Ugetsu (1953) - News Poster

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NYFF55 Revivals Includes Restored Films By Godard, Hou, Costa, Tarkovsky & More

It’s a given that their Main Slate — the fresh, the recently buzzed-about, the mysterious, the anticipated — will be the New York Film Festival’s primary point of attraction for both media coverage and ticket sales. But while a rather fine lineup is, to these eyes, deserving of such treatment, the festival’s latest Revivals section — i.e. “important works from renowned filmmakers that have been digitally remastered, restored, and preserved with the assistance of generous partners,” per their press release — is in a whole other class, one titanic name after another granted a representation that these particular works have so long lacked.

The list speaks for itself, even (or especially) if you’re more likely to recognize a director than title. Included therein are films by Andrei Tarkovsky (The Sacrifice), Hou Hsiao-hsien (Daughter of the Nile, a personal favorite), Pedro Costa (Casa de Lava; trailer here), Jean-Luc Godard (the rarely seen,
See full article at The Film Stage »

All of the Films Joining FilmStruck’s Criterion Channel this August

Each month, the fine folks at FilmStruck and the Criterion Collection spend countless hours crafting their channels to highlight the many different types of films that they have in their streaming library. This August will feature an exciting assortment of films, as noted below.

To sign up for a free two-week trial here.

Tuesday, August 1

Tuesday’s Short + Feature: These Boots and Mystery Train

Music is at the heart of this program, which pairs a zany music video by Finnish master Aki Kaurismäki with a tune-filled career highlight from American independent-film pioneer Jim Jarmusch. In the 1993 These Boots, Kaurismäki’s band of pompadoured “Finnish Elvis” rockers, the Leningrad Cowboys, cover a Nancy Sinatra classic in their signature deadpan style. It’s the perfect prelude to Jarmusch’s 1989 Mystery Train, a homage to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll and the musical legacy of Memphis, featuring appearances by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and Joe Strummer.
See full article at CriterionCast »

Ugetsu

Ugetsu

Blu-ray

Criterion

1953 / B&W / 1:33 / Street Date June 6, 2017

Starring: Mitsuko Mito, Masayuki Mori, Kikue Mouri, Sakae Ozawa, Kinuyo Tanaka

Cinematography: Kazuo Miyagawa

Film Editor: Mitsuzô Miyata

Written by Matsutarô Kawaguchi, Yoshikata Yoda

Produced by Masaichi Nagata

Music: Fumio Hayasaka, Tamekichi Mochizuki, Ichirô Saitô

Directed by Kenji Mizoguchi

In 1941 Orson Welles was busy giving the film industry a hot foot with Citizen Kane, a bullet-train of a movie whose rhythms sprang from the ever accelerating hustle and bustle of contemporary American life. That same year one of Japan’s greatest filmmakers, Kenji Mizoguchi, was taking his sweet time with a four hour samurai epic set 240 years in the past, The 47 Ronin.

The story of a band of loyal soldiers seeking revenge on a corrupt landowner, The 47 Ronin plays out in a precisely measured, ceremonial style, its 241 minutes leading up to the moment when the fierce band of brothers
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Scott Reviews Kenji Mizoguchi’s Ugetsu [Criterion Blu-ray Review]

Anytime I watch Mizoguchi’s work…really any of it, but especially from this later period of his career – which includes The Crucified Lovers, Sansho the Bailiff, The Life of Oharu, and The Woman in the Rumor – I really am put face to face with how relatively little we gladly settle for in much of the rest of cinema. It’s not that there’s anything necessarily wrong with all those other movies. Many of them I value a good deal more than I do Mizoguchi. But in Mizoguchi, as one often does in Bergman, you’re granted a rare combination of imagination, audacity, and mastery that few films even attempt and very, very, very few manage to pull off. You can too often pick apart some tonal shift, some acting choice, some extraneous scene or shot or just something that doesn’t fit. In Mizoguchi’s best work, everything fits.
See full article at CriterionCast »

The Best of Movie Poster of the Day: Part 17

Above: Unused poster design for The Handmaiden (Park Chan-wook, S. Korea, 2017); designer: Empire Design.It’s been a while since I did one of these round-ups of the most popular posts on Movie Poster of the Day—since the beginning of the year, in fact—but in that time one poster has been liked and reblogged more than 2,800 times, making it the second most popular design I’ve ever posted on the blog. The comp design for Park Chan-wook’s The Handmaiden, which I featured as part of my interview with Empire Design’s John Calvert back in March, is a deserving fan favorite: an exquisite and beautifully realized concept that was shelved only in favor of something even more perfect.The rest of the Top 20 features the usual eclectic mix of old and new (there are six posters for new films in the list, and two new designs for
See full article at MUBI »

Criterion Collection Announces July 2017 Additions, Including Tarkovsky’s ‘Stalker’ and Bresson’s ‘L’argent’

Criterion Collection Announces July 2017 Additions, Including Tarkovsky’s ‘Stalker’ and Bresson’s ‘L’argent’
Summer 2017 is shaping up to be quite the exciting season for The Criterion Collection. In May, the library will welcome cult favorite “Ghost World” and recent Palme d’or winner “Dheepan,” while June finds Kenji Mizoguchi’s “Ugetsu,” Hitchcock’s silent classic “The Lodger” and Sam Peckinpah’s controversial “Straw Dogs” joining the club. Criterion has now added its July 2017 additions to their summer slate, and they include movies from auteurs like Tarkovsky, Rossellini and Bresson. Below is the complete list of July additions, with descriptions provided by Criterion.

Read More: The Criterion Collection Announces June Titles: ‘The Marseille Trilogy, ‘They Live by Night,’ ‘The Lodger’ and More

Stalker” (1979) – Available July 18

Andrei Tarkovsky’s final Soviet feature is a metaphysical journey through an enigmatic postapocalyptic landscape, and a rarefied cinematic experience like no other. A hired guide—the Stalker—leads a writer and a scientist into the heart of the Zone,
See full article at Indiewire »

The Criterion Collection Announces June Titles: ‘The Marseille Trilogy, ‘They Live by Night,’ ‘The Lodger’ and More

The Criterion Collection Announces June Titles: ‘The Marseille Trilogy, ‘They Live by Night,’ ‘The Lodger’ and More
Marcel Pagnols’ Marseille Trilogy, Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog” and Nicholas Ray’s “They Live by Night” are among the new titles joining the Criterion Collection this June. In addition, Kenji Mizoguchi’s “Ugetsu” and Sam Peckinpah’s “Straw Dogs” are being upgraded in new Blu-ray editions. More information below.

Read More: The Criterion Collection Announces May Titles: ‘Ghost World,’ ‘Dheepan,’ ‘Jeanne Dielman’ and More

Ugetsu

“Having refined his craft in the silent era, Kenji Mizoguchi was an elder statesman of Japanese cinema-fiercely revered by Akira Kurosawa and other younger directors-by the time he made ‘Ugetsu.’ And with this exquisite ghost story, a fatalistic wartime tragedy derived from stories by Akinari Ueda and Guy de Maupassant, he created a touchstone of his art, his long takes and sweeping camera guiding the viewer through a delirious narrative about two villagers whose pursuit of fame and
See full article at Indiewire »

Films from Alfred Hitchcock, Sam Peckinpah & More Coming to The Criterion Collection in June

It’s mid-month, which means it is time for the next line-up for The Criterion Collection. Arriving in June is Sam Pekcinpah‘s controversial Dustin Hoffman-led thriller Straw Dogs, Alfred Hitchcock‘s early silent film The Lodger (which also includes his film from the same year of 1927, Downhill), and perhaps the most substantial release of the month, Marcel Pagnol’s The Marseille Trilogy, featuring Marius, Fanny, and César.

Also in the line-up is is Nicholas Ray‘s directorial debut, the 1948 drama They Live by Night, as well as a Blu-ray upgrade of Kenji Mizoguchi‘s landmark classic Ugetsu, which recently enjoyed a 4K theatrical restoration. Check out all the details on the releases below by clicking the box art.
See full article at The Film Stage »

Movie Poster of the Week: Kenji Mizoguchi's “Ugetsu”

  • MUBI
Above: German re-release poster for Ugetsu (Kenji Mizoguchi, Japan, 1953); designed by Hans Hillmann.Universally regarded as one of the most beautiful films ever made, Kenji Mizoguchi’s Ugetsu, a.k.a. Ugetsu Monogatari a.k.a. Tales of the Pale and Mysterious Moon after the Rain, is being re-released in a 4K restoration at New York’s Film Forum starting today. An unquestionable masterpiece, Ugetsu might yet be in need of a boost in reputation. In 1962, nine years after its release, it was voted the 4th greatest film ever made in the decennial Sight & Sound poll. By 1972 it had slipped to number 10 and ten years later it was out of the top 10 altogether. In 2002 (the next poll I can find records for) it was at number 34 and in the most recent poll in 2012—despite a gorgeous Criterion DVD box set release in the interim—it had fallen to number 50. For
See full article at MUBI »

Oscars 2017 Cinematography: ‘La La Land’ Has Momentum, But Could There Be An Upset?

  • Indiewire
Oscars 2017 Cinematography: ‘La La Land’ Has Momentum, But Could There Be An Upset?
While “La La Land” remains the obvious favorite in the cinematography race — thanks to Linus Sandgren’s sumptuous imagery — there are four other great movies in contention (“Arrival,” “Lion,” “Moonlight,” and “Silence”). So it’s entirely possible that one of the Best-Picture Oscar contenders (“Arrival,” “Lion,” or “Moonlight”) could pull off an upset.

Read More: How ‘La La Land’ Cinematographer Linus Sandgren Taught His Cameras to Dance

We’ll get a better gauge for how this plays out at the Asc Awards on Saturday. In the last 20 years, the Asc winner has earned the Oscar 11 times — and this year the same five are in contention for the fifth time in the last three decades.

La La Land

If Damien Chazelle’s rapturous love letter to the Hollywood musical is primed for Best Picture glory, then logic dictates that Sandgren’s acclaimed work should be honored as well. New to the musical,
See full article at Indiewire »

Review : Kenji Mizoguchi’s Street of Shame (1956)

Street of Shame is a beautiful drama film that follows the daily lives of five prostitutes situated in Yoshiwara, Tokyo’s red light district, during the mid-1950s. The American occupation has ended and the majority of the Japanese population is still struggling to get by after the destructive Second World War that ended over a decade ago. For the sex-workers times have become extra challenging as the Diet is considering to ban prostitution, which would mean losing their income. But for some it would also mean a way out of the life they are stuck in.

Street of Shame is the last film of legendary Japanese filmmaker Kenji Mizoguchi, director of timeless classics like Ugetsu (1953) and The Life of Oharu (1952). He died a few months after the film was released, leaving his audience with a strong motion picture as a closure to a prolific career. The film was a
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

How Martin Scorsese’s Passion of the ‘Silence’ Relies on Cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto

  • Indiewire
How Martin Scorsese’s Passion of the ‘Silence’ Relies on Cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto
Nature played a major role in “Silence,” the movie about the crisis of faith stemming from the persecution of Christians in 17th century Japan, from director Martin Scorsese.

He and cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto shot on 35mm film (except for more complicated night scenes) and used the unpredictable weather to their advantage.

““We both agreed immediately that ‘Silence’ needed to be on film [shot in Taiwan with the Arricam Lt] and, from my perspective, it’s because of color depth,” Prieto told IndieWire. “And this is a movie that’s very much about nature and these priests in Japan surrounded by the foliage. And a big part of the movie is how that sounds, how that feels, the presence or absence of God in this natural environment.”

Also, because so much of “Silence” is about hiding, there were many discussions about incorporating the theme into the overall aesthetic, which alternates between warm and harsh.

“A lot of the hiding was nighttime,
See full article at Indiewire »

The Eclipse Viewer – Episode 48 – Kenji Mizoguchi’s Fallen Women [Part 2]

This podcast focuses on Criterion’s Eclipse Series of DVDs. Hosts David Blakeslee and Trevor Berrett give an overview of each box and offer their perspectives on the unique treasures they find inside. In this episode, David and Trevor is joined by Scott Nye to discuss Eclipse Series 13: Kenji Mizoguchi’s Fallen Women.

About the films:

Over the course of a three-decade, more than eighty film career, master cineaste Kenji Mizoguchi (Ugetsu, Sansho the Bailiff) would return again and again to one abiding theme: the plight of women in Japanese society. In these four lacerating works of social consciousness—two prewar (Osaka Elegy, Sisters of the Gion), two postwar (Women of the Night, Street of Shame)—Mizoguchi introduces an array of compelling female protagonists, crushed or resilient, who are forced by their conditions and culture into compromising positions. With Mizoguchi’s visual daring and eloquence, these films are as
See full article at CriterionCast »

The Eclipse Viewer – Episode 47 – Kenji Mizoguchi’s Fallen Women [Part 1]

This podcast focuses on Criterion’s Eclipse Series of DVDs. Hosts David Blakeslee and Trevor Berrett give an overview of each box and offer their perspectives on the unique treasures they find inside. In this episode, David is joined by Scott Nye to discuss Eclipse Series 13: Kenji Mizoguchi’s Fallen Women. (Trevor was unable to join in this discussion, but will be back for Part 2 of this series.)

About the films:

Over the course of a three-decade, more than eighty film career, master cineaste Kenji Mizoguchi (Ugetsu, Sansho the Bailiff) would return again and again to one abiding theme: the plight of women in Japanese society. In these four lacerating works of social consciousness—two prewar (Osaka Elegy, Sisters of the Gion), two postwar (Women of the Night, Street of Shame)—Mizoguchi introduces an array of compelling female protagonists, crushed or resilient, who are forced by their conditions and culture into compromising positions.
See full article at CriterionCast »

New to DVD: The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum

By Daniel Walber.

What makes a film theatrical? It’s a word that gets bandied about a lot. Often it just means that the script is like that of a play, with a limited number of locations and lots of dialogue. Or it can be used to describe a style of acting, playing to the rafters rather than the more intimate audience of the camera lens. Rarely, however, do we use the word “theatrical” to describe elements of direction, cinematography and editing.

Yet this underserved implication of the term is the key to understanding The Story of The Last Chrysanthemum, an early triumph of iconic Japanese director Kenji Mizoguchi that has just been released by the Criterion Collection. This epic family drama was a proving ground of sorts for the filmmaker’s signature use of long takes, which would elevate such later masterpieces as Ugetsu and The Life of Oharu.
See full article at FilmExperience »

Fslc Announces Revival Lineup For 54th New York Film Festival

Fslc Announces Revival Lineup For 54th New York Film Festival
The Film Society of Lincoln Center has announced the lineup for the Revivals section, taking place during the 54th New York Film Festival (Nyff). The Revivals section showcases masterpieces from renowned filmmakers whose diverse and eclectic works have been digitally remastered, restored, and preserved with the assistance of generous partners.

Read More: Ava DuVernay’s Netflix Documentary ‘The 13th’ Will Open 54th New York Film Festival

Some of the films in the lineup include plenty of Nyff debuts returning once again: Gillo Pontecorvo’s “The Battle of Algiers,” which was the the Nyff Opening Night selection in 1967, Robert Bresson’s “L’argent,” and Barbara Kopple’s “Harlan County USA.” Also included are a program of Jacques Rivette’s early short films, Edward Yang’s second feature “Taipei Story,” Kenji Mizoguchi’s “Ugetsu,” and Marlon Brando’s solo directorial effort “One-Eyed Jacks.”

The Nyff previously announced three of the films screening
See full article at Indiewire »

Nyff 2016 Revivals Line-Up Features Robert Bresson, Edward Yang, Jacques Rivette, and More

As much as we’re excited for the already enticing line-up for the 2016 New York Film Festival, their Revivals slate is always a place where one can discover a number of classics or revisit favorite films. This year is no different as they have newly restored films from Robert Bresson, Edward Yang, Jacques Rivette, Marlon Brando, Kenji Mizoguchi, and more. Check out the line-up below and return for our coverage this fall. If you don’t live in New York City, there’s a good chance a number of these restorations will travel in the coming months (or year) as well as get the home video treatment.

L’argent

Directed by Robert Bresson

1983, France, 83m

Robert Bresson’s final film, an adaptation of Tolstoy’s story The Forged Coupon, is simultaneously bleak and luminous, and sharp enough to cut diamonds. The story of a counterfeit bill’s passage from hand
See full article at The Film Stage »

Biff Asian Cinema 100 List: Top 5 Japanese Films

The Asian Cinema 100 list was released last year at the Biff (Busan International Film Festival), which marked its 20th anniversary with a poll of prominent Asian filmmakers and international critics of Asian film, who were all asked for their top ten of all time.

Japan accounted for 26 films on the list, followed by Iran (19) and Korea (15).

The oldest film chosen was Yasujiro Ozu’s I Was Born, But (1932), ranked 48th of all time. And the top animated film to make the cut was Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away (2001), joint 18th.

The top 5 Japanese films are listed below in rank order.

1. Tokyo Story (1953), #1

Routinely hailed as one of the greatest films ever made. Tokyo Story is Yasujiro Ozu‘s restrained masterpiece of an ordinary family life, chronicling human behavior in ordinary situations.

It opens with the putt-putt sound of a boat and the wisps of smoke rising from the chimneys of
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

Cannes Classics line-up includes Tavernier documentary

Section to include world premiere of Bertrand Tavernier doc; a cinema masterclass with William Friedkin and a tribute to documentary giants Raymond Depardon and Frederick Wiseman.

Bertrand Tavernier’s documentary about French cinema Voyage à Travers le Cinéma Français will receive a world premiere at the Cannes Classic section of the Cannes Film Festival (May 11-22).

The revered French filmmaker has described his latest work as an expression of “gratitude to all the filmmakers, writers, actors and musicians that have appeared suddenly in my life.”

Voyage à Travers le Cinéma Français is a Little Bear-Gaumont-Pathé co-production and was made in participation with Canal+, Cine+ and the Sacem, with the support of Région Ile-de-France and Cnc. Gaumont will handle international sales and Pathé have distribution in France. The film will be released in theaters in October 2016.

As in previous years, Cannes Classic will also feature nine documentaries about cinema and restored prints of 20 international classics including rare gems
See full article at ScreenDaily »
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