13 items from 2013
Harakiri (Japan: Seppuku), 1962.
Directed by Masaki Kobayashi.
An elder ronin samurai arrives at a feudal lord's home and requests an honorable place to commit suicide. But when the ronin inquires about a younger samurai who arrived before him things take an unexpected turn.
Of all the many features he churns out in a year, Takashi Miike didn’t need to direct a remake of Masaki Kobayashis Harakiri. Simply put, Miike didn’t need to update Harakiri for modern audiences – there’s nothing tame about Kobayashi’s original, not in its anti-authoritarian stance, its downbeat attitude to the rich/poor divide or in its cutting violence. Films so overtly about the evaporation of honour in the modern world or the system crushing the little man weren’t so common at the time Harakiri was made, lending »
- Gary Collinson
The North's 27th annual film showcase takes in an array of charming venues and has a genuinely broad selection of movies
It may not carry the reputable weight of some of the world's larger, more exotically located, showcases, but Leeds International Film Festival (Liff) isEngland's largest outside of London, boasting a multifarious annual selection.
Spanning a rather mammoth three weeks (6-21 November) this year, Liff includes 163 feature films, short film programmes and events – all of which are presented over 250 screenings.
Scattered across the city, the 27th festival takes in an array of venues from the charming, almost Lynchian construct of the Hyde Park Picturehouse (celebrating its 100th year next year) to the most recent addition to Leeds' cinematic offerings, an Everyman cinema loaded with thick, comfy, living room-like armchairs. The Town Hall, which despite its rather cavernous frame and potential for cold, echo-filled atmosphere, is actually rather stunning inside and »
UK Jewish film festival | Aesthetica short film festival | French film festival UK | Leeds international film festival
UK Jewish film festival, nationwide
There's really no telling what a Jewish film could or should look like, or even where it could come from. It might be an eastern European thriller (In The Shadow); a New York comedy such as Blumenthal, starring Brian Cox; an Almodóvar-esque musical (Eytan Fox's Cupcakes); an Argentinian Nazi drama (Wakolda); or even a psychedelic semi-animated head trip such as Ari "Waltz With Bashir" Folman's latest, The Congress. The result is one of the most varied festivals out there, and an ever-expanding event (80 films this year, across 19 venues). More recognisably Jewish themes are also abundant, such as in self-explanatory opener The Jewish Cardinal, based on a true story, or new doc Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy, with Michael Grade in conversation after.
Various venues, to 17 Nov
Aesthetica short film festival, »
- Steve Rose
Every year, we here at Sound On Sight celebrate the month of October with 31 Days of Horror; and every year, I update the list of my favourite horror films ever made. Last year, I released a list that included 150 picks. This year, I’ll be upgrading the list, making minor alterations, changing the rankings, adding new entries, and possibly removing a few titles. I’ve also decided to publish each post backwards this time for one reason: the new additions appear lower on my list, whereas my top 50 haven’t changed much, except for maybe in ranking. I am including documentaries, short films and mini series, only as special mentions – along with a few features that can qualify as horror, but barely do.
Directed by Benjamin Christensen
Denmark / Sweden, 1922
“If it were not for those children asleep there, I would kill you this moment.”
Directors: Masaki Kobayashi
Plot: An anthology of four Japanese folk tales that centre on ghosts.
Horror has always worked in the anthology format. A number of different tales being told in succession gives the feel of sitting round the campfire and one-upmanship. I’ve never done that myself, but I can imagine it’s pretty cool having watched Are You Afraid Of The Dark? Anthologies have always interested me, as there is usually something to be gained from them. Even if just one of the stories hits, then you haven’t exactly wasted your time. The greatest of all cinematic anthologies has to be the Japanese classic Kwaidan.
- Luke Ryan Baldock
Festival’s music documentaries include Revenge of the Mekons [pictured] and Harlem Street Singer.
The festival programme includes 163 films in 250 screenings at four main venues: Leeds Town Hall, Hyde Park Picture House, Vue Leeds at the Light and the Everyman.
The official selection includes festival hit such as Blue is the Warmest Colour, Child’s Pose, Nebraska and Stranger By The Lake; plus discovery titles including Harmony Lessons, The Strange Little Cat and the UK premiere of Finnish veteran Pirjo Honkasalo’s Concrete Night.
Leeds’ cult cinema section Fanomenon will include the UK premiere of Korea’s Cold Eyes, a Batman offering with a new documentary about Frank Miller, and the Night of the Dead and Day of the Dead series with films such as 100 Bloody Acres and Big Bad Wolves. Cult classics to screen include Deadlock, Wake in Fright, and Ikarie »
- email@example.com (Wendy Mitchell)
Greetings from the apocalypse! This here is my twentieth weekend column, which seemed like as good a time as any to reach out to my fellow weekend road warriors to say if you have any suggestions for upcoming films/local weekend events to feature in future editions just write me on Twitter. Signed 8 x 10 glossies will be sent to fans at my secretary's discretion. But seriously, write away — give this wandering rōnin of the desert some feedback, yo.
Friday, May 24
Pow! In Theaters
I'm admittedly not a huge fan of the "Hangover" franchise — only in America and possibly France could such a thing spawn a franchise — so when I tell you "The Hangover Part III" has nary a laugh or even »
- Max Evry
Django Unchained Obviously the #1 title for most people this week will be the release of Quentin Tarantino's Oscar-winning film Django Unchained, but where will you buy it? Obviously many will turn to Amazon, which is where the Buy Now link below will take you, but did you know you can pick it up at Target with exclusive steel book packaging and a bonus disc? Best Buy also has special steelbook packaging for you to conside. If you're picking up the Blu-ray edition it looks like you're going to be paying $22.99 no matter which of the three options you choose, the question is, which will you choose?
Repo Man (Criterion Collection) I've actually never seen Repo Man though I've heard and read many times it's a film I ought to give a shot. Netflix used to have it on streaming and when they did I almost watched it several times, »
- Brad Brevet
Over the weekend an international trailer for Takashi Miike's Straw Shield (Wara no Tate) was revealed, but I didn't know enough about it to post the trailer with any kind of accompanying information. Considering the trailer isn't in English I didn't think that would do a large bit of good for those that wanted to give it a look. Today I have some new info courtesy of Twitch. Here's the synopsis: Based on a novel by Kiuchi Kazuhiro, the movie stars Fujiwara Tatsuya as a killer named Kunihide Kiyomaru, who murders the granddaughter of a powerful figure in the political and financial world (Yamazaki Tsutomu). A few months later, Kiyomaru discovers the man has offered a 1 billion yen reward to anyone who manages to kill him. Fearing for his own life, he turns himself in to Fukuoka Prefectural Police. Five elite Security Police are tasked with escorting Kiyomaru from Fukuoka to Tokyo, »
- Brad Brevet
by Vadim Rizov
Internationally known for his disdain for quality control, propensity for making three to five features every year in all conceivable genres and bizarre, YouTube ready non-sequitur sequences, Japanese auteur Takashi Miike made his first Cannes competition appearance with Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai, in turn the fest's first premiere of a 3D film. Flattened to two dimensions for DVD and Blu-ray, Hara-Kiri looks just fine; depending on who you believe (I haven't seen it in 3D), it may even benefit from regaining the light normally lost with 3D. A stately samurai drama closely following the plot of Masaki Kobayashi's essential 1962 original, Hara-Kiri totally suppresses Miike's usual Add doodles and digressions at the narrative margins. This straight face suits him well.
In December 1632, Hanshiro (Ebizo Ichikawa) arrives at the House of Ii, whose courtyard is available to impoverished samurai who wish to commit hara-kiri (formalized suicide via »
Apparently there’s no accounting for taste; The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 is leading the pack in Blu-Ray pre-sales this week, closely followed by Taken 2 and Skyfall. After a lengthy run, The Dark Knight Rises has fallen to number 12 on the bestselling Blu-Ray sales charts and it will be sorely missed (thankfully I already own the film and you should too).
Ready for this week’s picks? Then read on.
Release Date: January 22nd, 2013
Director: David Ayer
- C.P. Howells
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Jan. 22, 2013
Price: DVD $26.95, Blu-ray $29.95
Studio: Tribeca Film/Cinedigm/New Video
Swords are swinging in Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai.
From prolific Japanese filmmaker Takashi Miike (he’s completed seven features in the last three years, including 2010’s 13 Assassins) comes the 2011 martial arts action-drama film Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai, a remake of Masaki Kobayashi’s 1962 classic samurai film, Harakiri.
Hara-Kiri tells the story of Hanshirô (Ebizô Ichikawa), a samurai who arrives at the doorstep of his feudal lord and requests an honorable death by ritual suicide in his courtyard. The lord threatens him with the brutal tale of Motome (Eita), a desperate young ronin (a samurai with no lord or master) who made a similar request with ulterior motives, only to meet a grisly end. Undaunted, Hanshirô begins to tell his own story…
Miike’s movie arrives following its release on video-on-demand and digital platforms in July, »
To Remake Or Not To Remake, That Is The Question
“Ichimei” or “Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai” is Takashi Miike‘s 2012 remake of the extraordinary 1962 classic “Seppuku” ( or “Harakiri“ ), that one directed by Masaki Kobayashi. If you feel like this might be a little too ambitious of a project for someone like Miike, fear not. His last project was “13 Assassins” ( which was reviewed right here on Amp ), a similar type of film with parallel themes and a striking resemblance in terms of visuals.
The story goes as follows: A ronin requests an audience with the regent of a powerful samurai clan. Once he is permitted to enter the grounds, the wandering warrior makes a startling demand: he requests the use of the clan’s courtyard in order to perform hara-kiri ( suicide by disembowelment ). Now, this is where the story gets even stranger…
As the conversation continues, the regent reveals an »
13 items from 2013
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