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Kurosawa & Mifune retrospective... in Dallas now!

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Kurosawa & Mifune retrospective... in Dallas now!

Old 04-12-03, 10:54 AM
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Kurosawa & Mifune retrospective... in Dallas now!

Yay! Finally, the Kurosawa/Mifune retrospective has hit Dallas! I've been waiting since last summer, and had feared it just wasn't coming to town. But here it is, at The Magnolia Theater.

This weekend, and through the 17th, are...

Drunken Angel
I live in Fear
and... [drumroll please] Seven Samurai


Awesome. I'm out the door right now to catch 'em.
Old 04-12-03, 02:32 PM
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Do you know if it will be coming to austin by any chance?
Old 04-13-03, 12:36 AM
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Sorry Souljah, it looks like the only other Texas city participating right now is Houston, but keep checking the Cowboy Pictures website as they say more cities will be added. Seriously, keep your eyes peeled. I gave up any hope that it would come here, and here it is. Maybe you could email Cowboy Pics and ask 'em if Austin is in the works.
[email protected]

By the way, I just got back and...

Drunken Angel was fine, but it seemed to be pretty repetitious with themes. It was their first film together, and while it's a good story, there's just a few ideas that I guess Kurosawa felt he needed to drill into the viewer. But beside that, as I said, it's a good, interesting story with good stylized and near noir photography. The final shot is striking in it's composition.

I thought I live In Fear was a much better constructed story. Where if Drunken Angel seemed to go in circles at times, I Live In Fear had a definite progression of plot and character development that culminated in a solid finale and denoument. Sometimes it goes over the top a bit, and I could imagine less patient, or empathetic, viewers thinking of it as melodramatic; but then it's Kurosawa and Mifune, and what is that combination without at least a little kabuki? Anyway, it was a great film, with excellent photography - a real showcase of composition and contrast.

Seven Samurai was really freakin' huge, because I ran late getting back to the theater (there were a few hours between I Live In Fear and 7 Sam) and had to sit in the second row. Sheesh my neck and back are killin' me, but it was kinda cool seeing it that big, and even at that angle - although I'm sure I would be pissed had it been my first time to see it. Incredible movie. Damn thing is near 3 hours and it just all fits so perfectly you don't even notice it... unless you're wrenching your neck and back at odd angles for that length of time - then you damn sure do notice it.

This was my first time to ever see Drunken Angel or I Live In Fear, and as Paff said, it's really a thrill to see them first on the big screen. I am so stoked Cowboy Films is doing this! Next week they have three that I've already seen, but they're three great ones. They include two of my previously mentioned favorites, Stray Dog and Throne of Blood, as well as The Hidden Fortress. Looks like I'll be spending my Saturday at the Mag again next week.
Old 04-14-03, 04:16 PM
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Bump.
Old 04-14-03, 04:55 PM
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Mutley, how'd you like the new subtitles for 7Samurai? I thought they were excellent.
Old 04-14-03, 07:01 PM
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I felt the hard swears were pretty out of place at first. I mean, did they really say f**k and sh*t back in 17th century Japan? Maybe they said the cultural and historical equivelant, and an argument could be presented both for using the ancient words for integrity, or using modern words to better convey the meaning to the masses. Whatever you prefer, I don't think Kurosawa meant for f**k and sh*t to be used, but I could be wrong. I'd like to see what the original Japanese language in the film literally translates to, as Kurosawa filmed it.

One final thought on the swears; should this film be relegated to an adult audience due to the decision to use harsh swears for the subs? I don't think Seven Samurai is solely for film snobs and adults. I unfortunately have a vision of a church lady freaking out and crusading against Blockbuster and Criterion when she rents Seven Samurai for her 12 year old - who has recently read some Usagi comic books and taken an interest to samurai culture - and while walking to the den to read the latest Insights notices that little Johnny is being corrupted by such a terrible movie. Church lady proceeds to raise hell and Blockbuster refuses to carry Seven Samurai and the bitch sues Criterion out of existance for selling the movie as Unrated.

Now, I know that's an extreme vision, and it more than likely won't come to that end, but I do think there will be some upset parents... it's bound to happen. Now, one may say "who cares what church ladys think?" but the point is that little Johnny might get deprived of watching one of the greatest movies ever filmed by having it snapped off mid-frame, and forever have a guilty conscience for having watched such trash.

Um, okay, I think I've gone on enough about that. To sum up my general feelings, finally , if Kurosawa meant for it to say f**k and sh*t, so be it, but if it was Cowboy Pictures' (or whoever was in charge of the subs) decision to take creative license with Kurosawa's language in order to modernize the film and give it some extra edge, I think it wasn't the best choice.

Aside from that, I felt the subs told the story well, and I didn't notice any errors in linguistics. There was a good flow.
Old 04-15-03, 09:46 AM
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Here in DC, the AFI started to show these films - "Ikiru" for starters, with the word that the rest of the films would follow in the Spring.... I'm waiting...
Old 04-15-03, 10:24 AM
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Mutley Hyde-

Jesus, I'm sorry I asked When I asked I didn't mean the profanity anyway. I just meant the overall more cohesive flow of the words.

But since you bring up profanity, that Jeck guy on the Criterion dvd commentary discusses profanity in the film. I believe he says that in the Japanese language there is really just one profanity that is roughly equivilant to "bitch" and that it is a "catch all" used in different ways to mean different things. Listen to it again, I don't remember all the detail.
Old 04-15-03, 06:59 PM
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Ahhh... you know, I've never sat through the whole Criterion commentary yet - and that was the first dvd I ever bought even.

And don't be sorry, I'm glad you asked! It gave me a chance to vocalize some rumblings that had been stuck in the morass of my subconscious.
Old 04-15-03, 08:00 PM
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I really hope that this comes to my neck of the woods, but somehow I doubt it. I would love to see Seven Samurai on the big screen (that is if my butt could survive 3 1/2 hours in a theatre seat).

As far as the swearing, I've always found it to be anachronistic seeing it in the subtitles of a samurai film. Even today, there are very few curse words in Japanese. The language has no equivalent at all for "f**k", and the equivalent for "s**t" would be "kuso" (but its not really considered vulgar. You can even hear that word on kids TV shows sometimes). The only really bad word in the Japanese language is a certain term for the female genitalia (I've never even heard it used in a movie).

Last edited by cultshock; 04-16-03 at 07:38 PM.
Old 04-16-03, 10:35 AM
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cultshock-

I've always wondered this, and you sound like the person to help me: In Seven Samurai are the characters speaking contemporary modern Japanese (circa 1955) or are they speaking an old fashioned way? I liken it to how people speak in an American film in a contemporary setting (Jerry Maguire for example) vs. a period American film (Age of Inocence). Are the Japanese characters speaking the Japanese equivelent of Olde English?

What about in other period Kurosawa films?
Old 04-16-03, 07:37 PM
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Originally posted by Pants
cultshock-

I've always wondered this, and you sound like the person to help me: In Seven Samurai are the characters speaking contemporary modern Japanese (circa 1955) or are they speaking an old fashioned way? I liken it to how people speak in an American film in a contemporary setting (Jerry Maguire for example) vs. a period American film (Age of Inocence). Are the Japanese characters speaking the Japanese equivelent of Olde English?

What about in other period Kurosawa films?
Thats a good question that I'm wondering about myself. First of all, I don't think that Japanese has changed to the extent that English has over the years. Of course, new slang expressions develop all the time, as do words for things that didn't previously exist, and modern Japanese has a tendency to use alot of foreign "loan words", but I think the basic grammar and vocabulary of Japanese has remained pretty constant (compared to English).

Japanese is also a different language, because there are many different forms used (formal, polite, casual etc) depending on who the speaker is conversing with.

At any rate, I'm far from an expert, as now I have enough problems just understanding what is being said (learning a second language is never easy. ). If I can convince my (Japanese) wife to actually sit down and watch a non-contemporary Kurosawa film with me (not an easy task) I'll ask her if the dialogue sounds "old fashioned" to her.
Old 04-17-03, 10:54 AM
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At any rate, I'm far from an expert, as now I have enough problems just understanding what is being said (learning a second language is never easy. ). If I can convince my (Japanese) wife to actually sit down and watch a non-contemporary Kurosawa film with me (not an easy task) I'll ask her if the dialogue sounds "old fashioned" to her.
Please do. I'd like to know.
Old 04-28-03, 07:41 PM
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Originally posted by Pants
Please do. I'd like to know.
OK, update. I finally remembered to ask my wife about the Japanese spoken in period samurai films. She says that for the most part, the Japanese in such films does sound "old" to her. She couldn't really explain in detail, but the dialogue in such films sounds more formal and polite. She said if someone in Japan spoke in that same way today, it would sound like he was pretending to be in a samurai film.

Anyway, hope this helps. And this further proves that the swearing in the English subs are anachronistic and out of place. I know that I find it unnecessarily jarring anyway.
Old 04-29-03, 11:17 AM
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Funny that you would update today, I was just watching Hidden Fortress last night. Thanks for the info. I can imagine that Kurosawa had his actors speak in a stylized way. Like how Eastwood talks in Good, Bad, and Ugly.

But how does this prove the swearing is anachronistic? Most of the swearing isn't done by Samurai, it's done by Mifune (in the Seven Samurai) and the peasent guys (in Hidden Fortress). It wouldn't be anachronistic for these "low" characters to use profanity.

Also, how'd you find a Japanese wife? Pics?
Old 04-29-03, 07:31 PM
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I just meant that swearing is really not a part of the Japanese language now, so it would have been even less so back then. You are right, the "lower" characters would use rougher language, but there was really no way in Japanese for them to say "f**k" for example. Instead, their "lower breeding" would probably come through in a more abrupt, unpolished form of Japanese. (maybe that's why there isn't much swearing in Japanese. People would likely be more offended if you spoke in a very unpolite form. Its not so much, what you say, but how you say it, in Japanese thats important).

There used to be alot of Japanese tour companies here in the Falls, and they usually hired Japanese girls (because not many here could speak Japanese). Lucky for me. Sorry, but if I posted pics, she'd kill me.
Old 05-09-03, 09:56 PM
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In regards to swearing and new subtitles I just saw Andrei Rublyov for the first time today and I was really shocked when one of the characters utters "MF" (in subtitled form obviousily). Have the video versions in the past including the Criterion DVD include this curse word?

Even the new subtitled print of "Ikiru" has the 'f' word
Old 05-12-03, 11:29 AM
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The Criterion DVD of Andrei Rblyov as well as a 35mm print I saw a few months ago both had the motherf'er subtitle.

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