Utamaro, a great artist, lives to create portraits of beautiful women, and the brothels of Tokyo provide his models. A world of passion swirls around him, as the women in his life vie for ...
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Hatsuko Umabuchi is a widow who runs a prosperous geisha house in present day Kyoto. Her daughter Yukiko returns from Tokyo following a failed suicide attempt, after her lover found out ... See full summary »
In eighth century China, the Emperor is grieving over the death of his wife. The Yang family wants to provide the Emperor with a consort so that they may consolidate their influence over ... See full summary »
In the post-war, the sixteen year-old teenager Eiko seeks out the geisha Miyoharu in the district of Gion, in Kyoto asking her to be a "maiko" (apprentice of geisha). Eiko explains that her... See full summary »
Young servant girl Hamako has just started working for her personal hero, Madame Yuki. Her romanticized view of the Madame is broken immediately, as she is introduced with a list of the Madame's personal problems.
Shinnosuke is introduced to Shizu as a prospective marriage partner, but he falls in love with her widowed sister Oyu. Convention forbids Oyu to marry because she has to raise her son as ... See full summary »
In 1701, Lord Takuminokami Asano has a feud with Lord Kira and he tries to kill Kira in the corridors of the Shogun's palace. The Shogun sentences Lord Asano to commit suppuku and deprives ... See full summary »
Utamaro, a great artist, lives to create portraits of beautiful women, and the brothels of Tokyo provide his models. A world of passion swirls around him, as the women in his life vie for lovers. And, occasionally, his art gets him into trouble.Written by
George S. Davis <email@example.com>
Quick note about this print: it was run at the Brooklyn Museum last night and it was a pristine print -- that is to say, it was only two years old with the incept date being 2006 and physically in very good shape with no splices except for the single lab spices at 1000ft in each reel and the head and tails leaders were spliced indicating it has been mounted on a platter transport system. But, all the imperfections that are visible, the very soft focus as was noted in the previous post and an annoying jitter that is apparent in certain shots, are generated from whatever elements this print was struck, not from this physical print itself, which, as I said was in excellent condition.
Actually the soft focus even had a look that indicates it might have been struck from a video master.....it had that video "look," although 16mm is still a contender.
It is possibly that the DVD release is responsible for the new print. They may have gone back to the original negative or internegative elements for the DVD, dumped them to video, edited them and produced a video master. It would have been cost-effective to simply make a transfer from the video master rather than go the film route.
Something that also points in that direction is the fact that the subtitles were not etched. Normally subtitles are physically etched into each frame either by a laser or chemically, removing the picture emulsion. This process produces subtitles that are very easy to read, even in very bright scenes. This method produces text that is always lighter than the background; even if the background is white, the text will be whiter. The subtitles in this print were not etched hence they were very difficult to read when against white backgrounds. The subtitles were rock steady, even when the background was jittering which is another indication they were produced in the video stage and then the print struck from that video master.
Although these clues point to a print derived from a video master, a blowup from a 16mm release print is also a possibility.
It would be interesting to see if the DVD has these same soft focus and jitter artifacts as well.
The film is interesting, but not nearly as provocative as it must have been in the 40s. I was struck by the liberal use of very long and complex tracking shots, not very common in at that time and quite daring.
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