More than 2 months have passed since I launched the best Japanese documentaries of all time poll, it’s time to wrap things up and to take a look at the results. Thanks everybody for your votes, for your support and for helping me spreading the word. Before digging into this fascinating trip through the history of Japanese non-fiction film, let me add some overall thoughts.
On the negative side, I have to admit that I’m a bit disappointed that I couldn’t get many people to vote, and this is partly my fault, the blog is pretty new and relatively unknown and I’ve been lazy and shy about pushing it through the social networks world. Besides, Japanese documentary is a niche subject inside a niche (Japanese cinema), and there are not so many people interested in documentary film as an art form, so I should have expected this. Many people, most of them cinema professionals, were kind enough to decline my invitation, honestly admitting their lack of knowledge in the field. After all, one of the purposes of the poll was indeed to check how much exposure Japanese non-fiction movies have in the world of cinephiles, so I shouldn’t really complain too much.
On the positive side, I was really surprised by the deep knowledge of the voters, most of them, I have to add, cinema professionals: festival programmers, critics, professors, and so on.
Below you’ll find the list, when possible I’ve added some information about each movie’s availability on DVD/BD.
Thanks again everyone, feedback and comments are, as always, welcomed.
Available on DVD (with English subtitles).
2)Included in their lists by 33% of voters
Children in the Classroom 「教室の子供たち」(Hani Susumu, 1954)
Available in Japanese in this Iwanami DVD box
Tokyo Olympiad 「東京オリンピック」(Ichikawa Kon, 1965)
Available on DVD in Japanese or with English sub, but the Criterion Collection edition is out of print.
Minamata: The Victims and Their World 「水俣 患者さんとその世界」(Tsuchimoto Noriaki, 1971)
Available on DVD with English sub by Zakka Films
The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On 「ゆきゆきて、神軍」(Hara Kazuo, 1987)
Available on DVD with English sub
4)Included in their lists by 20% of voters
A.K.A. Serial Killer 「略称・連続射殺魔」 (Adachi Masao, Iwabuchi Susumu, Nonomura Masayuki, Yamazaki Yutaka, Sasaki Mamoru, Matsuda Masao, 1969)
There used to be a VHS in Japanese….
The Shiranui Sea 「不知火海」(Tsuchimoto Noriaki, 1975)
Available by Zakka Films with English sub.
Antonio Gaudi 「アントニー・ガウディー」(Teshigahara Hiroshi, 1985)
Available with English sub by Criterion Collection.
5)Included in their list by 13,3% of voters
For My Crushed Right Eye 「つぶれかかった右眼のために」(Matsumoto Toshio, 1968)
The work is in the Matsumoto Toshio DVD collection – volume 2 – released by Uplink (now out of print?) in Japanese.
Goodbye CP [さよならCP] (Hara Kazuo, 1972)
Available with English sub by Facets Video.
God Speed You! Black Emperor 「ゴッド・スピード・ユー!」(Yanagimachi Mitsuo, 1976)
Available in Japanese on DVD (used and expensive).
Embracing 「につつまれて」(Kawase Naomi, 1992)
Available in Japanese with English sub in this DVD-BOX
A (Mori Tatsuya, 1998)
Available with English sub by Facets Video
The New God 「新しい神様」(Tsuchiya Yutaka, 1999)
Available on DVD in Japanese
Memories of Agano (阿賀の記憶, 2004 Satō Makoto)
Available on DVD with English sub by SIGLO.
Campaign 「選挙」(Sōda Kazuhiro, 2007)
Available on DVD with English sub.