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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:30 am 
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Bakumatsu taiyō-den

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Voted one of the top five Japanese films ever made in a critic's poll by Japan's leading cinema publication Kinema Junpô, yet barely known in the West, Yūzō Kawashima's richly funny multi-levelled portrait of Japanese society Bakumatsu taiyō-den [A Sun-Tribe Myth from the Bakumatsu Era] is a glorious rediscovery.

When man-about-town Saheiji (the beloved comedian Frankie Sakai) finds himself unable to pay for a bill at a brothel, he is forced to remain there to work off his debt. However he finds his wit and resourcefulness enable him to turn this situation to his advantage, as he interacts with a whole range of characters, from rivalling courtesans to political activists.

Co-scripted by Shōhei Imamura (Vengeance Is Mine), it sharply and comically demonstrates the constants of human nature just as it delineates the tumultuous political times (the 1860s, leading up to the Meiji Restoration) in which they lived. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present this classic in a new high-definition restoration.

SPECIAL FEATURES

• Gorgeous new Nikkatsu restoration of the film in its original aspect ratio, presented in 1080p HD on the Blu-ray
• New and improved English subtitles
• 36-PAGE BOOKLET including a new and exclusive essay by critic/scholar Frederick Veith; Shôhei Imamura's tribute to Yûzô Kawashima; and rare and archival imagery.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:19 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:20 pm
Location: New England
Great news!


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:32 pm 
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Trailer from the 2011 restoration.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:38 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm
A very exciting announcement!

When MoC (or, naturally, Criterion) announce a film I don't already own in some form, it's good news; when they announce a film I've never seen, it's great news; but when they announce a film I've never even heard of, that's the best news of all.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 4:10 pm 
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You may be familiar with Frankie Sakai as the persistent reporter (accompanied by ace news photographer Kyoko Kagawa) in Mothra.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 6:21 pm 

Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:12 am
Saturnome wrote:
Any place I can see the list where Bakumatsu taiyo-den made 5th place? I'm curious for this film I've never heard of before!

Bakamatu taiyo-den made 5th place in the 1999 Kinema Junpo poll before moving up to 4th in 2009


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 6:37 pm 
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Thanks!


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 7:41 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 10:58 pm
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Port over the Japanese extras as well, please.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 8:22 am 
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and we need a video introduction by Tony Rayns!!! :D
i miss him in the last time


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 11:48 am 
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If anyone not familiar with Kawashima is interested in a primer in anticipation of this release, I'd recommend checking out Susaki Paradise: Red Light District, for which English fansubs are available in the usual places. It's a fantastic film, and, if memory serves, it tends to rank high in the Kinema Junpo polls as well. Having been thoroughly familiar with Imamura's body of work before knowing much about Kawashima or seeing any of his films, this one was quite a surprise for me. Imamura's preoccupations didn't exactly spring up out of nowhere!


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:06 pm 
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zeroism wrote:
If anyone not familiar with Kawashima is interested in a primer in anticipation of this release, I'd recommend checking out Susaki Paradise: Red Light District...
I couldn't agree more about this film. It's a simple story but rich in character and detail, similar to Naruse (his Late Chrysanthemums came immediately to mind for comparison). Both Naruse and Kawashima are interested in the lives of women and those struggling to get by however, where Naruse would put a snide comment and a forlorn gaze, Kawashima gives you a raised eyebrow, dirty joke, and a shrug of the shoulders. Kawashima was a gifted storyteller and I can only assume Bakumatsu taiyo-den will be a home run as well.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:26 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 2:05 pm
Steven H wrote:
zeroism wrote:
If anyone not familiar with Kawashima is interested in a primer in anticipation of this release, I'd recommend checking out Susaki Paradise: Red Light District...
I couldn't agree more about this film. It's a simple story but rich in character and detail, similar to Naruse (his Late Chrysanthemums came immediately to mind for comparison). Both Naruse and Kawashima are interested in the lives of women and those struggling to get by however, where Naruse would put a snide comment and a forlorn gaze, Kawashima gives you a raised eyebrow, dirty joke, and a shrug of the shoulders. Kawashima was a gifted storyteller and I can only assume Bakumatsu taiyo-den will be a home run as well.


Absolutely. Susaki is an extraordinary film, so many shots of the bridge at the heart of the action shot in the magic hour but in black and white. Lovely. And Yukiko Todoroki is especially wonderful as Osami.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:07 pm 
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Steven H wrote:
I couldn't agree more about this film. It's a simple story but rich in character and detail, similar to Naruse (his Late Chrysanthemums came immediately to mind for comparison).

Definitely agree with the Naruse/Late Chrysanthemums comparison. If anyone ever wondered if there might be anything like a missing link between Naruse and Imamura, Kawashima, if Susaki Paradise is representative of his usual style, is probably your man.

In any case, Kawashima is doubtless one of the major missing pieces in the Western survey of Japanese cinema. Hopefully this release will open the doors for more.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:25 pm 

Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:12 am
manicsounds wrote:
Port over the Japanese extras as well, please.


What are they? Google Translate isn't helping.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:29 pm 
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Location: Tokyo, Japan
On the Japanese disc:

-The original rakugo story compared with the feature
-Rakugo master Bao Reireisha explains rakugo humor and the humor featured in the movie in depth, and about rakugo in the Edo period
-Restoration demo with audio commentary
-Yasukiyo Umeno interview ("Tokusaburo" from the film)
-Trailers
-32 page booklet


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:57 am 
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Available for pre-order from Eureka. Can't wait for this!

Any news as to what the final extras will be?


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:44 am 
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Although I'm hoping for the announcement of "more extras", dvdcompare says the DVD has no additional extras...


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:14 am 
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DVDBeaver review, which says the only extra is the booklet. This is fine by me.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:43 pm 
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Man, I've never been this excited for a blind-buy, and this looks to be an utterly superb transfer, as well. All I can do now is wait and hope Eureka ship the pre-ordered disks as soon as possible...


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:12 am 
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Location: Tokyo, Japan
bluraydefinition review


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:22 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 5:09 pm
Location: Edinburgh, UK
Blu-Ray.com


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:16 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 19, 2006 10:09 am
Well, this caught me unawares, and it took me some time to adapt to it. I had seen a few Japanese comedies before, but certainly none that was so dizzyingly fast-paced - and fast-cut - and screwbally while at the same time certainly containing a darker or more reflective undertone. Behind all the bustle there's a fine portrait of the world of the (lower-level?) geishas here, and the characters are drawn rather convincingly even though the comedy can be pretty broad at times. Somehow in the middle of the film I got the strange notion that the main character's slyness - but also good-heartedness - and the fast talking reminded me in a strange way of a Japanese version of the great Austrian comedian Hans Moser, and then it all clicked for me. But that's probably a rather idiosyncratic approach....

In any case, great transfer on the SD, even though I'm sad that MoC apparently don't follow the route of the Dual-Format-editions anymore. I really liked having the blu in addition, slowly building a blu library already for some future time in which I'll have an HD-compatible TV. If Eureka now thinks I'll later double-dip for an upgrade on this or other films: no chance; this looks far too good on standard dvd already :-)


Last edited by Tommaso on Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:21 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm
I'm 90% sure that the Blu is dual format.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:25 pm 
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According to their online shop (where I got it from), the blu and the dvd only come separately, unless they made a mistake in the presentation.


Last edited by Tommaso on Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:27 pm 
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They just label it as Blu, but it is indeed dual. You can tell by the gray top. For the none duals they have a blue top.


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