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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:34 pm 

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Thomas Dukenfield wrote:
Zot! wrote:

I'm trying to stop collecting DVDs as much as possible, but at the same time I worry that these online films will eventually disappear into the ether. Are the hulu presentations of the Masaki Kobayashi films all in SD, or are some of them HD presentations?


Technically, Somewhere Beneath the Wide Sky is listed as HD, but it looks like a SD source to me. So, those 4 are basically SD.


Thanks Thomas, if you don't mind, how about the ones on the Eclipse set? I think I might have to subscribe to hulu anyway, but trying to determine how badly I want this Eclipse set.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:02 pm 

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triodelover wrote:
Thomas Dukenfield wrote:
Flavor of Green Tea Over Rice will be coming at some point, I'm sure.

Well, if Flavor of Green Tea over Rice is a baseball film, it's also a cycling film since several scenes take place at an outdoor track. I think we're playing fast and loos with the definition of a baseball film here.


I was assuming the poster meant movies with baseball scenes.

Zot! wrote:

Thanks Thomas, if you don't mind, how about the ones on the Eclipse set? I think I might have to subscribe to hulu anyway, but trying to determine how badly I want this Eclipse set.


No probs. Black River and I Will Buy You are SD and appear to be analog sourced actually. They are watchable as far as I'm concerned, but if these are the transfers that end up in the set, they'll be some complaints I'm sure. The other two aren't on Hulu at the moment (maybe they used to be or maybe they'll show up after the set comes out).

If you're a lover of Japanese Cinema, I'd recommend signing up for Hulu just for that alone. It's a treasure trove of hard to find stuff and most of the transfers I've seen are very good (Black River and I Will Buy You seem more to be the exception).


Last edited by Thomas Dukenfield on Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:13 pm 
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Thomas Dukenfield wrote:
I was assuming the poster meant movies with baseball scenes.

Probably, but you do see the problem. I Will Buy You doesn't just have scenes of baseball. Baseball, and specifically a professional league that is supposed to look like the NPB, is central to the film's narrative. Neither baseball nor cycling are central to the story arc of Flavor, although I think I remember a minor plot diversion over money lost wagering at the cycling track. If appearance in a film is all it takes to classify a film as a [fill in the blank] film, then History is Made at Night is a food film because of the repeated appearance of the lobster and salad meme.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:19 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 10:04 pm
FerdinandGriffon wrote:
The Thick-Walled Room was one of the first screenplay efforts of Kobo Abe, the great modernist novelist whose adaptations of his own works for Teshigahara are already in the collection. Now if only Criterion (or, perhaps more likely, MoC) will get around to releasing Kon Ichikawa's A Billionaire, his complete filmography will be available on DVD.

Moetsukita chizu/The Ruined Map/The Man Without A Map is not part of the Criterion Teshigahara set. Is this available in an English friendly version elsewhere? If so, you just made my day as I have been itching to see this after falling in love with the Criterion set after a blind buy quite a few years ago. However, I have been unable to find any release of it with English subtitles.


Last edited by Ogre Kovacs on Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:28 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 6:42 pm
triodelover wrote:
Thomas Dukenfield wrote:
I was assuming the poster meant movies with baseball scenes.

Probably, but you do see the problem. I Will Buy You doesn't just have scenes of baseball. Baseball, and specifically a professional league that is supposed to look like the NPB, is central to the film's narrative. Neither baseball nor cycling are central to the story arc of Flavor, although I think I remember a minor plot diversion over money lost wagering at the cycling track. If appearance in a film is all it takes to classify a film as a [fill in the blank] film, then History is Made at Night is a food film because of the repeated appearance of the lobster and salad meme.


I never said Flavor was about baseball, just that there are baseball scenes in it because that's what I thought the poster was referring to.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:35 pm 
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Ogre Kovacs wrote:
Moetsukita chizu/The Ruined Map/The Man Without A Map is not part of the Criterion Teshigahara set. Is this available in an English friendly version elsewhere? If so, you just made my day as I have been itching to see this after falling in love with the Criterion set after a blind buy quite a few years ago. However, I have been unable to find any release of it with English subtitles.

Decent fansubs were put together recently, so with a little tinkering the Japanese release can be made English-friendly. As I recall, an official English release is a no-go due to some complicated rights issues connected to Abe's novel of the same name, so if you want to see it you might as well accept that it will be through back-channels.
The film itself isn't nearly as interesting as the source novel or the other Teshigahara/Abe collaborations, but it's still a pity that it remains such a rarity. And the cinematography is wonderful, in color and scope (my avatar is borrowed from it!).


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:03 pm 
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Shinoda's MacArthur's Children isn't only about baseball -- it is also about the arbitrariness of America's use of the war crimes process. But baseball is a central aspect of the film (unlike Ozu's Green Tea, where the baseball scene is incidental -- though fun).


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:57 pm 
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Thomas Dukenfield wrote:
triodelover wrote:
Thomas Dukenfield wrote:
I was assuming the poster meant movies with baseball scenes.

Probably, but you do see the problem. I Will Buy You doesn't just have scenes of baseball. Baseball, and specifically a professional league that is supposed to look like the NPB, is central to the film's narrative. Neither baseball nor cycling are central to the story arc of Flavor, although I think I remember a minor plot diversion over money lost wagering at the cycling track. If appearance in a film is all it takes to classify a film as a [fill in the blank] film, then History is Made at Night is a food film because of the repeated appearance of the lobster and salad meme.


I never said Flavor was about baseball, just that there are baseball scenes in it because that's what I thought the poster was referring to.

Sorry for the confusion, I was just gently (a little too gently perhaps) alluding to a previous discussion in the Insignificance thread.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:06 pm 
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colinr0380 wrote:
Sorry for the confusion, I was just gently (a little too gently perhaps) alluding to a previous discussion in the Insignificance thread.

That's alright , colin. I only spent around an hour going through all the films in the collection I don't own trying to figure out how I missed a baseball film. Probably accounts for my insistence on a literal interpretation of the term. :) :-k


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:20 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:04 pm
My recent post seems not to have gone through, so at the risk of a double-post: To the question of the image quality of the Hulu Black River vs the upcoming Eclipse version. There is a second online stream of Black River from YouTube, and it is from a different print. The image quality is sharper, though it has a fair amount of moire/pixel splatter whenever there's a lot of black onscreen, and the subtitles are different. This stream is from a Wild Side print with English subtitles. My hunch is that Eclipse has probably managed to license this print from Wild Side for US distribution, and if that *is* the case, I don't think there will be any image problems.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:59 pm 

Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2012 3:30 pm
I have the Wild Side DVD, and it's a rather good transfer. I'd be surprised if the Eclipse didn't at least match it.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 5:01 pm 

Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 9:37 am
DVD Beaver.


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PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 11:25 am 

Joined: Sat May 11, 2013 11:22 am
Forgive my ignorance if this info is available anywhere else, but a search has come up short. Just wanted to know what's up with the Eclipse line after No. 38. I don't see any new solicitations for future sets. Is the series on hold? Is the Koboayashi set the last one for now?


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PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 3:44 pm 
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We'll get another one announced eventually.


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PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 8:02 pm 
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From April 15:

Quote:
Hello Mike,

Thanks for your email. Yes, the Eclipse line is still being produced.
Check out the latest series, Eclipse Series 38: Masaki Kobayashi
Against the System, released for purchase today! You can find it on
our website here:
http://www.criterion.com/boxsets/952-ec ... the-system

Best,

Jon Mulvaney


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PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 9:39 am 
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On the subject of I Will Buy You being "a baseball film", this is true in the sense that Alan Clarke's The Firm is "a football film" - but anyone watching it for any great insight into how the sport is conducted on the field will be sorely disappointed.

If I remember rightly, the only actual baseball footage occurs behind the opening credits and in the rapid-fire montages illustrating the ever-rising value of the star player who's the subject of the behind-the-scenes bartering and bribery - and the film is really about this business skulduggery, not the actual sport.

Put it like this: you could replace baseball with any professional sport, and the narrative and its underlying moral thrust would work just as well - whereas something like, say, White Men Can't Jump or Goon wouldn't work in anything other than a basketball/ice-hockey context, as the specific nature of the sports themselves is so integral to the films as a whole.


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PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 10:18 am 
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MichaelB wrote:
If I remember rightly, the only actual baseball footage occurs behind the opening credits and in the rapid-fire montages illustrating the ever-rising value of the star player who's the subject of the behind-the-scenes bartering and bribery - and the film is really about this business skulduggery, not the actual sport.

I haven't opened my set up yet but that comment makes me wonder whether I Will Buy You! provided any insipiration for those Yasuzo Masumura business films Giants & Toys (two battling sweet companies) and Black Test Car (in which the title car barely appears!)


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 7:20 pm 
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Late, but DVDtalk review


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 Post subject: Re: Criterion on Hulu
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 10:43 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:11 am
I couldn't find a better thread to discuss the film, I didn't turn up a mention of the film on here, but I was pleasantly surprised with Masaki Kobayashi's Beautiful Days.

Given how few ratings or reviews it had on something like IMDb, I guess I was expecting something watchable but barely worthwhile. It had an Ozu feel to it.

The print wasn't in the best of shape, and I didn't see a mention of a previous DVD release, so it will probably be beyond hope of seeing a BD release in its future.


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 Post subject: Re: Criterion on Hulu
PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:30 pm 
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abintra wrote:
The print wasn't in the best of shape, and I didn't see a mention of a previous DVD release, so it will probably be beyond hope of seeing a BD release in its future.

Indeed, abintra; I had a similar reaction to the print of Tarkovsky's Andrei Rublev which I was exited to watch after signing on a few days ago. My blue ray to mp4 transfer looks better than the scratchy print on hulu+. I'm hoping Mizoguchi's Five Women Around Utamao or Utamaro and His Five Women will fare better. But I like your Kobayashi suggestion. Might check that out first.


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 Post subject: Re: Criterion on Hulu
PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 1:00 pm 
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ando wrote:
...I had a similar reaction to the print of Tarkovsky's Andrei Rublev which I was exited to watch after signing on a few days ago. My blue ray to mp4 transfer looks better than the scratchy print on hulu+...

Your Blu-ray would be for the shorter cut of RUBLEV which has much better elements available. I assume Hulu is showing Criterion's release of Tarkovsky's initial long cut (205 min.) which, apparently, only exists in compromised quality.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 7:58 pm 
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Oh, so that's the deal. I know Rublev fairly well; the shortened version does make abrupt transitions but none of the essential quality is lost. In fact, as you point out, it's mostly enhanced.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:37 am 
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Re: Bautiful Days - Indeed, it has quite an Ozu feel to it but Kobayashi doesn't refrain from criticizing the hollowness of American religious celebrations/pastimes like Christmas parties. In fact, it's a running joke in the film. On the other hand, the apparent comraderie that Nakao, played by an impressive Keiji Sada, has with the American soldiers is refreshing; it seems more than a grudging friendliness (although the line Nakao gives his hostess friend about pretending the black soldier is a potato is also telling).

Having no inkling to the nature of the four young adult friends' earlier childhood relationships (they're not shown) I was at a lost initially to the subtleties of their present status. I can only assume that the narrative eventually reveals what someone more familiar to the culture may have picked up right away. At any rate, most of the main actors are exceptionally good, conveying the limits of what their culture allows them to reveal about their inner lives on one hand, and revealing their emotional vulnerability with each on the other hand (including the rather melodramatic and seemingly requiste misunderstandings). Keiji Sada is most impressive when he's attempting to conceal vulnerability. He's never as simply open as Isao Kimura but he's a canny compliment to Kimura's obvious benevolence.

Unlike Ozu Kobayasi doesn't hone in on ritual as a motif. Though it's clearly in the visual forground (flower arranging, factory work, tea service, sewing, swing dancing, etc.) the actors break from their participation in it or provide variations on it. The little girl grabbing one flower after her mother has purchased a handsomely set half dozen; the black soldier jumping in on the drums for Nakao; the rich/retired Takashi Shimura, obviously no laborer, joining the grandmother in turning over the soil for planting, etc., are just some examples of this break with the traditional Japanese manner in lifestyle and custom. In most instances the break may really only be temporary appeasement but it's clearly seen as a good thing and comes to full development in the narrative with the film's conclusion.

I enjoyed it. Fine work from Kobayashi. Thanks for bringing it to our attention, abintra.


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