Earlier this weekend I saw the later half of Ator: The Fighting Eagle and the first two Urusei Yatsura films, directed by Mamoru Oshii. Only You was a fun film, but Beautiful Dreamer completely trumps it with its complex and mindfuck-inducing plot. I also rewatched the first Ghost in the Shell film which was just as magnificent as I recalled. In addition, Keisuke Kinoshita's Ballad of Narayama was a hugely interesting film with its heavy reliance on kabuki traditions and gorgeous sets, but some parts of the film didn't work that well so it is hard to call it a masterpiece either.
Cristian Mungiu's Beyond the Hills: Starts off promisingly, but gradually turns into one heck of a trainwreck. With a running time of 150 minutes it's not only unnecessarily long, but poorly structured and paced. It sort of moves into climax mode midway through the film and then it just feels like the film goes on and on and on. It is all capped off with an ending that aims to be ambiguous and sophisticated, but ends up being shallow and nonsensical as hell. For a film that's about love and caring in a society which lacks understanding for other people (be it church, hospital or orphanage) it's ultimately screwed up by the awkwardly off-putting characterization of its main characters (one of them mainly characterized by her unhealthy obsession with the other main character, which completely destroys her key role) and the final act of the film that blows the thematics of the film completely apart. At least the film is visually very well directed with lots of memorable shots and its insistence on using long takes worked quite well.
"I'd really like to have as much money as you have, Oz" - robersora
"No you wouldn't. Oz's secret is he goes without food to buy that stuff. He hasn't eaten in years." - Brikhaus
"Often I get the feeling that deep down, your little girl is struggling with your embrace of filmfaggotry and your loldeep fixations, and the conflict that arises from such a contradiction is embodied pretty well in Kureha's character. But obviously it's not any sort of internal conflict that makes the analogy work. It's the pigtails." - Merridian
"Oh, Oz, I fear I'm losing my filmfag to the depths of Japanese pop. If only there were more films with Japanese girls in glow-in-the-dark costumes you'd be the David Bordwell of that genre." - Jimbo
"Oz, I think we need to stage an intervention and force you to watch some movies that aren't made in Japan." - Trajan