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“Who talks of realism here?”: Seijun Suzuki’s Taisho Trilogy

Mubi is showing Seijun Suzuki's Taisho Trilogy from November 13 - December 27, 2017 in the United States and United Kingdom.In a now-famous quote from a 1997 video interview, the late Japanese filmmaker Seijun Suzuki paraphrases Nikkatsu Studio executives when he declares, "I make movies that make no sense and make no money.” The quip is put forth in the context of 1967’sBranded to Kill, the pop-influenced noir that arguably stands as the artistic pinnacle of Suzuki’s career as a filmmaker of yakuza, gangster, and proto-pink films with Nikkatsu. While others have contested Suzuki’s claims that his nonsensical and unbankable output lead to the fissure between the filmmaker and Nikkatsu—pointing instead to the drain he and his dedicated coterie of assistant directors placed on the studio—Branded to Kill was the cap to a prodigious run of no less than two features a year from 1956 through 1966, and Suzuki's his
See full article at MUBI »

The Emperor in August

This great recent Japanese epic is all but unknown here — and is the kind of adult historical show that we seem incapable of these days. The intense diplomatic storm at the end of WW2 with an Army command willing to sacrifice the nation in a national suicide pact, is given an exciting, thoughtful treatment

The Emperor in August

Blu-ray

Twilight Time

2015 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 136 min. / Street Date August 15, 2017 / Nihon no ichiban nagai hi ketteiban / Available from the Twilight Time Movies Store 29.95

Starring: Koji Yakusho, Masahiro Motoki, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Shin’ichi Tsutsumi, Tori Matsuzaka, Kikuo Kaneuchi, Misuzu Kanno, Katsumi Kiba.

Cinematography: Takahide Shibanushi

Film Editor: Eugene Harada

Original Music: Harumi Fuki

Based on the novel by Kacutoshi Hando

Produced by Hirotaki Aragaki, Nozumi Enoki

Written and Directed by Masato Harada

How does Twilight Time do it? Every time they offer a foreign title I’ve never heard of, it comes up a winner.
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Deathstroke Returns, Akira Kurosawa, Zatoichi, And The Man With No Name -- The Lrm Weekend

By David Kozlowski | 28 July 2017

Welcome to Issue #6 of The Lrm Weekend, a weekly column highlighting cool and unique videos about film, TV, comics, Star Wars, Marvel, DC, animation, and anime. We also want to hear from you, our awesome Lrm community! Share your favorite videos to: @LRM_Weekend and we'll post your Tweets below!

Previous Issues: 7.21.17 | 7.14.17 | 7.7.17 | 6.30.17 | 6.23.17

Hey Lrm Weekenders, we survived San Diego Comic-Con 2017 -- did you have a favorite moment? Thor: Ragnarok's latest trailer was a big hit at Lrm (Hulk speaks!). As July comes to a close, we're ramping up for the big movies and TV shows of the late summer through the holiday season.

This week our emphasis is on Akira Kurosawa, the legendary Japanese filmmaker who's works have inspired generations of directors, screenwriters, and actors. Kurosawa's films have been adpapted and remade dozens of times, and we hope that this week's column gives you
See full article at LRM Online »

Unfilmed Akira Kurosawa Script ‘The Mask of the Black Death’ Will Be Produced in China

It’s been nearly two decades since the passing of Akira Kurosawa and since then we’ve seen a few posthumous works based on his unfilmed scripts, including 1998’s After the Rain and 2002’s The Sea is Watching. In 2020, we’ll be getting together. It’s been announced that two major Chinese production companies are teaming to produce The Mask of the Black Death.

Huayi Brothers Media and Ckf Pictures are teaming to bring Kurosawa’s script, based on Edgar Allan Poe‘s short story The Masque of the Red Death, to screens, reports China.org (via AkiraKurosawa.info). Written by the Yojimbo director in 1977 following production on Dersu Uzala — when he was also working on Ran and Kagemusha — the story is set in a apocalyptic landscape with a plague threatening the world and the royal family ignores the suffering of those afflicted.

Although a release is planned for 2020, no director has been set yet,
See full article at The Film Stage »

Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams

If anybody’s dreams are interesting, Akira Kurosawa’s should be, and this late career fantasy is a consistently rewarding string of morality tales and visual essays that pop off the screen. Some of the imagery has input from the famed Ishiro Honda.

Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams

Blu-ray

The Criterion Collection 842

1990 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 120 min. / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date November 15, 2016 / 39.95

Starring Mieko Harada, Mitsunori Isaki, Toshihiko Nakano, Yoshitaka Zushi, Hisashi Igawa, Chosuke, Chishu Ryu, Martin Scorsese, Masayuki Yui.

Cinematography Takao Saito, Shoji Ueda

Film Editor Tome Minami

Original Music Sinichiro Ikebe

Creative Consultant ishiro Honda

Visual Effects Supervisors Ken Ralston, Mark Sullivan

Produced by Hisao Kurosawa, Mike Y. Inoue

Written and Directed by Akira Kurosawa

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

At the twilight of his career, after some episodes of career frustration and instability, Akira Kurosawa hit a high note with the epic costume dramas Kagemusha and Ran.
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Review: Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children is Better Burton

Even as Tim Burton's latest phantasmic studio sprawl tends toward momentum of the inert variety, it proves all the more that the filmmaker is indeed moving through time. Not quite 60 years old, Burton is still too young to qualify as an old man. Yet, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children finds itself often in the realm of what's been labeled "old man cinema" - that outwardly laconic pace that defines tail-end work by prominent directors. Kagemusha by Akira Kurosawa, Buddy Buddy by Billy Wilder. This isn't that, but like the older Spielberg and Scorsese of today, we're officially now seeing hints of it. Burton’s emerging aged sensibilities are no less imaginative and transportive than his work was at his fevered, newfangled best all those...

[Read the whole post on screenanarchy.com...]
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

The Human Condition

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
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Ran review: “The perfect compromise between artistic beauty and entertaining wonderment.”

Ran review: How does the legendary Akira Kurosawa’s last epic hold up 30 years on? Ran review

In 1979 Akira Kurosawa was finding it extremely hard to get funding in Japan. Believing Kurosawa to be no longer financially viable, especially considering his epics, it was up to some new American kids on the block to come forward and lend their idol a hand. Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas helped convince 20th Century Fox to fund Kagemusha in its final push of production, and the film became such a hit in Japan that in 1985, it was easier to acquire the budget necessary for the most expensive Japanese film at the time, and Kurosawa’s final epic Ran.

30 years on from its UK release, we can now look back at Kurosawa’s entire catalogue and judge accordingly. As one of the greatest filmmakers to have ever lived (in my opinion The best
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Poster and trailer for Akira Kurosawa’s Ran 4K restoration release

A new UK poster and trailer have arrived online for the 4K restoration cinema release of director Akira Kurosawa’s 1985 epic Ran; check them out below…

Hidetora Ichimonji (Tatsuya NakadaiYojimbo, Kagemusha) an ageing warlord who, after spending his life consolidating his empire, decides to abdicate and divide his kingdom amongst his three sons, Taro (Akira Terao – Letter from the Mountain, Dreams), Jiro (Jinpachi Nezu – The Man in White, Red Shadow: Akakage) and Saburo (Daisuke Ryû – Tono monogatari, Gojo reisenki: Gojoe). When Hidetora’s youngest son Saburo voices concerns about the wisdom of his father’s plan, claiming that treachery within the family will be inevitable, Hidetora mistakes these comments for a threat and banishes him. This allows Taro and Jiro to take the reigns of power unopposed, leading to a brutal and bloody struggle to win absolute power.

Ran is set for release on April 1st.
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Akira Kurosawa’s Ran returning to UK cinemas fully restored in 4K

Studiocanal has announced that it will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the UK release of Akira Kurosawa’s Ran with a special, fully restored 4K theatrical re-release of the 1985 classic.

The final masterpiece from legendary Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa, Ran, which translates as ‘turmoil’, is Kurosawa’s meditation on Shakespeare’s King Lear crossed with the history of Japan’s 16th century Civil Wars and the legend of Morikawa, a feudal warlord with three sons.

Hidetora Ichimonji (Tatsuya NakadaiYojimbo, Kagemusha) an ageing warlord who, after spending his life consolidating his empire, decides to abdicate and divide his kingdom amongst his three sons, Taro (Akira Terao – Letter from the Mountain, Dreams), Jiro (Jinpachi Nezu – The Man in White, Red Shadow: Akakage) and Saburo (Daisuke Ryû – Tono monogatari, Gojo reisenki: Gojoe). When Hidetora’s youngest son Saburo voices concerns about the wisdom of his father’s plan, claiming that treachery within the family will be inevitable,
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Fox Celebrates its Centennial with 100 Digital Releases

  • Comicmix
Los Angeles, Calif. (October 2, 2015) – In 1915 William Fox founded Fox Film Corporation and forever changed the course of cinema. Over the next century the studio would develop some of the most innovative and ground-breaking advancements in the history of cinema; the introduction of Movietone, the implementation of color in partnership with Eastman Kodak, the development of the wide format in 70mm and many more. Now in honor of the 100th anniversary of the studio, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment will celebrate by releasing some of their most iconic films that represent a decade of innovation.

Starting today, five classic films from the studio will be made available digitally for the first time ever – Sunrise (1927), Drums Along the Mohawk (1939), Man Hunt (1941), How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) and The Flight of the Phoenix (1965). Throughout the rest of the year a total of 100 digital releases will follow from Fox’s extensive catalog, including 10 films
See full article at Comicmix »

George Lucas: 25 Things You Didn't Know About the 'Star Wars' Guru

George Lucas didn't just create the "Star Wars" universe. The filmmaker, who turns 71 on May 14, pretty much created the cinematic universe we live in now, the ones whose cornerstones include the Thx sound system at your multiplex, the Pixar movies that have dominated animation for the past 20 years, and the Industrial Light & Magic special-effects house, whose aesthetic has ruled the Hollywood blockbuster for nearly four decades. He's the pioneer of the effects-driven action spectacle and the conversion from celluloid to digital, the two trends that, for better and worse, have defined Hollywood's output for nearly 20 years.

As ubiquitous as Lucas and his creations loom in our cinematic dreamscapes, there's still a lot that most people don't know about him, from how he got his start to the famous folks who mentored him or were mentored by him, from the size of his fortune to what he plans to do now
See full article at Moviefone »

Epic War Movie ‘Japan’s Longest Day’ To Be Remade

Tokyo – Shochiku has announced the cast for its remake of the 1967 Kihachi Okamoto epic “Japan’s Longest Day.”

The film, which details the events leading up to Japan’s unconditional surrender on August 15, 1945 following the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, stars Koji Yakusho as army minister Anami, a role originally played by Toshiro Mifune.

The director is Masato Harada, whose 2011 “Chronicle of My Mother,” which starred Yakusho as a best-selling writer with mother issues, won a slew of domestic and international prizes, including the jury prize at the Montreal World Film Festival.

Okamoto’s movie was based on a 1965 best-selling novel by Kazutoshi Hando about diehard militarists plotting a coup to stop the Emperor’s surrender announcement on August 15. Anami is caught between his loyalty to the Emperor, who wants to stop the killing, and his reluctance to admit defeat, even at the cost of more Japanese lives.

Harada’s
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Barnes & Noble 50% Off Criterion Sale 2014! Top Titles to Buy!

It's that time of year again and it's time to update the list for the second half of 2014 as Barnes & Noble has just kicked off their 50% off Criterion sale and as impossible a task as it is to cut things down to just a few titles, I have done my best to break Criterion's titles down into a few categories. Hopefully those looking for box sets, specific directors or what I think are absolute musts will find this makes things a little bit easier. Let's get to it... First Picks I was given the Zatoichi collection for Christmas last year and being a collection that holds 25 films and another disc full of supplementary material it is the absolute definition of a must buy when it comes to the Criterion Collection. It is, once again, on sale for $112.49, half off the Msrp of $224.99, and worth every penny. I spent the entire year going through it.
See full article at Rope Of Silicon »

60 Years of Godzilla: A History and Critique of the Greatest Monster Movie Series in Cinema

**Massive spoilers for every Godzilla movie, with the exception of the 2014 reboot, and Mothra follow**

August 6th and 9th, 1945 forever changed the course of history. When the first nuclear bombs were dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, World War II ended, but a new fear was born that dominated the thoughts of all men, women, and children for decades to come. The Cold War, atomic bomb testing, a cartoon turtle telling children to “duck and cover”, and this new technology that had the actual potential to literally end the world changed the perception of what was scary. Art reflects life, so cinema began to capitalize on these fears. Gone were the days of creepy castles, cobwebs, bats, vampires, werewolves, and the other iconic images that ruled genre cinema in film’s earliest decades. Science fiction was larger than ever and giant ants, giant octopi, terror from beyond the stars, and
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Best Criterion Titles to Buy During Barnes & Noble's 50% Off Sale

Barnes & Noble has just kicked off their 50% off Criterion sale and while it's impossible to suggest titles that will suit everyone looking to beef up their collection at this perfect time of year, I will do my best to offer some suggestions. Let's get to it... My Absolute First Pick I am almost done going through this collection and it was a collection I got for Christmas under these exact circumstances. Typically priced at $224.99, you can now get this amazing set of 25 Zatoichi films for only $112. Box sets, in my opinion, are what sales like this were made for. Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman Next Ten Recommendations It isn't easy so this is a collection of just some of my favorite films (of all-time and within the collection) and a little variety, though pretty much my standard, go to Criterion first picks, especially if you are just starting out. Persona Breathless
See full article at Rope Of Silicon »

Top Ten Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or Winners

Palais des Festivals at the 2013 Cannes Film FestivalPhoto: RopeofSilicon.com The 2014 Cannes Film Festival begins in just two days and since I won't be able to attend this year I still wanted to do something Cannes-related. I started looking back over the years of the festival, which is celebrating its 67th edition this year. I considered going back and reviewing 15-16 films from a specific year in the past, but I thought of it too late. I then started looking over the history of past winners, and while I realize I haven't seen even half of the Cannes Film Festival winners I thought it would be fun to take a look at a list of the top ten I had seen, assuming readers could add their thoughts in the comments, suggesting some titles I have not yet seen or those you believe belong in the top ten. As we all know,
See full article at Rope Of Silicon »

On 'Star Wars' Day, a look at the franchise's Oscar history

  • Hitfix
On 'Star Wars' Day, a look at the franchise's Oscar history
Today is "Star Wars Day." You know, "May the fourth," because it sounds like "May the force (be with you)." Get It??? There has been plenty of "Star Wars" discussion this week as the people threatening to give us a seventh film in this storied franchise dropped a few casting details on the world. People like Oscar Isaac and Max von Sydow and Adam Driver will be joining old timers Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher for "Star Wars: Episode VII - Whatever Nifty Subtitle They Give It," and we'll probably be hearing about it constantly as the film forges on through production and post-production. To mark today's occasion, director J.J. Abrams and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan offered up a video howdy, which you can watch below if these movies are your thing. In case it's not readily evident, they're certainly not my thing, but I can't very well be
See full article at Hitfix »

'The Hidden Fortress' (Criterion Collection) Blu-ray Review

It seems whenever Akira Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress is mentioned it is invariably linked to George Lucas and Star Wars. The connection has been discussed for many years, perhaps best kept alive by an interview with Lucas discussing the film and its influence, which has first released on the 2001 Criterion DVD release. The interview is included once again on this new Blu-ray re-release of the film in which Lucas says the main influence Hidden Fortress had on Star Wars was the decision to tell the story from the perspective of the narrative's two lowliest characters. In the case of Star Wars that would be C-3Po and R2-D2, in Hidden Fortress it's a pair of bumbling and greedy peasants who stumble upon a general (Toshiro Mifune) and a princess (Misa Uehara) attempting to smuggle royal treasure across enemy lines. You could point to the use of long lenses, wipes
See full article at Rope Of Silicon »

'Throne of Blood' (Criterion Collection) Blu-ray Review

I first watched Akira Kurosawa's Throne of Blood (1957) six years ago. It was only the third film from Kurosawa I'd seen and I actually wrote a piece (which was really nothing more than an extended synopsis) after my first viewing right here, which is a rather interesting read six years removed. I remember not entirely enjoying Throne of Blood, when I first watched it and reading the piece linked above I see I found it largely interesting due to the fact it's an adaptation of Shakespeare's "Macbeth" while I also take issue with the length of some scenes, a complaint I read now and realize how much my taste has changed since writing that post. If you were to ask what I remembered of Throne of Blood before rewatching Criterion's newest Blu-ray upgrade, I'd say it would be 1.) the ghostly white spirits in Spiders' Web forest; 2.) the smoke-filled visuals
See full article at Rope Of Silicon »
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