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 Post subject: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 3:14 pm 

Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2005 6:04 pm
Kiyoshi Kurosawa (1955-present)

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Filmography

Boryoku kyoshi: Hakushu dai satsuriku (1975)

Shiroi hada ni kuru kiba (1977)

Shigarami gakuen (1980)

Toso zen'ya (1982)

Kanda-gawa inran senso / Kandagawa Wars (1983)

Do-re-mi-fa-musume no chi wa sawagu / The Excitement of the Do-Re-Mi-Fa Girl (1985)

Suito Homu / Sweet Home (1989)

Abunai hanashi mugen monogatari (1989)

Jigoku no keibin / The Guard from the Underground (1992)

Katte ni shiyagare!! Ogon keikaku / Suit Yourself or Shoot Yourself: The Loot (1996)

Katte ni shiyagare!! Gyakuten keikaku (1996)

Doa 3 / Door 3 (1996)

Katte ni shiyagare!! Narikin keikaku / Suit Yourself or Shoot Yourself: The Nouveau Riche (1996)

Katte ni shiyagare! Eiyu-keikaku / Suit Yourself or Shoot Yourself: The Hero (1996)

Fukushu the Revenge Kienai Kizuato / The Revenge: A Scar That Never Disappears (1997)

Gakko no kaidan F: Haiko kidan (1997)

Kyua / Cure (1997)

Hebi no michi / Serpent's Path (1998)

Kumo no hitomi / Eyes of the Spider (1998)

Gakko no kaidan: Kodama (1998)

Ningen gokaku / License to Live (1998)

Karisuma / Charisma (1999)

Oinaru gen'ei / Barren Illusions (1999)

Korei / Seance (2000)

Kairo / Pulse (2001)

Akarui mirai / A Bright Future (2003)

Dopperugenga / Doppelganger (2003)

Ghost Cop (2004)

Umezu Kazuo: Kyofu gekijo - Mushi-tachi no ie / Kazuo Umezu's Horror Theater: Bug's House (2005)

Rofuto / Loft (2005)

Sakebi / Retribution (2006)

Tokyo sonata (2008)


Forum discussions

Sakebi

Tokyo sonata (MoC)


Internet resources

The Director Interviews: Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Filmmaker)

Do I Exist?: The Unbearable Blankness of Being in Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Bright Future (Senses of Cinema)

Interview: Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Midnight Eye)

Interview with Director Kiyoshi Kurosawa (IGN)

Kiyoshi Kurosawa Blogathon

Master of More: An Interview with Kiyoshi Kurosawa (UCLA Asia Pacific Arts)

The New Cult Canon: Pulse (Onion A.V. Club)

This Time, the Horror’s in the Normality (New York Times)

Tokyo Sonata: Interview with Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Twitch)


Publications

The Films of Kiyoshi Kurosawa: Master of Fear - Jerry White (Stonebridge Press, 2007)

Mon effroyable histoire du cinéma - Kiyoshi Kurosawa with Makoto Shinozaki (Rouge profond, 2008)
________________________________________________________________________
PM kinjitsu if you have any updates or recommendations


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 Post subject: Re: Pulse
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 3:40 pm 
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rs98762001 wrote:
Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Pulse. Not exactly new, I know, but it is finally seeing a US theatrical release prior to the inevitable Dimension remake.

Kurosawa seems to be a little under-represented on this board (especially compared to his namesake!) so are there any thoughts on this film, its director and his strange and amazing body of work?

It's definitely a pretty unique horror film, even in the J-horror field. And genuinely scary. It really hits you with some creepy images. I found that it tried to explain its premise in too many different ways, most of them not seen to their logical conclusions, which made the film extremely confusing. A friend argues that this is what elevates the film above its peers. That's an interesting argument, but I'm not totally convinced. I've also only seen it once, and this isn't really my genre.


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 Post subject: Re: Pulse
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 4:37 pm 
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Haven't seen Pulse. I've seen Charisma, Bright Future and Doppelganger. I wound up liking the last of these most. I found it to be an utterly (and entertainingly) twisted romantic comedy at its core (and was glad to find out that this WAS what he thought he was making). Charisma was only a let down because my expectations were too high. Bright Future was interesting -- but seemed a bit diffuse (and wasn't as enjoyable as the other two).


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 Post subject: Re: Pulse
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 5:51 pm 
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Pulse is my favorite K. Kurosawa film. High praise, because I also happen to think he's the best Japanese director working today.


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 Post subject: Pulse
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 6:35 pm 
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Scary as shit.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 7:32 pm 
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matt wrote:
I also happen to think he's the best Japanese director working today.

Kore-eda?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 7:48 pm 
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backstreetsbackalright wrote:
Kore-eda?

I think Kiyoshi Kurosawa has LOTS of competition for top active director of Japan (even assuming that Kon Ichikawa and Shohei Imamura have finally retired).

I like Hirokazu Kore-eda better -- and Naomi Kawase and Akihiko Shiota and Jun Ichikawa and Takeshi KItano. I'm sure I could think of a few more...

Not to minimize K. Kurosawa's skill, mind you -- but he hardly towers over his colleagues.


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 Post subject: Re: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 7:55 pm 
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Sure, it's an arguable point, but Kurosawa is my pick.


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 Post subject: Re: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 9:07 pm 

Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2005 6:04 pm
Glad to see his work is thought of so highly here. He's also my personal favorite out of the many amazing Japanese directors working today - not the best necessarily, just the one I connect with the most.

Although people think of him as a genre director (that genre being horror), he's actually very diverse in tone. I would say only PULSE and CURE are true horror films (and two of the best ever made). As stated above, DOPPELGANGER is a really strange, wonderful comedy, while BRIGHT FUTURE is almost a chamber drama. I think that's why his work isn't as well-known or available as Kitano's or Miike's - his films will often flirt with genre, creating one sort of expectation, and then suddenly veer off into something completely different. It takes a lot of patience for both Japanese and Western audiences to figure out exactly what he's trying to do.

He's a true auteur though. Similar themes, ideas and concerns are very subtly woven through all of his works. And look at a single frame of any of his films, and it is instantly identifiable as his.


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 Post subject: Re: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2005 2:07 am 

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 2:03 am
Location: LA CA
Michael Kerpan wrote:
I think Kiyoshi Kurosawa has LOTS of competition for top active director of Japan

True. Contemporary Japanese cinema seems to me woefully underrated. That Pulse is only now getting released (and Charisma never did) is a travesty of a sham of a mockery.

Still, I'm with Matt in prefering KK to Kore-eda, Shiota, Kawase, et al.

My order of faves, among the working Japanese directors, would be: Morita (for his many incredible films - Family Game, Sorekara, Haru, Black House, Keiho, Mohohan - and ignoring his many dogs), Kurosawa (for all the Cure and beyond films), Kitano (for the stuff pre-Kikujiro), Iwai (especially for AALCC), and Kore-eda (especially for Distance).

I'm also excited about seeing Shion Sono's new movie, Noriko's Dinner Table, which won a prize at the Karlovy Vary Fest.


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 Post subject: Re: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2005 3:19 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 7:35 am
Location: Hong Kong
Have to concur that KK is one of the best directors in Japan. CURE is still my favourite, followed closely by BRIGHT FUTURE, PULSE and CHARISMA. The only blight in his filmography is that horrible SEANCE - the only time I ever walked out of a film directed by one of my favourite directos. Even DOPPELGANGER, which wasn't entirely successful IMO, was still quite enjoyable.

I'm torn between him and Naomi Kawase as my fave. Kore-eda I'm mixed on, considering that he constantly waxes and wanes between minimalist masterpieces (MABOROSI, DISTANCE) and films too earnest for their own good (AFTER LIFE, NOBODY KNOWS). And I've seen too little of Jun Ichikawa to make a judgement, but what I've seen I really liked.

And haha - I will never see eye to eye with Kerpan on Shiota ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Pulse
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2005 3:55 pm 
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We saw the trailer for Pulse (and The World) when we went to see Tony Takitani. People decided they want to see this when it comes around (ditto for World).

What Shiota have you disliked other than Yomigaeri? I don't much care for Moonlight Whispers -- but very much like Gaichu and Don't Look Back (in addition to that Y film). ;~}


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 Post subject: Re: Pulse
PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2005 7:57 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 7:35 am
Location: Hong Kong
Well, admittedly I only saw two - Yomigaeri and Moonlight Whispers. Don't like either. So maybe I'm pre-judging, but it's kinda rare for me to like a director when they've struck out twice.

Pulse. The World. Tony Takitani. What a great lineup!


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 Post subject: Re: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2005 9:56 pm 
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Grimfarrow wrote:
Well, admittedly I only saw two - Yomigaeri and Moonlight Whispers. Don't like either. So maybe I'm pre-judging, but it's kinda rare for me to like a director when they've struck out twice.

"Yomigaeri" was a dopey pop project that Shiota injected a great deal of intelligence (and feeling) into -- this doesn't make it a "great" film -- but I still found a lot to like in it (along with the dross). "Moonlight Whsipers" just didn't work at all for me. "Gaichu" anfd "Don't Look Back" are massively better than either -- especially "Gaichu", which I consider one of the best films of the past decade.

Quote:
Pulse. The World. Tony Takitani. What a great lineup!

We saw the trailer for "2046" today (before Grizzly Man-- it didn't look nearly as promising.


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 Post subject: Re: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 12:32 am 

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 2:03 am
Location: LA CA
Michael Kerpan wrote:
"Gaichu" anfd "Don't Look Back" are massively better than either -- especially "Gaichu", which I consider one of the best films of the past decade.

I'd agree that Gaichu is Shiota's best work so far -- though I'm hoping Kanaria, a post-AUM thing, will top it. Don't Look Back is, iirc, the movie Shiota made with his film school students, and, at least to me, the film evidences the technical inexperience of its makers. On the other hand, the movie Kurosawa made with his students, Barren Illusion, while obviously not up to the level of Cure or Charisma or Pulse or..., is for me an interesting and technically and artistically proficient experiment.

Quote:
We saw the trailer for "2046" today (before Grizzly Man-- it didn't look nearly as promising.

Depends on how you feel about the latest Wong. If you loved the texture of In the Mood for Love, you'll probably find something in 2046 to like. If you're getting tired of Wong's impossible love + memory "philosophizing", it might not work. I hated 2046 the first time -- Tony Leung ruins everything for me the first time -- but quite enjoyed it the third... when I turned the critical faculty off and luxuriated in color, costume, wallpaper, and composition.

And, finally, with all due respect to you guys, it's hard for me to see what the ^$%#& y'all see in Tony Takitani. The mix (VO in the background, music a bit forward) was interesting to me for about 5 minutes. But the incessant (film school pretentious, imo) lateral dollies and the paint-by-numbers "literary" Murakami storytelling made me thankful that the film's running time was so short!

Back to Kurosawa. I saw his new Shi no otome ("Maiden of Death" - though the print I saw had a title card in English which called the movie "Loft"). Incredibly disappointing on both genre and art fronts. Very little visual tension, a cheesy story about a mummy who was excavated, was reburied, and is excavated again, and a massive (but unsuccessful) shift in rhythm at the end.

We do get insights into the state of archaeology in Japan, however. It seems that, there, even University employed archaeologists work absolutely alone, even on well-publicized discoveries, in dirty abandoned warehouses.


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 Post subject: Re: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 2:56 pm 
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they have one of his in the video store with a kid on a swing and a red background that I've considered renting, I forget the name of it, though. I will have to pick it up. oops... That was some other japanese director I've never heard of. I must have seen his name on doppleganger and added confused the two films in my mind. This other random movie is called the demon.


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 Post subject: Re: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 9:11 am 
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I like Kiyoshi Kurosawa probably a little bit more than is healthy. Sure, he's not the most constant director in the world (Seance in particular wasn't anything to write home about), but at his best I find him to be one of the most interesting directors working today.

Kairo/Pulse, even if it's not one of his finest works, is an excellent genre film and I like it quite a bit more than I like these other new j-horror films, most of which offer very little in addition to some nice scares. In Kairo I liked the overall ambiance and sadness that seemed to be the core of the film and somehow the everyday alienation of young people was depicted really well even though the setting was anything but ordinary. Bright Future kinda continued this theme, but I thought it was maybe a bit too ambitious for it's own good, causing the theme to get muddled and a bit too oblique for my tastes. I loved the imaginery in that one though, and it definitely wasn't a bad film. It just left a bit of an empty feeling after seeing it (loved the documentary on the second disc of the japanese release though, seeing the way Kurosawa works on set was interesting).

Charisma is really the one that has affected me the most, and it's one of my favorite films of all time. It's really creepy in this very subtle way that something is off, but at the same time the events seem almost magical at times and Koji Yakusho provides a great protagonist for the film (a great variation of the detective he played in Cure). I think Kurosawa or someone described Charisma as a "Tarkovskian eco-thriller" and I think it's not even an exaggeration, as the film does feel at times very Tarkovskian, especially nearer the end, where the nature feels very much like a separate character.

Cure deserves praise too, but to me, Charisma has always been the better of those films.


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 Post subject: Re: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 9:43 am 
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blindside8zao wrote:
This other random movie is called the demon.

Probably Nomura's film -- very much worth checking out (not a supernatural tale at all -- but sort of a very dark variation on "Hansel and Gretel"). I like his black and white cinemascope-ish and noir-ish "Zero Focus" even more (at least visually).


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 Post subject: Re: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 9:01 pm 
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Can anyone recommend a good dvd of Pulse? I'm having trouble finding a comparison of the various available versions. I've seen the dvdcompare comparison but was hoping for more information.

The R2 versions are all in DD 2.0 while the R3 is is DD5.1. Does anyone know how it was originally recorded? IMDB just says Dolby Digital. I've had too many bad experience with remixed R3 dvds that sound like crap so I always try to get the original soundtrack.

What is the best way to find out this information regarding the soundtrack?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 2:47 am 
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porquenegar wrote:
Can anyone recommend a good dvd of Pulse?

This copy of Kairo is the only one that I've personally seen, and it looks quite nice, especially compared to the crappy print that I saw of it in a theater last month. Decent price too. The R1 is supposedly coming out next month.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 11:26 am 
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Giant jellyfish stymie Japanese fishermen


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 12:34 pm 
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Michael Kerpan wrote:

Hahaha! They needed a while to spread from fiction to reality.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 1:17 pm 
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Pulse is finally out on region-one DVD. I watched it last night. Pulse is genuinely creepy in a very unique way - joining the pantheon of great ghost-story films, including The Innocents and The Changeling. Every shot is utterly gorgeous and carefully composed - made with the same care, thought and artistry as a Bergman film. I love the bizarre almost-sci-fi apocalyptical aura that consumes the last half of Pulse, bringing my mind to the best of Romero and even L' Eclisse!

I think this film would make an interesting companion to the wonderful French film called They Came Back since both very thoughtful films use "horror devices" to examine/explore how this high-tech world affects our existance, uncontrollably expanding our isolation and loneliness.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 5:18 pm 
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Michael wrote:
The Innocents and The Changeling.

Great points of comparison.

Michael wrote:
..and even L' Eclisse!

Really? How so?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 5:51 pm 
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backstreetsbackalright wrote:
Michael wrote:
..and even L' Eclisse!

Really? How so?

L' Eclisse has an almost apocalyptical sci-fi ending that leaves everyone scratching his scalp. Pulse left me feeling the same way... how the world suddenly turns bleak and empty.. with no clear explanation. Both films explore the same theme - the loneliness/alienation in the fast-changing world where any hope of human connection is zero.


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