It is quite quintessentially known that a mastered piece of art alters your mind. Oriental films that are known to have Korean, Chinese, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japanese movies under its wing have flourished remarkably in proficient storytelling. They rekindle the right kind of mood and have the most appropriate situation worthy dialogues. Oriental directors have always been known for trying their luck and talent in various arenas of genres and scarcely turn away from exploring unconventional concepts. Here is an appended list of movies which have been successful in holding the demanding interests of the audience together and remained imbibed in their minds long after the movie had concluded.
Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon was one of the most daring films of its era. This film is credited to bring Akira Kurosawa and many would say Japanese cinema to international renown. It recounts how the rape and murder of a woman was recalled from the contradicting perspectives of a bandit, a samurai, the samurai’s wife and a woodcutter before ending on an unparalleled climax that questions the nature of humanity. “The Rashomon effect” is a part of common vernacular showing what a great impact was made by the multi-witness storytelling technique.
Ikiru follows the story of a man’s journey toward finding the meaning in life after he hears of his diagnosis with terminal cancer. It is another masterpiece from Akira Kurosawa. This drama is perhaps the fountainhead of modern stories with roots in existentialism.
Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
No list capturing the best oriental films can miss this one. Grave of the Fireflies is a beautiful animated film about a young boy and his little sister’s struggle to survive during World War II. This film is the finest example of “raw” storytelling. It captivates you and fills your heart with so much love for the little kids. This is one film that everyone must watch just for its essence.
Spring, summer, fall, winter and spring (2003)
Spring, summer, fall, winter and spring is a sharp meditation on the cycle of life and death, and it is a gorgeous motion picture. Kim Ki-duk, a Korean director makes a gritty, witty, sublime, and transcendental movie reflecting one man’s life journey. Each and every shot amplifies the emotionally resonant story. The story is about the life of a Buddhist monk as he passes through the seasons of his life, from childhood to old age. Each season portrays an integral part of the young monk’s life. This film is a visual treat whose ideas and images stimulate your mind as you watch and lingers in your thoughts later on.
Memories of Murder (2003)
The film Memories of Murder by Bong Joon-Ho is based on a true story of an unresolved high-profile serial murder case that occurred between 1986 and 1991 in Korea. All of the victims were women (from ages 13 to 71) found with signs of rape. The film takes us on a journey with three detectives who try to solve the case. In one scene the director manages to break the fourth wall even without the viewers realizing. The cinematography and inconclusive ending leaves it to the viewers to interpret it.
Old Boy (2003)
Old Boy is a South Korean mystery, thriller neo-noir film which is unpredictable till the very end. After being kidnapped and imprisoned for fifteen years, Oh Dae-Su is released, only to find that he must find his captor in five days and solve the mystery behind his kidnapping.
The suspense and drama keeps the viewers hooked to the film. It is intriguing and strips the depth of human complexity bare. Old Boy is a bold film which is not for the faint hearted.