The Tale of Zatoichi proved so popular that a follow-up went into production the same year. Here, Zatoichi is hired to give a massage to a powerful political official who, he discovers, is mentally ill—a secret that the nobleman’s retinue is determined to keep at any cost. This second Zatoichi film picks up the pace, featuring bigger action sequences, tighter plotting, and a mysterious one-armed swordsman played by star Shintaro Katsu’s brother Tomisaburo Wakayama (Lone Wolf and Cub).
With his lush and sensual visuals, pitch-perfect soundtracks, and soulful romanticism, Wong Kar Wai has established himself as one of the defining auteurs of contemporary cinema.
Four charming comedies from Eric Rohmer.
Melvin Van Peebles’s edgy, angsty, romantic first feature could never have been made in America. Unable to break into a segregated Hollywood, Van Peebles decamped to France, taught himself the language, and wrote a number of books in French, one of which, La permission, would become his stylistically innovative feature debut.
Melvin Van Peebles
DCP, Blu-ray, DVD
A triumph at the 2020 Berlin International Film Festival, the revelatory debut feature from codirectors (and twin brothers) Arie and Chuko Esiri is a heartrending and hopeful portrait of everyday human endurance in Lagos, Nigeria.