over the next several days, my grandfather was nursed back to health. Though Lieutenant Uchikawa did not regain consciousness, the young girl’s mother managed to get food and water down his throat.

Late one night, the young girl’s father stirred my grandfather from sleep. After thanking the mother and the young girl, who pointed to herself and said her name was Han Shu Ting, my grandfather draped the unconscious Lieutenant Uchikawa over the horse and rode off with the father. Early the following morning, the father stopped and gestured for my grandfather to ride to the top of a nearby hill. The father said something in Chinese that my grandfather interpreted as good luck and then rode off in the direction from which they had come. My grandfather watched until he could no longer see Han Shu Ting’s father, then turned and rode the horse with Lieutenant Uchikawa draped over it up the hill. At the top, he could see a bay with a war ship anchored in the middle. At the ship’s stern, rippling in the breeze, was a Japanese flag.

One month later, my grandfather joined a unit of the Imperial Japanese Army defending the island of Okinawa. For several weeks, he and other Japanese soldiers waited in snake-infested hills for the Americans to arrive in ships on the East China Sea. One morning, an hour before sunrise, he was jarred from sleep by exploding artillery shells. Afraid, he lowered himself deep into his foxhole. All through the day the barrage continued. Then, an hour before sunset, the shells stopped. Slowly my grandfather rose from his foxhole to a scene he would never forget. Hundreds of American ships covered the ocean before him. At that moment, he knew Japan would lose the battle for Okinawa and he began preparing for surrender. Soon, however, the artillery barrage resumed and my grandfather slid back to the bottom of his foxhole.

For the next three days, American shells fell on Okinawa.

When the bombardment finally stopped, my grandfather again rose from his foxhole. He decided it was time to surrender and, wearing only a loincloth and waving a strip of white cloth, he slowly moved down the hill toward the beach. Halfway across an open area that just days before was covered in thick jungle, he stopped, dropped to his knees, and closed his eyes. He was reminiscing the intricacies of his wife’s face when a strong hand grabbed his arm, raised him up, and prodded him down the hill to an area enclosed in barbed wire, where he was ordered to squat with other captured Japanese soldiers.

For the next several days, fighting roared all around and many more Japanese soldiers were deposited into the compound. Finally, late one afternoon, the sound of war ceased. That night, American soldiers carrying large pots of rice entered the compound. Automatically the prisoners, who now numbered in the thousands, formed lines leading to the pots of rice. It took more than an hour for my grandfather to reach the pot at the head of his line. There a soldier handed him a bowl of rice and spoke the only word an American ever said to him.

“Eat.”

When the war ended, the Americans set my grandfather and other prisoners free on the southern island of Kyushu. For three months, he moved through his destroyed country in the direction of the house he shared with my grandmother and their three small children.

As she did every day, my grandmother was tending her vegetable garden the morning my grandfather entered the path leading to their house. Though it had been nearly four years since my grandmother had received word of my grandfather, she was not surprised to see his familiar form. Quietly, she brushed the dirt from her hands and moved in his direction. When she was a few feet from him, she stopped and bowed deeply, saying simply…

“Thank you my darling.”

Unfortunately, not everyone was happy my grandfather survived the war. The village near their house had been decimated by men who did not return and the elders issued an edict ordering my grandfather to honor those who died by committing ritual suicide. My grandfather, however, refused, calling the edict the act of madmen. Outraged by his insolence, the village shunned him, preventing his return to his job with the post office. With three children to feed my grandfather and grandmother wasted no time in turning their land into rice fields. My grandparent’s fortune was their love, their three children, and the land upon which they lived.

When Kazumi finished, all I could say was, “That’s an amazing story.”

“It is my honor to share it with you.”

“You must be very proud to come from such a family.”

Kazumi looked away, revealing her shyness. We sat in silence, allowing my mind to revisit her story. Then a question hit me.

“Kazumi, what about Lieutenant Uchikawa? What happened to Lieutenant Uchikawa?”

Kazumi bowed her head. “Bluesan, again you honor me.”

After the ship left my grandfather on Okinawa, it sailed northward with the unconscious Lieutenant Uchikawa still on board. Eventually it docked near Hiroshima and Lieutenant Uchikawa was transported to a military hospital on the city’s river. For weeks he teetered between life and death. Then, on the morning of June 29th, Lieutenant Uchikawa, without opening his eyes, regained consciousness. His mind was full of swarms of Chinese soldiers charging on horseback and he convinced himself he was dead. It wasn’t long, however, before those thoughts were replaced by love for the person who bathed him while softly singing the same song his mother had sang when he was a child. When he finally opened his eyes, Lieutenant Uchikawa was disappointed at first. The person who sang was not his mother. Rather, she was a hospital nurse dressed in white.

It took a few weeks for Lieutenant Uchikawa to learn to walk again. During this time, the hospital nurse related the story of a Japanese soldier carrying him draped over a horse across China to an anchored war ship.

“What was the soldier’s name?” inquired Lieutenant Uchikawa.

“No one knows,” replied the hospital nurse. “The sailors who brought you here said the soldier was left on Okinawa to fight the invading Americans. While he was on board he spoke only of his wife and their three small children.”

“Nothing else?” insisted Lieutenant Uchikawa.

“Nothing, except something about a horse.”

“Why did they say that?”

“Apparently, as the ship steamed from the bay, the soldier moved to the railing and bowed to a horse standing alone on the shore.”

A few weeks later, on the morning of August 6th, the hospital nurse was assisting Lieutenant Uchikawa on his walk along the river when they stopped in a grove of cherry trees to admire the flittering of a dragonfly. Suddenly, a powerful force ripped through the trees knocking them both to the ground, where they lay stunned and shocked for several minutes. Still weak from his own battle with death, Lieutenant Uchikawa managed to regain his footing then lifted the semi-conscious hospital nurse into his arms, holding her until she regained full consciousness. Together they moved slowly toward the hospital from which they had exited only minutes before. It was unimaginable – the entire structure had been reduced to rubble; there was nothing left. Unaware of what could cause such devastation, they soon joined a stream of people heading north. Two months later, Lieutenant Uchikawa and the hospital nurse reached the spiritual capital of Japan, Kyoto. By then they were completely dependent upon one another, and very much in love.

They married the following day.

Twelve years later …

Lieutenant Uchikawa was reading the newspaper in the house in Kyoto he shared with the hospital nurse from Hiroshima and their two daughters, when an article on the last page caught his attention. A high school student from Tohoku, a region in northeastern Japan, had been awarded the Emperor’s Medal for a story he had written about his father in the war. A picture next to the article showed the student, Shintaro Yamaguchi, standing with his parents and two sisters on their rice farm near a seaside village called, Ishinomaki.

Entitled Never a Hero, the story told of a father of three small children who was drafted into the Imperial Japanese Army in early 1942, sent to China to fight in several battles before escaping to Okinawa where, in May 1945, he was taken prisoner by the invading Americans. As a veteran of the wars in China, Lieutenant Uchikawa found the boy’s story interesting. However, it was common for fathers to have fought in China during the war. Then a line near the end of the article sent what he later described as a lightning bolt through his chest.

“The father escaped China with his unconscious lieutenant draped over his horse.”

“Okusan!” he shouted to the hospital nurse who was now his wife. “Please help with my suitcase. I must catch the next train north.”

My grandfather was finishing the day’s work when he saw a man coming up the path leading to his house. At first, he wondered who he was, and then something familiar caught his eye. He leaned the hoe that he had been sharpening on the whetstone against his workbench and walked over to the path. Ten feet from the man, my grandfather smiled and bowed.

“Ah, Lieutenant Uchikawa, I see you survived.”

“So it was you!”

“Lieutenant Uchikawa, you honor me. You were my officer and now you have come to my home. Welcome.”

For the next several days, Lieutenant Uchikawa was received in my grandparent’s house as an honored guest. Over meals of homegrown vegetables, rice, fish, and sake, they laughed and cried, reliving their time in China. When my grandfather talked of Han Shu Ting and her father and mother, Lieutenant Uchikawa reacted in disbelief.

“How could a Chinese family be so kind? We were their enemy!”

“Not to this family. They lived beyond the influence of the war. To them we were people who needed help and they responded instinctively. Had Han Shu Ting not listened to her instincts when the horse came to their home, we would have died in China.”

“Then we owe our lives to Han Shu Ting and to her father and mother.”

“Yes. They are forever in our thoughts.”

At the train station, on the day Lieutenant Uchikawa departed, he told my grandfather he would return one day with his family who would want to extend their appreciation. Six months later, Lieutenant Uchikawa, the hospital nurse from Hiroshima who was now his wife, and their two daughters, stood in front of my grandparent’s house in Tohoku. When Lieutenant Uchikawa’s oldest daughter, eleven-year-old Yoshiko, first saw Shintaro, the high school boy who wrote the award-winning story, she whispered to her younger sister that one day she would marry him. Six years later, Shintaro and Yoshiko became husband and wife.

Nine months after their wedding, I was born.


At the completion of Kazumi’s story, we were both very emotional and we sat at our table holding hands without saying a word. What she had shared with me was the foundation for the two sides of her family and like a dream, I couldn’t let go.

Then the sound of our waiter clearing his throat caught my attention. I looked around the restaurant and realized we were the only customers still there. I quickly called him over, apologized, and asked for the bill.

“No apology necessary. You two seemed so involved in your conversation, I didn’t want to bother you.”

When he brought the bill I paid, leaving an extra large tip, and led Kazumi outside. On the sidewalk, she stopped me. “You must allow me to give you money. My father left money for that purpose.”

“Granddaughter, I would gladly pay many times over if every meal could be so rewarding. Thank you for sharing the story of your family.”

Kazumi smiled, slipped her arm in mine, and off we went into the foggy San Francisco night.

Of course, saying you’ll be a guide and actually doing it are two different things. As the days wore on, my role as a guide began to blur. I had known a number of sensational women over the course of my life, but Kazumi was different. Every word she spoke carried a kindness and sweetness that was so genuine she was sweeping me off my feet. Although I had places to go, I couldn’t get Kazumi out of my mind. That weekend of site-seeing grew into weeks of exploring the California coastline, and those weeks blossomed into thoughts of spending the rest of our lives together.

Alas, not every story has a happy ending. One evening, when I returned to the room we had been sharing, Kazumi was not there. On the table, next to the bed, was a note saying she would always cherish the time we spent together; however, she must return to her life in Japan.

I was frantic.

I didn’t know what to do. At first I just sat on the bed, hoping she’d return. To pass the time I wrote a long letter, telling her how I felt. By the following day I knew she wasn’t coming back, so I posted the letter to Japan. Two weeks later it came back unopened and stamped, Return to Sender. I tried calling. Usually there was no answer. Once, an older woman picked up. I asked in English if Kazumi was available. The woman said something in Japanese, then abruptly hung up. Finally, I called her father at his office in Tokyo. He told me he had been expecting my call, explaining that Kazumi had returned to a life that had been predestined for her. He said he sincerely hoped I would understand. I told him I loved her. He responded with several seconds of silence, and then the line went dead.

All I knew for certain was that a wall had been constructed around Kazumi; one I could not surmount. I countered by convincing myself it was just another dream and like all dreams it was bound to end. But try as I might, my sleep continued to fill with images of her. Though she never wore a kimono in my presence, in my dreams she was always dressed in one. One dream that repeated regularly had her adorned in a bright kimono clutching a parasol with one hand and the arm of a faceless man with the other. Fixated, I would stare at her, hoping she would look my way. But the moment her head began to turn, the image would fade, then disappear. Clearly, my dream world had accepted Kazumi’s return to Japan, and it was nudging me to get with the program and move on. Days turned into weeks, and weeks into months. Eventually, the dreams themselves began to fade. By the time I settled into my apartment in Tokyo, I had made peace with never seeing Kazumi again.

D. B. Guidinger © All Rights Reserved 2009

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