Kagemusha

When a warlord dies, a peasant thief is called upon to impersonate him, in order to protect his clan from appearing weak and vulnerable. But he finds himself haunted by the warlord’s spirit as well as his own ambitions.

The Woodsman and the Rain

Rookie movie director Koichi and his crew travels to the mountain village of Yamamura to film his next movie. The villagers are eventually enlisted to help film the movie and, in particular, 60-year-old lumberjack Katsuhiko helps against his will.

Departures

“Departures” follows Daigo Kobayashi (Masahiro Motoki), a devoted cellist in an orchestra that has just been dissolved and who is suddenly left without a job. Daigo decides to move back to his old hometown with his wife to look for work and start over. He answers a classified ad entitled “Departures” thinking it is an advertisement for a travel agency only to discover that the job is actually for a “Nokanshi” or “encoffineer,” a funeral professional who prepares deceased bodies for burial and entry into the next life. While his wife and others despise the job, Daigo takes a certain pride in his work and begins to perfect the art of “Nokanshi,” acting as a gentle gatekeeper between life and death, between the departed and the family of the departed. The film follows his profound and sometimes comical journey with death as he uncovers the wonder, joy and meaning of life and living. [Synopsis courtesy of Regent Releasing]

Space Battleship Yamato

In 2199, five years after the Gamilons began an invasion of Earth, the planet has been ravaged by the aliens’ bombs. The remnants of humanity have fled underground to escape the irradiated surface. One day, former pilot Susumu Kodai discovers a capsule sent from the planet Iscandar that tells of a device that can remove the radiation from the Earth’s surface. The Earth Defense Force rebuilds the battleship Yamato with a new type of propulsion system to make the 148,000 light year trip to Iscandar in hopes of saving the Earth. Within one year, the radiation will drive the rest of humanity to extinction.

Straw Shield

Ninagawa is a powerful man in Japanese politics and with top economic connections.His granddaughter is then murdered. The suspect is Kunihide Kiyomaru (Tatsuya Fujiwara). Kunihide Kiyomaru has a prior conviction for assaulting and killing a girl 8 years ago. The police could never apprehend the suspect in the prior killing.