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    8 Incredible Japanese Films That Deserve More Attention

    You might have heard of these, but probably haven't seen them!

    With the recent release of Star Wars: Visions, a series set in the Star Wars universe made by a number of different Japanese animation studios, it’s a reminder of how much influence Japanese cinema has on international film.

    two jedis fight with their lightsabers

    It got me thinking about how varied and underappreciated Japan’s cinema is outside of Anime TV and Studio Ghibli films (but who doesn’t love Spirited Away?).

    Here are just 8 films from Japan that should be watched more:

    1. Shoplifters (2018) by Hirokazu Kore-eda:

    a family of five holds hands, jumping into water

    2. After Life (1998) also by Hirokazu Kore-eda:

    a man sits at a table and says "one memory that was most meaningful or precious to you"

    3. Pulse (2001) by Kiyoshi Kurosawa:

    woman on the phone

    4. Millennium Actress (2001) by Satoshi Kon:

    animated women looking in different directions, in different types of clothing

    5. Dark Water (2002) by Hideo Nakata:

    young girl walks through the streets, tall buildings around her

    6. Only Yesterday (1991) by Isao Takahata:

    animated woman with a ponytail smiles while standing next to a young girl. they're in a classroom

    7. Love Letter (1995) by Shunji Iwai:

    person standing in the snow, looking at mountains

    8. And The Hidden Fortress (1958) by Akira Kurosawa

    man sits with arms crossed

    In fact, here's a video comparing The Hidden Fortress with Star Wars:

    View this video on YouTube

    Are there any Japanese films you recommend, or have you seen any of these? Let me know in the comments below!