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‘Midnight Cowboy,’ ‘Graduation,’ ‘Au hasard Balthazar,’ and More to Join the Criterion Collection

  • Indiewire
‘Midnight Cowboy,’ ‘Graduation,’ ‘Au hasard Balthazar,’ and More to Join the Criterion Collection
May is going to be a good month for fans of the Romanian New Wave, as Cristian Mungiu’s two most recent films are both joining the Criterion Collection. “Graduation” and “Beyond the Hills” will be released alongside new additions “Midnight Cowboy,” “The Other Side of Hope,” and “Moonrise”; “Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters” and “Au hasard Balthazar,” which have already been released on DVD, are getting Blu-ray upgrades.

“Au hasard Balthazar”

“A profound masterpiece from one of the most revered filmmakers in the history of cinema, director Robert Bresson’s ‘Au hasard Balthazar’ follows the donkey Balthazar as he is passed from owner to owner, some kind and some cruel but all with motivations outside of his understanding. Balthazar, whose life parallels that of his first keeper, Marie, is truly a beast of burden, suffering the sins of humankind. But despite his powerlessness, he accepts his fate nobly.
See full article at Indiewire »

The top 20 underappreciated films of 1985

1985 was the year of Back To The Future, Rocky IV and Rambo II. But what about these 20 movies, that also deserve a fair share of love?

Thirty years ago, Marty McFly was riding high with the smash hit Back To The Future, while Sylvester Stallone enjoyed his most successful year yet with the one-two punch of Rambo: First Blood Part II and Rocky IV. It was an era of family sci-fi and teen comedies and bullet-spraying action, where The Breakfast Club and Teen Wolf rubbed shoulders with Death Wish 3 and Commando. Then there were low-key dramas like Out Of Africa and The Color Purple, which were both awards magnets at the Oscars.

Away from all those big hits, 1985 saw the release of a wealth of less successful movies, some of which found a second life on the then-huge home video circuit. Here's our pick of 20 underappreciated films from the year of Rambo,
See full article at Den of Geek »

'All That Jazz', 'Blended', 'The Double', 'Vengeance is Mine' and More on DVD & Blu-ray Today

All That Jazz (Criterion Collection) I've only seen Bob Fosse's All That Jazz once and I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it a lot for its excellent photography, but I'm not sure I feel any need to purchase it. I didn't even ask for a review copy, but I will say were it to come on television I'm pretty sure it would be an easy movie to sink back into. One thing I will add, however, is Roy Scheider crushes this performance; a stand out, dripping with intensity performance that's certainly worth seeing. This new Criterion release comes loaded to the gills, here are the features: New 4K digital restoration, with 3.0 surround DTS-hd Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray Audio commentary featuring editor Alan Heim Selected-scene audio commentary by actor Roy Scheider New interviews with Heim and Fosse biographer Sam Wasson New conversation between actors Ann Reinking and Erzsebet Foldi
See full article at Rope Of Silicon »

‘Vengeance is Mine’ exposes a real-life monster

This must be how people escape the pull of the earth, the gravitational leaf-flutter that brings us hourly closer to dying. Simply stop obeying. Steal instead of buy, shoot instead of talk.

Don Delillo, White Noise

Sometimes while looking through my old notebooks and blogs, I wonder what kind of picture the media would paint of me if I ever committed an overly violent act. I’ve spent many years gushing over horror films, playing violent video games, indulging in various mind-altering substances, and writing about the ways in which I’m frustrated by society. So in other words, I’d be up shit creek – destined to go down as one of society’s crazies. Never mind that I am cognitively sound and have never displayed any tendencies of antisocial behaviour; yet I’d be made into a monster simply for the benefit of keeping up appearances. I mean, ‘normal
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Blu-ray Release: Vengeance Is Mine

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Aug. 26, 2014

Price: Blu-ray $39.95

Studio: Criterion

Serial killer Ken Ogata gets down to business in Vengeance Is Mine.

Director Shohei Imamura’s (The Pornographers) 1979 crime thriller Vengeance Is Mine is one of the greatest Japanese imports of the Seventies.

The film revolves around Iwao Enokizu (Mishima’s Ken Ogata), a thief, a murderer, and a charming lady-killer who is on the run from the police.

Shohei turns the fact-based story about a seventy-eight-day killing spree of a remorseless man from a devoutly Catholic family into a cold, perverse, and at times diabolically funny examination of the primitive coexisting with the modern.

Critically lauded around the world, Vengeance is more than just a true-crime tale—it’s a work that bares humanity’s snarling id.

Criterion’s Blu-ray edition of the movie includes the following features:

• Restored high-definition digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack

• Audio commentary from 2005 featuring
See full article at Disc Dish »

The Demon the film that breaks the last cinematic taboo

Yoshitaro Nomura's realist 1978 child-abuse drama is as shocking as ever, and makes us rethink the limits of what can be shown on screen

The little boy is lying back in a woman's arms. "Eat, you brat!" His screams are stifled because she is palming clods of rice into his mouth. "I said eat!" There's rice smeared about his face, in his eyelashes, his hair. She glares at her husband, who is standing impotently back. "You spoil him. I'm teaching him a lesson."

That's the first of several highly distressing scenes from Yoshitaro Nomura's 1978 melodrama The Demon, which stars Ken Ogata as a pathetic, philandering printer whose wife is outraged when his mistress dumps three illegitimate children on them. The wife initially vents her anger, then bullies him into abandoning his offspring, and worse. Scenes like the above are an utter shock to the modern cultural palate. With extreme violence ubiquitous,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

The Forgotten: Grave of the Fireflies

This year's Edinburgh International Film Festival bounces back with a varied and dynamic program courtesy of artistic director Chris Fujiwara, more than making up for last year's lack of a retrospective with two extensive appreciations of neglected filmmakers, Gregory La Cava from the Us and Shinji Sômai from Japan. Sômai, who died young after a career span of just twenty years, is much-appreciated in his native land but little know outside it; thanks to this show, a progressively growing band of followers are discovering his amazing oeuvre. One nice moment came when Tilda Swinton, sitting in the seat in front of me to watch The Catch (Gyoei no mure, 1983), watched Ken Ogata piloting his fishing boat out of the harbor, with his blazing red sweater and jutting cigarette, and she reached up with both hands as if to seize the image and carry it home with her to Nairn.
See full article at MUBI »

Vengeance Is Mine Blu-ray Review

Masters of Cinema:Based on the true story of Iwao Enokizu (Ken Ogata) and his murderous rampage which sparked a 78-day nationwide manhunt, Shohei Imamura's disturbing gem Vengeance is Mine won every major award in Japan on the year of its release. Both seducing and repelling with its unusual story and grisly humour, Imamura uncovers a seedy underbelly of civilised Japanese society. Unfolding through multiple flashbacks, Ogata delivers a career-defining performance as a day-labourer and smalltime con-artist who, after killing two of his co-workers, embarks on a psychopathic spree of rape and murder. Eluding the police and public, Japan's infamous "King of Criminals" passes himself off as a Kyoto University professor, only to become entangled with an innkeeper and her perverted mother. Five years in the...
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Man Walking On Snow (Aruku, hito) | Review

“Salmon are lucky,” muses Ken Ogata’s aging sake maker, Nobuo in Masahiro Kobayashi’s Man Walking on Snow. “They spend half their lives in the open seas, completely free. I have always been tied down somewhere, always clinging on, always.” Kobayashi’s 2001 follow up to Bootleg Film (1999) is a mature, nuanced study of a man and his sons who have rigidly defined themselves in opposition to each other. All of them long to break free from the routines they have fallen into, yet sheer stubbornness may prevent them from reconciling with each other or ever attaining the sort of freedom that Nobuo describes.
See full article at SmellsLikeScreenSpirit »

Paul Schrader’s Mishima at the Aero: Production Designer Eiko Ishioka Homage

Academy Award winning costume designer and production designer Eiko Ishioka will be honored by the Art Directors Guild (Adg) Film Society and the American Cinematheque with a screening of Paul Schrader‘s minimalist 1985 biopic Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters on Sunday, September 26, at 5:30 pm at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica. Written by Paul and Leonard Schrader, the beautifully shot (cinematography by John Bailey), highly stylized Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters stars Ken Ogata, who delivers a tour de force as the troubled, (apparently) gay Japanese writer Yukio Mishima. Roy Scheider provides the English-language narration in this Us/Japanese co-production made under the aegis of Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas. Mishima earned Eiko Ishioka the Best Artistic Contribution award the 1985 Cannes Film Festival. Additionally, Ishioka won an Academy Award for Coppola’s Dracula (1992) and is also known for her design in films such as The Cell
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

R.I.P. 2008: A Rough Year For Hollywood

For me, the only part of the Oscars worth watching every year is their tribute video, highlighting those in the movie industry that passed away in the previous year. It always puts a lump in my throat and often surprises me due to the passing of people I hadn’t heard about. And with the actors who were popular decades ago, it gives me a sense of melancholy nostalgia.

TCM (Turner Classic Movies) has put together their version of a tribute video which you can watch below, and it gave me the same feelings I just mentioned (I wasn’t aware they do one every year). It’s a beautiful video and very classy. They did miss a couple of people which I mention below.

I would suggest you watch the video before moving on to the list of names below it. It includes actors, directors, composers, screenwriters, animators, etc.
See full article at Screen Rant »

Raymond Benson Reviews Criterion's New DVD Of Paul Schrader's "Mishima- A Life In Four Chapters"

  • CinemaRetro
Mishima—A Life in Four Chapters (The Criterion Collection, 2008)

Paul Schrader has always opined that Mishima—A Life in Four Chapters was his best film as a director, and I have to agree. Originally released in 1985 (and executive produced by Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas), the film is a fascinating bio-pic about controversial Japanese author/actor Yukio Mishima. Schrader, a successful screenwriter who has also had an interesting hit-and-miss career as a director, co-wrote the film with his brother Leonard and filmed it in Japan with a Japanese cast and crew. Ironically, the film was banned in Japan upon its release due to the controversial nature of Mishima’s infamously public display of seppuku (suicide) in 1970. But despite Mishima’s questionable act, there is no doubt that he was a formidable novelist, poet, and artist—certainly one of his country’s greatest. Schrader’s film attempts to visualize Mishima’s life and work,
See full article at CinemaRetro »

Love and Honor (Bushi No Ichibun)

Love and Honor (Bushi No Ichibun)
Panorama

BERLIN -- In a movie involving samurai and a tale of betrayal and revenge, the expectation is of clashing swords and carnage, but Yoji Yamada's "Love and Honor" (Bushi No Ichibun) turns out to be a tender love story.

Unlikely to satisfy an audience with bloodlust, the picture should do well on the festival circuit and in international art houses for its pensive examination of loyalty.

In an unspecified period in history where the local shogun rules and is served by tremulous servants and guarded by ferocious warriors, a young samurai named Shinnojo (Takuya Kimura) has a noble but unheralded job as one of the ruler's food tasters.

With four other handsomely uniformed and disciplined men, he participates in the ritual of taking one bite and one swallow of everything his lordship is about to eat.

Unhappy with his lot despite the privileges his minor rank affords him and the devotion of his loving wife, Kayo (Rei Dan), Shinnojo dreams of quitting to teach children to become swordsmen.

The likable but serious young man sees the ritual of tasting for poison as foolish tradition until one day he swallows a piece of sashimi from a fish as potentially lethal as the fugu pufferfish. He becomes ill immediately, so the shogun is saved. But after emerging from a coma, the loyal samurai discovers he is blind.

He descends into depression, though Kayo nurses and feeds him devotedly. She not only keeps him from suicide, but when his disability means he can no longer function as a samurai and their income is threatened, she goes to see the head of the castle guard for help.

He is willing to help but only at a price -- and when Shinnojo discovers what price Kayo has been willing to pay, he not only sends her away but also decides that honor must be served by challenging the leader to a duel.

Yamada takes his time with the story, showing husband and wife in their loving relationship and detailing the niceties of the shogun's dining rituals. The pace of the proceedings is never dull, however, thanks to expert performances -- especially by leads Kimura and Dan -- Matuso Naganuma's fine cinematography and the suitably graceful editing of Iwao Ishii.

When the final clash occurs, it has elements of a classic Western gunfight, full of stealth and steel, but Yamada has much more on his mind than simple bloodletting.

LOVE AND HONOR (BUSHI NO ICHIBUN)

Shochiku Co. Ltd.

Credits:

Director: Yoji Yamada

Screenwriters: Yoji Yamada, Emiko Hiramatsu, Ichiro Yamamoto

Based on "Moumokuken Kodamagaeshi" by: Shuhei Fujisawa

Producer: Takeo Hisamatsu

Cinematographer: Matuso Naganuma

Art director: Naomi Koike

Music: Isao Tomita

Costume designer: Kazuko Korosawa

Editor: Iwao Ishii

Cast:

Shinnojo: Takuya Kimura

Kayo: Rei Dan

Also: Takashi Sasano, Nenji Kobayashi, Makoto Akatsuka, Toshiki Ayata, Koen Kondo, Nobuto Okamoto, Tokie Hidari, Yasuo Daichi, Ken Ogata, Kaori Momoi, Mitsugoro Bando

Running time -- 121 minutes

No MPAA rating

Love and Honor (Bushi No Ichibun)

Love and Honor (Bushi No Ichibun)
Panorama

BERLIN -- In a movie involving samurai and a tale of betrayal and revenge, the expectation is of clashing swords and carnage, but Yoji Yamada's "Love and Honor" (Bushi No Ichibun) turns out to be a tender love story.

Unlikely to satisfy an audience with bloodlust, the picture should do well on the festival circuit and in international art houses for its pensive examination of loyalty.

In an unspecified period in history where the local shogun rules and is served by tremulous servants and guarded by ferocious warriors, a young samurai named Shinnojo (Takuya Kimura) has a noble but unheralded job as one of the ruler's food tasters.

With four other handsomely uniformed and disciplined men, he participates in the ritual of taking one bite and one swallow of everything his lordship is about to eat.

Unhappy with his lot despite the privileges his minor rank affords him and the devotion of his loving wife, Kayo (Rei Dan), Shinnojo dreams of quitting to teach children to become swordsmen.

The likable but serious young man sees the ritual of tasting for poison as foolish tradition until one day he swallows a piece of sashimi from a fish as potentially lethal as the fugu pufferfish. He becomes ill immediately, so the shogun is saved. But after emerging from a coma, the loyal samurai discovers he is blind.

He descends into depression, though Kayo nurses and feeds him devotedly. She not only keeps him from suicide, but when his disability means he can no longer function as a samurai and their income is threatened, she goes to see the head of the castle guard for help.

He is willing to help but only at a price -- and when Shinnojo discovers what price Kayo has been willing to pay, he not only sends her away but also decides that honor must be served by challenging the leader to a duel.

Yamada takes his time with the story, showing husband and wife in their loving relationship and detailing the niceties of the shogun's dining rituals. The pace of the proceedings is never dull, however, thanks to expert performances -- especially by leads Kimura and Dan -- Matuso Naganuma's fine cinematography and the suitably graceful editing of Iwao Ishii.

When the final clash occurs, it has elements of a classic Western gunfight, full of stealth and steel, but Yamada has much more on his mind than simple bloodletting.

LOVE AND HONOR (BUSHI NO ICHIBUN)

Shochiku Co. Ltd.

Credits:

Director: Yoji Yamada

Screenwriters: Yoji Yamada, Emiko Hiramatsu, Ichiro Yamamoto

Based on "Moumokuken Kodamagaeshi" by: Shuhei Fujisawa

Producer: Takeo Hisamatsu

Cinematographer: Matuso Naganuma

Art director: Naomi Koike

Music: Isao Tomita

Costume designer: Kazuko Korosawa

Editor: Iwao Ishii

Cast:

Shinnojo: Takuya Kimura

Kayo: Rei Dan

Also: Takashi Sasano, Nenji Kobayashi, Makoto Akatsuka, Toshiki Ayata, Koen Kondo, Nobuto Okamoto, Tokie Hidari, Yasuo Daichi, Ken Ogata, Kaori Momoi, Mitsugoro Bando

Running time -- 121 minutes

No MPAA rating

See also

Credited With | External Sites