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2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012

6 items from 2016

Blu-ray Review: Criterion's Woman In The Dunes

1 September 2016 9:00 AM, PDT | Screen Anarchy | See recent Screen Anarchy news »

The Criterion Collection have just released 1964's Woman in the Dunes (Suna no onna), which was --- and is --- heralded as one of the art house films of the 1960s. As a result, Teshigahara earn an Academy Award nomination for best director. A ton has been written on this film by film scholars far more knowledgable than I, so I'll stick to the basics here.   Directed by Hiroshi Teshigahara, Woman in the Dunes stars Eiji Okada as a teacher and amateur entomologist from Tokyo who gets trapped at the bottom of sand dune. He's on the hunt to find and classify a rare beetle, but the last bus out leaves him stranded.The man finds a place to stay for the night, but unbeknown to...

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Recommended Discs & Deals: ‘The Nice Guys,’ ‘Sunset Song,’ ‘Woman in the Dunes,’ and More

23 August 2016 8:15 AM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

Every week we dive into the cream of the crop when it comes to home releases, including Blu-ray and DVDs, as well as recommended deals of the week. Check out our rundown below and return every Tuesday for the best (or most interesting) films one can take home. Note that if you’re looking to support the site, every purchase you make through the links below helps us and is greatly appreciated.

The Nice Guys (Shane Black)

It’s been over 40 years since Chinatown, and roughly the same amount of time separates the events of that film from those of The Nice Guys, another tale of a private detective in Los Angeles taking on an initially simple case which leads him to a vast, environmentally centered criminal conspiracy. The Nice Guys even carries on Chinatown’s heartbeat of individual helplessness when confronted with the casual body disposal of profit-hungry industrialists. »

- The Film Stage

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Review: “Woman In The Dunes” (1964) Criterion Blu-ray Special Edition

10 August 2016 3:34 AM, PDT | | See recent CinemaRetro news »

By Raymond Benson

“Sand In Your...”

By Raymond Benson

One of the hallmarks of 1960s art house cinema was Hiroshi Teshigahara’s Woman in the Dunes, adapted by Japanese author/playwright Kōbō Abe from his own 1962 novel. The picture won the Special Jury Prize at Cannes in 1964 and was nominated that same year for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards. The following year, Teshigahara was nominated for Best Director (but lost to Robert Wise for The Sound of Music).

This is avant-garde cinema at its finest—or perhaps its most tedious, depending on your taste.

The story is straight-forward. Niki (played by Eiji Okada, the male lead from Hiroshima mon amour), a schoolteacher and amateur entomologist (he studies bugs), has ventured to a desert-like area of Japan (does one exist?) near the sea to find specific species of insects. He is stranded and needs a place to stay overnight. »

- (Cinema Retro)

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Woman in the Dunes

9 August 2016 9:46 AM, PDT | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

Japanese art filmmaking writ large by director Hiroshi Teshigahara: a strange allegorical fantasy about a man imprisoned in a sand pit, and compelled to make a primitive living with the woman who lives there. Perhaps it's about marriage... Woman in the Dunes Blu-ray The Criterion Collection 394 1964 / B&W / 1:33 full frame / 148 min. / Suna no onna / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date August 23, 2016 / 39.95 Starring Eiji Okada, Kyoko Kishida, Hiroko Ito Production Design Totetsu Hirakawa, Masao Yamazaki Produced by Tadashi Oono, Iichi Ichikawa Cinematography Hiroshi Segawa Film Editor Fuzako Shuzui Original Music Toru Takemitsu Written by Kobo Abe Directed by Hiroshi Teshigahara

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

In the 1960s the public interest in art cinema reached out beyond France and Italy, finally giving an opening for more exotic fare from Japan. Director Hiroshi Teshigahara earned his moment in the spotlight with 1964's Woman in the Dunes, an adaptation of a book by Kobo Abe. »

- Glenn Erickson

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DVD of the Week: Hiroshima Mon Amour

19 January 2016 11:24 AM, PST | CineVue | See recent CineVue news »

★★★★★ The opening shot of Alain Resnais' Hiroshima Mon Amour observes the entwined limbs of two lovers as ash settles on their skin before the image dissolves into those same bodies beaded with sweat. The ash, of course, suggests the nuclear fallout of the atomic bombing of the titular city in August of 1945 eliding time as it falls onto Emmanuelle Riva and Eiji Okada some fourteen years later. Resnais had a preoccupation with time throughout his career - his next feature Last Year at Marienbad would step outside of it almost almost entirely - and Hiroshima Mon Amour drifts backwards and forwards through it to groundbreaking expressive effect. When challenged that such non-linear narrative techniques had been employed before, as in Citizen Kane, Resnais argued "yes, but in my film time is shattered."


- CineVue UK

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The Complete Lady Snowblood

9 January 2016 12:43 PM, PST | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

The bloody adventures of a swordswoman dedicated to murderous revenge provided Quentin Tarantino with a major inspiration. Director Toshiyo Fujita's impeccable images make the gorgeous Meiko Kaji into an almost abstract superheroine in beautiful cultured dress and hairstyles -- and soaked with sprayed blood. The Complete Lady Snowblood Lady Snowblood & Lady Snowblood: Love Song of Vengeance Blu-ray The Criterion Collection 790 & 791 1973/1974 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 97 & 89 min. / "Shurayukime" & "Shurayukihime: Urami Renga" / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date January 5, 2016 / 39.95 Starring Meiko Kaji, Toshio Kurosawa, Noboru Nakaya, Eiji Okada; Meiko Kaji, Juzo Itami, Kazuko Yoshiyuki, Yoshio Harada. Cinematography Masaki Tamura; Tatsuo Suzuki Film Editor Osamu Inoue Original Music MasaaakiHirao; Kenjiro Hirose Written by Norio Osada, Kazuo Kamimura, Kazuo Koike Directed by Toshiya Fujita

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

A worldwide revolution hit the movies in the late '60s, with the relaxing of censorship in the west and the collapse of foreign film industries with the rise of TV. »

- Glenn Erickson

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2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012

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