2 items from 2013
Chicago – Beneath every honorable warrior is a cold-hearted opportunist hell-bent on dominating his victimized prey at all costs. That’s a theory indelibly illustrated by Teinosuke Kinugasa’s revered 1953 classic, “Gate of Hell,” a melodrama populated by such frustrating characters that it nearly loses the viewer’s interest before its admittedly splendid finale, when the tale takes on grand dimensions of Greek tragedy.
The real—and, regrettably, only—reason to seek out Criterion’s new release of this long-forgotten landmark is to marvel at the new digital master of a 2011 2K restoration that brought Kôhei Sugiyama’s vibrant color photography back to life. This was not only one of the first color pictures in Japanese cinema, but one of the first films to utilize color with the arresting vibrance of a truly painterly eye. The golds, reds and blues pop with such potency that they would’ve felt right at »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Teinosuke Kinugasa’s glorious and vibrant masterpiece, Gate of Hell, excitingly receives a Criterion digital remastering this month, a certifiable occasion because this not only recreates the film’s initial visual beauties, but the first time it will be widely available stateside (cinephiles were only previously privy to Eureka Entertainment’s UK Blu-ray release). Winner of the top prize at Cannes, as well as the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and Costume Design, Martin Scorsese names the film among one of the most beautiful color films of all time.
Based on the play Kesa’s Husband by Ken Kikuchi, the setting is 1159 Ad, known as the Heiji Era, and a rebellion has been staged against the royal family. Under siege, it is decided that a decoy must be used to distract the rebel army, and Lady Kesa (Machiko Kyo) assumes the responsibility, carted away by a group of samurais. »
- Nicholas Bell
2 items from 2013
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