912 An Actor's Revenge

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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swo17
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912 An Actor's Revenge

#1 Post by swo17 » Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:03 pm

An Actor's Revenge

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A uniquely prolific and chameleonic figure of world cinema, Kon Ichikawa delivered a burst of stylistic bravado with this intricate tale of betrayal and retribution. Set in the cloistered world of nineteenth-century kabuki theater, the film charts a female impersonator's attempts to avenge the deaths of his parents, who were driven to insanity and suicide by a trio of corrupt men. Ichikawa takes the conventions of melodrama and turns them on their head, bringing the hero's fractured psyche to life in boldly experimental widescreen compositions infused with kaleidoscopic color, pop-art influences, and meticulous choreography. Anchored by a magnificently androgynous performance by Kazuo Hasegawa, reprising a role he had played on-screen three decades earlier, An Actor's Revenge is an eye-popping examination of how the illusions of art intersect with life.

SPECIAL FEATURES

• New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
• Rare 1999 Directors Guild of Japan interview with director Kon Ichikawa, conducted by critic and filmmaker Yuki Mori
• New interview with critic, filmmaker, and festival programmer Tony Rayns
• New English subtitle translation
• PLUS: An essay by critic Michael Sragow

mteller
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 3:23 pm

Re: 912 An Actor's Revenge

#2 Post by mteller » Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:32 pm

So delighted! One of my all-time favorites, should look gorgeous on Blu!

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Randall Maysin
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Re: 912 An Actor's Revenge

#3 Post by Randall Maysin » Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:22 am

Kon Ichikawa is just someone who I love, a true kindred spirit, on the basis of one film which I loved, Odd Obsession, even though it wasn't really that good a film on a serious level, and of this film, which in all likelihood is the better film although I can't of course really explain why, being moi, and which I didn't actually enjoy as much as Odd Obsession. So I'm just wondering if anyone who perhaps agrees with me about these two films can recommend which Ichikawa films are as fun as Odd Obsession?

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: 912 An Actor's Revenge

#4 Post by Michael Kerpan » Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:39 am

I love Kon Ichikawa -- but only during the period when his wife was his principal writer.

A few of my favorites: The Hole (Machiko Kyo channeling Nancy Drew as an intrepid cub reporter), Crowded Streetcar (Bunuelian -- young salaryman with job from hell and rather demented parents played by Chishu Ryu and Haruko Sugimura), Ten Dark Women (a cad's wife and all his many girlfriens gang up on him -- to seek revenge -- while many also trying to get a sole claim on him). I cannot understand why KI's (and Natto Wada's) brilliant black comedies are so ignored.

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Werewolf by Night
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Re: 912 An Actor's Revenge

#5 Post by Werewolf by Night » Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:57 am

Michael Kerpan wrote:Crowded Streetcar (Bunuelian -- young salaryman with job from hell and rather demented parents played by Chishu Ryu and Haruko Sugimura)
I need to see this! I don’t suppose there is an English-friendly version available?

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: 912 An Actor's Revenge

#6 Post by Michael Kerpan » Wed Nov 22, 2017 3:16 pm

Alas, I don't know of any English-subbed versions of the films I recommended. I saw some in a retrospective -- and saw others unsubbed.

mteller
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Re: 912 An Actor's Revenge

#7 Post by mteller » Mon Nov 27, 2017 5:04 pm

My top Ichikawas:

1) An Actor's Revenge (a perfect movie IMO)
2) The Burmese Harp
3) Kokoro
4) Fires on the Plain
5) The Devil's Ballad
6) Ten Dark Women
7) The Inugami Family
8) Odd Obsession
9) The Makioka Sisters
10) Tokyo Olympiad

I've seen a small handful of others, all okay but none worth writing home about. I was surprised to find that his version of the "47 Ronin" tale is my least favorite of the four I've seen... gorgeously realized but dull and dreary. Princess from the Moon is an inept but fun novelty, especially if you've seen Tale of Princess Kaguya.

I've not yet seen The Hole or Crowded Streetcar. Hopefully those will show up with English subs at some point.

Apperson
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Re: 912 An Actor's Revenge

#8 Post by Apperson » Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:45 am


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Michael Kerpan
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Re: 912 An Actor's Revenge

#9 Post by Michael Kerpan » Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:16 pm

The Criterion screen captures seem to be uniformly darker looking than the DVD versions (a bit too dark, perhaps?)

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Finch
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Re: 912 An Actor's Revenge

#10 Post by Finch » Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:49 pm

Those screencaps make it harder to hold out for the BFI Blu-Ray but I still have to get my kevyip down and at likely nearly half the price of the Criterion, it's a no-brainer. It's my favourite Ichikawa as well and it's wonderful to see it look so splendid.

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