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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 11:41 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:20 pm
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The Japanese publishers ... just ... don't ... care.

http://www.filmbiz.asia/news/fixing-jap ... ge-problem


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2015 12:48 am 
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Yeah. But it's interesting to contrast their attitude to, say the prevailing attitude in Hong Kong during the DVD boom, where they seemed disregard pressure to do region coding, and where they still included English subtitles on their DVDs even if that hurt the premium they could get from Hollywood studios for remake deals. At that time, in Hong Kong, they just wanted to sell through as many units as they could. The subs weren't usually too great, but international viewers were clamoring to see the films anyway, and it was a compromise those consumers were willing to make.

With the Japanese companies, they aren't interested in selling their discs internationally at all, but you wonder whether that's mostly the result of producers holding out for pie-in-the-sky Hollywood distribution deals, as some of the people in that round table imply, or whether there's just a complacency that makes it so that the domestic market is all they want to aim for.

It seems more and more frustrating to me, because a handful of distributors are sitting on the majority of one of the world's greatest traditions of national cinema, and they're not even really holding it back in their home country, but at the same time, nobody without serious language experience can readily get at it.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2015 2:56 am 

Joined: Mon May 13, 2013 1:38 am
It's interesting that Shochiku chose to release the recent Ozu Blu-rays with English subtitles given these are the titles that are licensed all over the world.
They are new restorations compared to previous BFI and Criterion releases but Criterion rolled out an upgraded Tokyo Story pretty soon after the Japanese release. I was pleasantly surprised they made a point of adding subtitles to these and was hoping they might continue this practice with some films that are not so easy to find in the U.K. or U.S. with English subtitles.
Equally it's disappointing that the new Kore-eda film looks like the first feature of his to not have English subtitles for the Japanese DVD or Blu-ray release,
or rather it's not advertised as having subs.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2015 9:17 am 
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longstone wrote:
Equally it's disappointing that the new Kore-eda film looks like the first feature of his to not have English subtitles for the Japanese DVD or Blu-ray release, or rather it's not advertised as having subs.

As a general rule, if the subs are not advertised for Japanese releases, they are not there. I have always bought the Japanese release of Kore'eda's films as soon as these appeared. But not this time. BTW, his very nice feature-length documentary about the Okinawan singer Cocco also had no subs.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2015 10:27 am 
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To add an interesting case to this discussion, Kadokawa is releasing the 4K restoration of Ran on blu-ray (due February) without English sub.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2015 10:50 am 
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Location: OOP is the only answer
StudioCanal will release this restoration of Ran soon, so I don't think we should be lamenting the lack of English subs on the Kadokawa edition.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2015 8:17 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:11 pm
I don't mean to post information that is contrary to what Michael mentioned above ... I few websites that I've checked don't list subtitles for Kore-eda's Like Father, Like Son. So, if LFLS has subs, maybe the subs are there on the release of his latest film but not being advertised. Hopefully, someone who lives in Japan who has access to the disc will post a report regarding the status of the subs. It's always a treat to see a new Kore-eda film (or a Hiroshi Ishikawa film).


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2015 11:39 pm 
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I'll ask around elsewhere to see if anyone may actually have bought a copy yet.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 4:32 am 

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 2:03 am
Location: LA CA
feihong wrote:
I wonder about that. There are subtitles floating around the internet for all four of these films––much improved subs from what were originally out there.

We did Mandara (masterpiece) and Uta (fabulous, but not quite as great), along with Faint Dream, around 2008, 2009 and shared them with some folks who were teaching Japanese cinema around the world. Not sure I want to know whether the subs the 'pirates' are now using are ours. [We didn't finish Mujo because we found a 'decent' subbed copy of that right after we were starting the project and just gussied it up a bit.]

Anyway, I can't praise these films enough. Jissoji is probably my second favorite Japanese director (almost exclusively for these four films). I'm not holding much hope for a proper English-friendly release of these, but if Arrow can take a chance on the Yoshidas, maybe hoping for these four Jissojis (in the same basic vein, better, but probably not quite so well-known) is not a complete waste of psychic energy!


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 5:34 am 

Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:12 am
Akio Jissoji from Arrow is certainly a possibility though I'd imagine it depends on the sales of the Yoshida set


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2015 6:59 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:11 pm
I somehow missed the news of Setsuko Hara's passing when it came out last month. I only found out about it yesterday. After watching the Shochiku Blu-ray of Late Spring for the third time, I did a little of surfing on the net and "accidentally" found out about it. I hope this new Blu-ray of Late Spring sells well so that it'll encourage Shochiku to restore Early Summer as well. Now that I've found out that she's no longer with us in this world, it makes this Late Spring Blu-ray release a little more special.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 2:03 pm 

Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2007 2:33 am
andyli wrote:
And according to its leaflet The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums will also carry English subtitle.
Out today, apparently. The entry for it at amazon.jp confirms that it has English subs.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 4:19 am 
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Is there a reliable source for Japanese films with English subs? I'm looking for a copy of Hideo Oba's 'Nagasaki No Kane' (1950), but it must have English subtitles. Copies floating around on Amazon and elsewhere aren't subtitled.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 10:33 am 
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Mever run across a subbed Bells of Nagasaki. Interesting film, even unsubbed -- as one can read up on the protagonist's life (which helps).


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 9:02 pm 
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Burst City has arrived on blu ray in Japan. The seemingly all-region Japanese blu ray features an LPCM stereo track and no English subtitles. But the image itself seems not to be terribly manipulated. Plenty of grain, is evident, as are a lot of pops and scratches. The depth of field runs the gamut, as the film cuts back and forth between 16mm and 35mm footage constantly. The color separation is significantly better than on the Diskotek DVD. Now it's possible to see how many of the shots are simply out of focus, or underexposed, or shot on 16mm. Raptures of detail are evident in the shots––things like the fire reflected in Yoshitsune's eye are really clear. The movie's unique recklessness comes off very beautifully on the blu ray.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2016 5:35 pm 
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Michael Kerpan wrote:
Mever run across a subbed Bells of Nagasaki. Interesting film, even unsubbed -- as one can read up on the protagonist's life (which helps).


Cheers. Yes, I suspect it's not available unfortunately.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2016 11:27 pm 
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There's now a Korean (English-subtitled) DVD of Hiroshi Ishikawa's 2013 "Petal Dance". This is one of those films in which virtually nothing happens, yet is really quite delightful to watch. Two friends (went to college together, and graduated 6 years previously) learn that another college friend (last seen 6 years previously) may have tried to commit suicide -- and decide to visit her. Because the would-be driver has just injured one of her hands, a younger new acquaintance (who has just unexpectedly lost her job) offers to drive. The three travel north and meet the friend -- and then spend the following day together (mostly at the snowy and cold sea shore). Then they go home. Part of what makes this work is the four excellent young actresses (including major stars Aoi Miyazaki and Sakura Ando). The rest is due to the gentle, patient mood established. The DVD looks pretty decent, byut has only a Korean menu (and no extras). Still, having this available in subbed form at all is a gift -- in this time of mostly-never-subbed Japanese cinema.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 2:13 am 

Joined: Mon May 13, 2013 1:38 am
I stumbled across that Korean DVD of Petal Dance on line while looking for a subbed DVD of 100 Yen Love which doesn't seem to exist yet ,
at the same time I discovered the Toei Video DVD of 0.5 mm had English subtitles and a Hong Kong version of Homeland existed with English subs.
All three films featured Sakura Ando and I enjoyed them all, still haven't seen 100 Yen Love though.
Petal dance really was an enjoyable and atmospheric watch in which, as Michael says, nothing much happens.
0.5mm written and directed by Momoko Ando ( sister of Sakura) is long at 196 minutes, arguably too long but I enjoyed it as a sort of road movie with pensioners and a little black comedy , Homeland is directed by Nao Kubota ( who I know nothing about ) and is set in Fukushima post disaster and is maybe the weakest of the three but I found it enjoyable because of the subjects being explored.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 3:51 am 

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 2:03 am
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Michael Kerpan wrote:
The DVD looks pretty decent, but has only a Korean menu (and no extras). Still, having this available in subbed form at all is a gift -- in this time of mostly-never-subbed Japanese cinema.

The Japanese blu-ray has English subs. Looks great.

The film is a delight. From the Fandor review:

"Of course, what makes Petal Dance so memorable is not this wafer thin plot – and, thankfully, Ishikawa’s not one to go in for melodramatic third-act revelations – but the washed-out, blue-gray, overcast sky … the aimless, floating camera … the underpass, the gliderport, the baseball field in the middle of nowhere … the silence and the playful glances between a young woman and her still friendly ex … the wintry condensation running down a window pane … the wish that the ones you’ve loved, wherever they are, “are alive - and smiling”. Like the ether spilled on a stone gray counter, the film doesn’t so much end as evaporate off the screen."


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 1:46 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:11 pm
Glad to see Petal Dance getting some praises here. It's one of those films that can be revisited from time to time. I've seen it four times. With the availability of the Korean DVD at a more affordable price, hopefully more people will get to see it. The price of the Japanese Blu-ray version goes down from time to time at Amazon JP.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:20 am 
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I understand Edition Filmmuseum has had plans to release What Made Her Do It? (Suzuki Shigeyoshi, 1930) but I noticed this Japanese edition from Kinokuniya. I understand it has English subtitles but can someone confirm is this true? Also, how does the picture quality look like?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 3:19 am 
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It does include English subtitles--although they sort of become hit-and-miss both in terms of quality and content towards the end of the film.
This was considered a lost film for decades until a mostly complete copy was found in Gosfilmofund and released by Kinokuniya. That said, there are explanatory titles for the missing parts but given the sheer rarity of this film, it is a minor quibble--it looks fine.

I was curious to see what Filmmuseum would do with their release, but I'm afraid there is no indication that they ever will release it, so I would advise buying the Kinokuniya disc before it is OOP.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:19 am 
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Hi htdm and thank you very much for your reply. :)

Edition Filmmuseum announced their edition in 2009 or 2010 - a lot of waiting since then. I'm beginning to lose hope.

So if the only English-friendly alternative is going to be the Japanese disc and goes OOP, then seeing this subtitled is going to be in a festival screening at the most. I'm going to order the Kinokuniya DVD, don't want to miss out on this.

If Edition Filmmuseum ever decides to release their version then I'll get that one as well.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:40 am 

Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2008 3:31 am
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I guess a Filmmuseum edition of What Made Her Do It? would be based around the Arte broadcast version of 2002. In case anyone wants to compare with the Japanese release (which I haven't seen), Arte uses a 1998 restoration (Japanese intertitles plus German subs, on my recording) running 84 minutes, with a new score by Gunter A. Buchwald. The primary missing footage seems to be at the start and - frustratingly - end of the film, each of these sections being covered by three or four minutes of the explanatory intertitles mentioned above.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 2:27 pm 
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Received the Japanese disc of What Made Her Do It? just now and English subs are there. The running time is 78 minutes (so PAL-version would be 74 minutes, correct?).

Nice booklet is included (in Japanese) and extras department offer photo galleries and a 35-minute fragment of a surviving film which I'm unable to identify. Anyone know the name of the title in question?


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