Edges are clean and well defined, and film grain is more discernable and natural. The blend of physical reality the legendary Kurosawan attention to the smallest details of set and ambience with the presentational aspects of traditional Japanese dramaturgy creates a rich and startling tapestry from Shakespeare's familiar story. To the best of my knowledge, no English-friendly Region B or Region C releases of Kagemusha are currently available. This double pack is similarly available from , , as well as from as an import. It was the closest Kurosawa came to a horror film, Jeck says.
While the audio is not quite as warm as it perhaps still could be, the visuals are excellent, and the new transfer is far ahead any other release out there. Jeck talks about every aspect of the film, from its production history to it's set design and the members of the cast and crew. Chartrand is a features writer at Ottawa Life Magazine www. Often referred to as the most Western of the Japanese directors, Kurosawa often found his inspiration in Western writers. So climaxes Akira Kurosawa's telling of MacBeth.
The endless scenes of the frightened, whinnying horses, dashing through the impenetrable fog, reined and turned again and again by the lost, frightened and confused Mifune and Chiaki. The witch lives in a hut, behind which lie the remains of dead samurai warriors. It is shrouded in Japanese feudalism, painted against a bleak, foggy landscape, and devoid of its minor characters. Amplifying the tale's horror elements, Kurosawa's camerawork is astonishing as it makes the best use of Yoshirô Muraki's magnificently simple yet multifaceted production design. To my understanding the Richie one is probably closer to older translations, while the Hoaglund one is a completely new translation. I cannot say, since I have never seen it. But I have seen this film, and it occupies an esteemed place in my video collection.
First, regarding the movie itself, the acting, costumes, action sequences and cinematography are all top notch. On a down note for Criterion; their image appears slightly cropped on the left edge. Some of the improvements are subtle but overall the image is substantially better. Blood, crows, ambition, arrows, fear, horror, fog, madness, death. In all of Kurosawa's films, this is the director at his darkest and most challenging, a masterfully engrossing piece of film art.
Noh provided inspiration for Mifune's visual presence: Kuroswa showed Mifune a Noh mask and asked him to become that. Noh actors are deceptively athletic, the master says, even though their movements can be difficult to discern. To the best of my knowledge, no English-friendly Region B or Region C releases of Rashomon are currently available. Throne of Blood is a study of a warlord played by Toshiro Mifune led by fate in form of a prophesy, straight to his doom. It was very pleasing to see this again in the higher resolution and uncompressed audio. As a hardened warrior who rises savagely to power, Toshiro Mifune gives a remarkable, animalistic performance, as does Isuzu Yamada as his ruthless wife. Mifune stumbles this way and that, an impossible number of arrows perforating him and the wall near him.
I watched it with the new one and while some sentences seemed a little strange, there are no difficulties understanding what is going on. Then there's this beat, this elongated pause. The acting and the stage sets are terrific, and the film can easily be watched again. Throne of Blood fuses classical Western tragedy with formal elements taken from Noh theater to create an unforgettable cinematic experience. Never making eye contact, the creature trumpets the fortunes of Washizu Toshirô Mifune and Miki Minoru Chiaki with haunting assurance.
It is expected to be excellent. Especially for a movie 47 years old. Unfortunately, the knowledge of such power brings out the worst in General Washizu and his wife Asaji Isuzu Yamada , who resort to murder and deceit to ensure that his predicted future becomes a reality. One thing I enjoyed was the voices of the spirits and how they sounded otherworldly. The accompanying Booklet features a reprinted essay by film historian Stephen Prince. This is what great film does: works on many levels, and offers us an intimate visual experience of the conceptual.
The visual compositions have an eerie precision, an expressionism not generally seen outside of the old German masters of the 20's. The first feature is the option of two different subtitle translations, one by Linda Hoaglund and another by Donald Richie. While they are not exact representations they should offer a general idea of overall video quality. Most fans of Akira Kurosawa, when asked to pick a favorite of his films, would probably choose , , , or and rightly so, of course. Note that Sanjuro is also available in a single box set together with Yojimbo, which Criterion re-released simultaneously. Criterion also lists a new subtitle translation and a booklet with an essay by Catherine Russell. Kurosawa presented parts of his murderous tale as Noh theater, with Mifune and Yamada often made up in imitation of traditional masks.