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

2015 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010

3 items from 2015


19 October 2015 7:20 PM, PDT | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

What makes a Ghost Story scary? This classic was almost too artistic for the Japanese. Masaki Kobayashi's four stories of terror work their spells through intensely beautiful images -- weirdly painted skies, strange mists -- and a Toru Takemitsu audio track that incorporates strange sounds as spooky musical punctuation. Viewers never forget the Woman of the Snow, or the faithful Hoichi the Earless. Finally restored to its full three-hour length. Kwaidan Blu-ray The Criterion Collection 90 1964 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 183 161, 125 min. / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date October 20, 2015 / 39.95 Starring Michiyo Aratama, Rentaro Mikuni; Tatsuya Nakadai, Keiko Kishi; Katsuo Nakamura, Tetsurao Tanba, Takashi Shimura; Osamu Takizawa. Cinematography Yoshio Miyajima Film Editor Hisashi Sagara Art Direction Shigemasa Toda Set Decoration Dai Arakawa Costumes Masahiro Kato Original Music Toru Takemitsu Written by Yoko Mizuki from stories collected by Kiozumi Yakumo (Lafcadio Hearn) Produced by Shigeru Wakatsuki Directed by Masaki Kobayashi

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson »

- Glenn Erickson

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The Happiness of the Katakuris | Blu-ray Review

30 June 2015 7:00 AM, PDT | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

Takashi Miike‘s The Happiness of the Katakuris begins with a woman probing a freshly delivered bowl of soup only to fish out a miniature angel/gargoyle/teletubby? whose presence seems to instigate the onscreen conversion of the world into claymation before tearing out the poor woman’s uvula and tossing it into the air to float away like a heart-shaped balloon. This is a film that, even in an oeuvre that includes works as disparate as gross out shocker Visitor Q and the kid friendly The Great Yokai War, is pure unpredictable insanity that baffles as much as it entertains. Essentially a horror comedy musical, Miike’s genre mashing farce is loosely based on Kim Jee-woon’s The Quiet Family, in which a family owns a remotely located bed and breakfast whose customers always happen to die during their stay, yet takes that simple premise to its outermost extremes in the silliest of ways. »

- Jordan M. Smith

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‘Harakiri’ blends action with a philosophical and critical look at the bushido code

31 January 2015 7:00 AM, PST | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »


Written by Shinobu Hashimoto and Yasuhiko Takiguchi

Directed by Masaki Kobayashi

Japan, 1962

In the early 17th century, the Iyi clan abides by the bushido code to the letter in all its facets, sepukku, the traditional samurai suicide ceremony by which a warrior disembowels himself before being decapitated, being no exception. It is on a bright sunny day that one Tsugumo Hanshirô (Tatsuya Nakadai) arrives at the Iyi estate, currently run by Saitô Kageyu (Rentarô Mikuni), to plead for space in order to perform a honourable act of seppuku. He claims that the regional peace has led to unemployment, and rather live like a dog, suicide as ordained by bushido seems preferable. Knowledgeable of the occurrences of bluff requests made by other ronin samurai that were merely looking for pittance, Saitô is suspicious of Hanshirô’s motives and begins to relate a recent story of another, younger former warrior (Akira Ishihama »

- Edgar Chaput

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2015 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010

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