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Harakiri (1962) More at IMDbPro »Seppuku (original title)

2016 | 2015 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

4 items from 2016

The Human Condition

27 September 2016 1:34 PM, PDT | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

Want a nine-hour dose of the truth of existence so harrowing that it will make you feel grateful no matter how humble your situation? Masaki Kobayshi's epic of the real cost of war boggles the mind with its creeping revelations of cosmic bleakness. Yet all the way through you know you're experiencing a truth far beyond slogans and sentiments. The Human Condition Region B Blu-ray Arrow Academy (UK) 1959-61 / B&W / 2:35 anamorphic widescreen / 574 min. / Ningen no jôken / Street Date September 19, 2016 / Available from Amazon UK £ 39.99 Starring Tatsuya Nakadai, Michiyo Aratama, Chikage Awashima, Ineko Arima, Keiji Sada, So Yamamura, Kunie Tanaka, Kei Sato, Chishu Ryu, Taketoshi Naito. Cinematography Yoshio Miyajima Art Direction Kazue Hirataka <Film Editor Keiichi Uraoka Original Music Chuji Kinoshita Written by Zenzo Matsuyama, Masaki Kobayashi from the novel by Jumpei Gomikawa Produced by Shigeru Wakatsuki Directed by Masaki Kobayashi

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

The first Blu-ray of perhaps »

- Glenn Erickson

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Criterion Reflections – Kill! (1968) – #313

5 June 2016 10:59 AM, PDT | CriterionCast | See recent CriterionCast news »

David’s Quick Take for the tl;dr Media Consumer:

Kill! is an entertaining and unusual take on the samurai/swordplay genre that plays for laughs many of the conventional tropes and set-ups common in the classic films from that tradition. I was fascinated observing how many of the fighting techniques, interpersonal conflicts, man vs. world showdowns and dramatic battle scenes that impact viewers with awe-inspiring tension can become a showcase of hilarity with just a slight exaggeration of tone, body language or facial expression (or simply cranking the fans that stir up dust clouds an extra notch or two.) Barking dialog that would come across as solemn and severe in more straightforward, traditional chanbara epics conveys much of the same surface meaning in advancing the story along in Kill! but also ends up generating a nice side helping of mirth in the process. Though at least one review considers »

- David Blakeslee

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Movie Poster of the Week: The Czech Posters of Jan Cihla

19 March 2016 5:43 AM, PDT | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

Above: 1964 Czech poster for Darkness in Daytime (Zoltán Fábri, Hungary, 1964).In the world of Czech movie posters there is an abundance of riches. The website (and Prague-based brick and mortar store) Terry Posters, tireless keepers of the flame of Czech poster design, offers a seemingly endless source of graphic delight. Scrolling through its pages, posters will jump out at me not for their title (a large portion of Czech posters having been made for Eastern Bloc films that are still unknown here) or the name of the designer, but simply because of their wholly unusual and striking design.One such recent discovery was this startling collage above, reminiscent of Eyes without a Face: a supremely simple but haunting design that wipes the floor with most contemporary horror movie posters. The necklace-like title treatment is a nice touch too.Checking the name of the designer, Jan Cihla, I realized he »

- Adrian Curry

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Film Fury #45: ‘Samurai Rebellion’ expresses tension and strife though formality

15 January 2016 5:00 AM, PST | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

Samurai Rebellion (original title: Joi-uchi: Hairyo tsuma shimatsu)

Written by Shinobu Hashimoto

Directed Masaki Kobayashi

Japan, 1967

In 18th century Edo Japan, long-time friends Isaburo Sasahara (Toshiro Mufine) and Tatewaki Asano (Tatsuya Nakadai) of the Aisu clan joyfully anticipate a fast approaching annual festival, but all is not well. Isaburo’s son, Yogoro (Go Kato), needs to be wed soon, yet the perfect bride whose status would respect their family honour has yet to be found. This weighs on Isaburo’s wife, the severe Sugo (Michiko Otsuka), even more so than on Isaburo himself. Familial recognition and pride is at stake, two important factors put to the test when the Aisu clan lord, Masakata Matsudaira (Tatsuo Matsumura), decides that his former mistress, Ichi (Yoko Tsukasa), is to be given to them. Controversy stems from the fact that Ichi was actually dismissed from their lord’s court following a rather unorthodox and unexpected emotional outburst. »

- Edgar Chaput

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