films seen
12
average score
3.20*
nationality
Japan - 72 years old
status
Alive and kicking
more info

An accomplished filmmaker whose work only got better with the years and who always brings something unique to the table. Harada's oeuvre is a downright must for everyone who fancies himself a fan of Japanese cinema.

The good stuff

Inugami

by Masato Harada
Specifics
2001 / 106m - Japan
Genre
Fantasy, Thriller
More info:
rating
4.0*/5.0*
Inugami poster

A very mysterious and sensual look at a small, Japanese mountain town. Miki is a spinster whose life gets turned upside down when a young teacher is hired from outside the village. With a strong soundtrack and cinematography, some neat twists and a couple of baffling moments, Harada delivers something really special.

The Suicide Song

by Masato Harada
Also known as
Densen Uta
Specifics
2007 / 128m - Japan
Genre
Drama, Mystery
More info:
rating
4.0*/5.0*
toplist position
The Suicide Song poster

I was pleasantly surprised to find a very accomplished yet eclectic film hiding underneath the cover of ghosts and suicides.

Solid pieces

Sekigahara

by Masato Harada
Specifics
2017 / 150m - Japan
Genre
Drama, War, History
More info:
rating
3.5*/5.0*
Sekigahara poster

Kakekomi Onna to Kakedashi Otoko

by Masato Harada
Specifics
2015 / 143m - Japan
Genre
Comedy, Drama
More info:
rating
3.5*/5.0*
Kakekomi Onna to Kakedashi Otoko poster

The Emperor in August

by Masato Harada
Also known as
Nihon no Ichiban Nagai hi Ketteiban
Specifics
2015 / 135m - Japan
Genre
Drama, History
More info:
rating
3.5*/5.0*
The Emperor in August poster

Chronicle of My Mother

by Masato Harada
Also known as
Waga Haha no Ki
Specifics
2011 / 108m - Japan
Genre
Drama
More info:
rating
3.5*/5.0*
Chronicle of My Mother poster

A very solid drama. The title is pretty self-explanatory, Harada aims for a film that falls somewhere in between the work of Yamada and Koreeda and succeeds rather well. A strong cast, pretty cinematography and nice, subdued drama turn this into a quality production. Nothing you haven't seen before, but prime filler.

Bounce Ko Gals

by Masato Harada
Also known as
Baunsu Ko Gaurusu
Specifics
1997 / 110m - Japan
Genre
Drama
More info:
rating
3.5*/5.0*
Bounce Ko Gals poster

The ideal film to watch back to back with Anno's Love & Pop. In Bounce Ko Gals, Harada presents his take on Japanese Kogal/engo-kosei culture. Young school girls selling themselves to lechers were a big thing in the 90s, it's not surprising then that several directors took this as inspiration for their films.

Lisa is a girl on her way to the US. She saved up some money, but right before her plane ticket expires she hopes to make a quick buck in Harajuku. During a video shoot she is robbed by the Yakuza, leaving her stranded with just the ticket. Raku and Jonko, two regulars, decide to help Lisa out and call in some favors to earn Lisa's money back.

Harada proves himself a capable director. The film isn't as experimental as Anno's, but the overall quality is higher. The performances are strong, the camera work is vibrant, and the characters are an interesting bunch. Harada blends the culture exploration well with the narrative and delivers a warm, captivating, slight disturbing drama.

The inoffensive

Killing for the Prosecution

by Masato Harada
Also known as
Kensatsu Gawa no Zainin
Specifics
2018 / 123m - Japan
Genre
Mystery, Crime
More info:
rating
3.0*/5.0*
Killing for the Prosecution poster

A plot-driven but pleasantly directed crime/mystery that digs its claws deep into the Japanese justice system. Harada is a competent director and the cast does a fine job, but in the end the film doesn't really excite enough for a higher score. A little too dialogue-heavy for my taste, but certainly not a bad film.

The Choice of Hercules

by Masato Harada
Also known as
Totsunyûseyo! Asama Sansô Jiken
Specifics
2002 / 130m - Japan
Genre
Thriller
More info:
rating
3.0*/5.0*
The Choice of Hercules poster

An interesting take on the classic hostage thriller. Rather than focus on the criminals and the hostages, Harada singles out the administrative hell hole that opens up when local and national police corpses are forced to work together to defuse the situation. A bit long and a little scruffy in places, but Harada is a fine director and delivers an amusing film.

Worthy but flawed

Kamikaze Taxi

by Masato Harada
Also known as
Kamikaze Takushî
Specifics
1995 / 169m - Japan
Genre
Action
More info:
rating
2.5*/5.0*
Kamikaze Taxi poster

Gunhed

by Masato Harada
Also known as
Ganheddo
Specifics
1989 / 100m - Japan
Genre
Sci-fi, Action, Thriller
More info:
rating
2.5*/5.0*
Gunhed poster

Dubious filler

Heartbreak Yakuza

by Masato Harada
Also known as
Saraba Itoshiki Hito Yo
Specifics
1987 / 102m - Japan
Genre
Crime
More info:
rating
2.0*/5.0*
Heartbreak Yakuza poster

Early Harada. Not much to see here, except some very basic Yakuza/crime genre work. The gunslinging is a little boring, the acting is mediocre, the cinematography mostly functional and the plot as predictable as can be. No doubt the biggest Yakuza film fans will find something here, but otherwise this was a slight letdown.