Kon Ichikawa

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manicsounds
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 10:58 pm
Location: Tokyo, Japan

Kon Ichikawa

#1 Post by manicsounds » Mon Oct 26, 2015 6:51 am

With November 20th 2015 being the centenary of director Kon Ichikawa's birth, quite a lot of restored Ichikawa films are making the rounds in festivals, TV and Blu-rays.

I just watched the 4K remastered print of "Enjo" AKA "Conflagration", based on the novel "Kinkakuji" by Yukio Mishima, which surprisingly hasn't had a DVD release in the west, will be released on Blu-ray next month in Japan, along with "Ototo" AKA "Brother" and "Yukinojo henge" AKA "An Actor's Revenge".

Kon Ichikawa 4K Remaster Box
The boxset seems to be in Japanese only without subtitles, and the box exclusively comes with a bonus DVD and bonus CD.

I was also fortunate enough to see the 1970 documentary short by Ichikawa "Japan and the Japanese", which was made for the Osaka Expo, which was screened on 8 screens with 8 projectors running simultaneously showing a collage of Japan, sometimes all 8 screens showing a singular image, or half the screen with one image and half with 4 individual images, and various other combinations. Sadly the soundtrack is lost (who would lose such a thing?).

But in addition, I saw "Yowamushi Chinsengumi", a 1935 animated film which was lost for many years but found 2 years ago in California of all places. This is now the earliest film surviving in Kon Ichikawa's filmography, him being one of the key animators. Thankfully the UCLA restored print looks great.

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Michael Kerpan
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:20 pm
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Re: Kon Ichikawa

#2 Post by Michael Kerpan » Mon Oct 26, 2015 10:21 am

I envy you. ;-}

I am a big fan of Kon Ichikawa during the period that he was aided and abetted by his wife, the wonderful screenwriter Natto Wada. However, I have not been (strongly) impressed with any of the films he made after she retired and he was on his own cinematically.

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manicsounds
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 10:58 pm
Location: Tokyo, Japan

Re: Kon Ichikawa

#3 Post by manicsounds » Mon Oct 26, 2015 8:21 pm

Really? Not even the Kindaichi series? I'm still surprised Criterion or any other companies never released "The Inugami Clan" or the other movies.

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: Kon Ichikawa

#4 Post by Michael Kerpan » Mon Oct 26, 2015 8:36 pm

Post-Wada, my familiarity with Ichikawa is spotty. But nothing I've seen would have made me anxious to see any of his other work. Which is not the case for his Wada-period work -- where I would like to see virtually everything.

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manicsounds
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 10:58 pm
Location: Tokyo, Japan

Re: Kon Ichikawa

#5 Post by manicsounds » Sat Sep 23, 2017 11:20 am

Belated but here are DVD reviews with screenshots of The Story of Kon Ichikawa and Style of Kon Ichikawa.

Currently "Style" is ¥1523 or part of the 2 for ¥3000 sale at Amazon Japan.

And come on Criterion/Arrow/Eureka or whoever. Release the Ichikawa directed Detective Kindaichi 6 film series in a fully loaded Blu-ray box already!

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