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The Films of Yasuo Moriyama

What would people learn about you from the DVDs around your house?

A self-proclaimed modern hermit, rarely leaving his home, Yasuo Moriyama surrounds himself with his favourite possessions – books, records and films – many of which you can see on display in The Japanese House exhibition.

From black and white silent films and film noir to comedy capers and cult road films, we take a look through some of Moriyama’s DVDs for some recommendations for your film watch list.
Yasujirou Ozu, Late Spring (1949)
Noriko is perfectly happy living at home with her widowed father, Shukichi, and has no plans to marry – that is, until her aunt Masa convinces Shukichi that unless he marries off his 27-year-old daughter soon, she will likely remain alone for the rest of her life.

Edward Yang, A Brighter Summer Day (1991)
Set in Taiwan in the 1960s, based on a true story, primarily on a conflict between two youth gangs, a 14-year-old boy’s girlfriend conflicts with the head of one gang for an unclear reason, until finally the conflict comes to a violent climax.

Jerzy Skolimowski, The Departure (1967)
A fast-paced comedy about a young Belgian car nut and hairdresser’s apprentice, his girlfriend, and their legal and illegal attempts to get a Porsche for his debut race.

Monte Hellman, Two-Lane Blacktop (1971)
In this cult favorite road film, a mechanic (Dennis Wilson) and a driver (James Taylor) live only to race and maintain their 1955 Chevy.

Kenji Mizoguchi, Sansho the Bailiff (1954)
Set in medieval Japan, two children are attached and separated from their mother and sold as slaved to the brutal Sansho while on a journey to visit their father, a banished governor. The children grow up as slaves on Sansho’s estate, but when one of them hears a newly acquired slave singing a song that mentions their names, they realize their mother may still be alive and make plans to find her.

Robert Bresson, L’Argent (1983)
A forged 500-franc note is cynically passed from person to person and shop to shop, until it falls into the hands of a genuine innocent who doesn’t see it for what it is – which will have devastating consequences on his life.

Jean Vigo, L’Atalante (1934)
Newly married couple Juliette and a ship captain Jean struggle through marriage as they travel on the L’atalante along with the captain’s first mate Le père Jules and a cabin boy.

Sadao Yamanaka, Tange Sazen: The Million Ryō Pot (1935)
In this Japanese comedy, a man gets rid of a cheap pot without knowing it contains a map to a treasure. As word spreads, he finds he is not the only one hunting for it.

Jean-Luc Godard, Breathless (1960)
A small-time thief steals a car and impulsively murders a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with his girlfriend, a hip American journalism student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy.

F.W.Murnau, Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927)
An allegorical tale about a man fighting the good and evil within him. Both sides are made flesh – one a sophisticated woman he is attracted to and the other his wife.

Jacques Tati, Mon Oncle (1958)
Monsieur Hulot visits the technology-driven world of his sister, brother-in-law, and nephew, but he can’t quite fit into the surroundings.

Listen to some of Moriyama’s favourite records in our Spotify playlist.

Share your photos from the exhibition on @BarbicanCentre #TheJapaneseHouse

The Japanese House: Life and Architecture after 1945 is now open, until 23 June 2017

Explore The Japanese House events series featuring tours, film screenings, talks and workshops throughout the exhibition