BFI: 32 Ozu Films

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reno dakota
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Re: BFI: 32 Ozu Films

#651 Post by reno dakota » Sun Jul 29, 2012 3:17 pm

MichaelB wrote:Tokyo Chorus
An Inn in Tokyo
A Story of Floating Weeds
Record of a Tenant Gentleman
The Munekata Sisters
The Flavor of Green Tea Over Rice
With Passing Fancy rounding out the list?

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Re: BFI: 32 Ozu Films

#652 Post by Jack Phillips » Sun Jul 29, 2012 3:23 pm

The films not covered by BFI's deal with Shochiku would be Floating Weeds (Daiei), The Munekata Sisters and The End of Summer (both Toho). This does not mean that the BFI could not have made separate deals for those films, but in the case of Floating Weeds, they didn't. Would the BFI license The Munekata Sisters from Toho but not The End of Summer?

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Re: BFI: 32 Ozu Films

#653 Post by Ozu Teapot » Sun Jul 29, 2012 3:39 pm

MichaelB wrote:Tokyo Chorus
An Inn in Tokyo
A Story of Floating Weeds
Record of a Tenant Gentleman
The Munekata Sisters
The Flavor of Green Tea Over Rice
I just hope some of these are on Blu-ray!

These BFI Ozus started off so well with the dual-format releases but all the recent ones have been DVD only. I know in some cases the BFI have to take into consideration whether the quality of the film warrants a Blu release, hence those early "Student Comedies" being DVD, but I worry that perhaps poor sales have prompted them to curb their original plans and go down the route of DVD only as it's more financially viable.

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Re: BFI: 32 Ozu Films

#654 Post by MichaelB » Sun Jul 29, 2012 3:56 pm

Les Yeux Sans Visage wrote:These BFI Ozus started off so well with the dual-format releases but all the recent ones have been DVD only. I know in some cases the BFI have to take into consideration whether the quality of the film warrants a Blu release, hence those early "Student Comedies" being DVD, but I worry that perhaps poor sales have prompted them to curb their original plans and go down the route of DVD only as it's more financially viable.
I'm not aware of a single instance of the BFI failing to use an HD master where one was available for the Ozu project - but I can think of only one case of them creating one themselves, and I doubt any of the remaining titles have anywhere close to the commercial clout of Good Morning.

Basically, if neither Shochiku nor Criterion have an HD master, the film will unavoidably be presented on DVD - so are any of these remaining titles known to be available in HD?

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Re: BFI: 32 Ozu Films

#655 Post by Calvin » Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:12 pm

Criterion credit A Story of Floating Weeds as being from a high-definition transfer

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Re: BFI: 32 Ozu Films

#656 Post by FilmFanSea » Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:22 pm

Record of a Tenement Gentleman is among my very favorite of Ozu's films, so I hope its release is imminent. A wonderfully humane and touching film.

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Re: BFI: 32 Ozu Films

#657 Post by Michael Kerpan » Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:38 pm

Nagaya shinshiroku is indeed a wonderful film -- I wonder if anyone will ever be able to give it a proper English title, instead of the current accidental mis-translation. (Judging by IMDB, it looks like all the various international titles are translations of the English mis-translated title -- and not translations of the actual Japanese title).

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Re: BFI: 32 Ozu Films

#658 Post by HerrSchreck » Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:01 pm

I doubt that will ever happen, since it would more likely to be a source of confusion rather than clarification. Although every here and there it does happen-- The Bicylcle Thief to Bicycle Thieves for example . . . but that's for one of the most revered films ever made which topped Best Of lists for decades.

Japanese films are often titled in ways that have less to do with literal translations of their Japanese titles, but have a certain verve and crackle and capture the attention succinctly. Even the goofy kaiju films:
Godzilla vs The Sea Monster: Gojira, Ebirâ, Mosura: Nankai no daiketto
Godzilla vs Gigan: Chikyû kogeki meirei: Gojira tai Gaigan
etc

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Re: BFI: 32 Ozu Films

#659 Post by movielocke » Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:33 pm

what's the title better translate to?

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Re: BFI: 32 Ozu Films

#660 Post by Gregory » Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:40 pm

A Who's Who of the Tenements (Bordwell)

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Re: BFI: 32 Ozu Films

#661 Post by swo17 » Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:43 pm

The main characters of the film are an old lady and a little boy. Where did anyone get "gentleman" from that?

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Re: BFI: 32 Ozu Films

#662 Post by Michael Kerpan » Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:36 pm

swo17 wrote:The main characters of the film are an old lady and a little boy. Where did anyone get "gentleman" from that?
Donald Richie came up with the title. He acknowledges that he wasn't yet totally familiar with looking things up in kanji dictionaries when he tackled this title -- he says he treated this as "nagaya shinshi roku" rather than "nagaya shinshiroku".

"Nagaya" = "tenement house / row house".

"Shinshi" - "gentleman".

"Roku" = "record, transcript".

On the other hand, "shinshiroku" = "who's who / directory".

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Re: BFI: 32 Ozu Films

#663 Post by swo17 » Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:44 am

I kind of like the ring of The Tenement Directory. Or does that sound too much like a Jason Bourne movie?

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Re: BFI: 32 Ozu Films

#664 Post by knives » Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:56 am

Sounds more like a MacGuffin. Either way expect next summer for Matt Damon to look for...The Tenement Directory [really poorly choosen guitar riff].

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Re: BFI: 32 Ozu Films

#665 Post by whaleallright » Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:00 am

I had no idea that the English title was not an "imperfect translation" but an outright mistranslation. The film is sufficiently obscure that I don't think it would do any harm to simply alter the title to A Tenement Directory--a title that has a pleasing cadence to it.

Ozu titles suffer from mistranslations so often that it's a wonder that the title of his best-known film is actually correctly translated into English.

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Re: BFI: 32 Ozu Films

#666 Post by MichaelB » Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:23 am

HerrSchreck wrote:I doubt that will ever happen, since it would more likely to be a source of confusion rather than clarification. Although every here and there it does happen-- The Bicylcle Thief to Bicycle Thieves for example . . . but that's for one of the most revered films ever made which topped Best Of lists for decades.
...and which was also widely known as Bicycle Thieves in other English-speaking countries from the year of its first release, so it was a relatively painless change to make. Mind you, back in the 1990s I overheard an American visitor to the BFI bookshop asking if Bicycle Thieves was a sequel to The Bicycle Thief...

The Ozu translation issue is something that the producer of this series is well aware of - An Autumn Afternoon being another good example where the English title doesn't bear any resemblance to the Japanese. But she thought the most sensible course of action was to retain the familiar English title while making it very clear very early on in the booklet how the Japanese title should be correctly rendered in English - that way, she avoided confusing potential purchasers while still maintaining sufficient scholarly rigour.

Record of a Tenement Gentleman isn't as well known in the UK as An Autumn Afternoon, but it did get a theatrical release under that title in the early 1990s, so I expect it'll be retained.

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Re: BFI: 32 Ozu Films

#667 Post by bigP » Sun Oct 28, 2012 2:52 pm

March 18th release date for The Gangster Films set

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Re: BFI: 32 Ozu Films

#668 Post by antnield » Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:32 pm

Image

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Re: BFI: 32 Ozu Films

#669 Post by reaky » Sat Nov 17, 2012 6:28 am

Has there been any confirmation of whether or not the BFI has the rights to The End Of Summer? MoC are releasing Floating Weeds; might the rights to the later film be with them?

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Re: BFI: 32 Ozu Films

#670 Post by MichaelB » Sat Nov 17, 2012 6:36 am

You'll have to ask them!

Incidentally, I've got my hands on a checkdisc of Floating Weeds, and if it wasn't for the MoC menus you'd assume that it was part of the BFI collection: it looks pretty much exactly as I was expecting. Crucially, the colours are much closer to the Artificial Eye grading than to the more contentious Criterion version (see grabs here), so would appear to be much more in line with Ozu's typical approach to Afgacolor.

None of this came as a surprise, since James White supervised a fair number of the BFI's Ozu releases and now freelances for MoC - so he's more than familiar with the relevant issues. Especially since he fixed the colour on Good Morning, and seems to have had similar views regarding Floating Weeds.

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Re: BFI: 32 Ozu Films

#671 Post by reaky » Sat Nov 17, 2012 6:40 am

I'm really looking forward to the MoC, though I'm holding on to my Criterion for A Story of Floating Weeds and the two Donald Richie commentaries.

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Re: BFI: 32 Ozu Films

#672 Post by reaky » Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:39 pm

MichaelB wrote:You'll have to ask them!
So I did, and have been informed "The End of Summer is not one of the titles we have under license."

Fingers crossed for another MoC.

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Re: BFI: 32 Ozu Films

#673 Post by manicsounds » Sat Nov 24, 2012 10:30 am

reaky wrote:I'm really looking forward to the MoC, though I'm holding on to my Criterion for A Story of Floating Weeds and the two Donald Richie commentaries.
You mean 1 commentary. He only did the commentary for the silent film.

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Re: BFI: 32 Ozu Films

#674 Post by reaky » Sat Nov 24, 2012 10:56 am

My mistake - Roger Ebert did the (excellent) commentary on the 1959 film. Coincidentally, I received my MoC Floating Weeds dual-format this morning.

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Re: BFI: 32 Ozu Films

#675 Post by AK » Sun Nov 25, 2012 5:09 am

reaky wrote:
MichaelB wrote:You'll have to ask them!
So I did, and have been informed "The End of Summer is not one of the titles we have under license."

Fingers crossed for another MoC.
I would be very shocked had some other distributor sneaked in and snatched that instead of MoC. But I'll keep my fingers crossed as well.

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