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A retrospective of Kazuo Miyagawa’s work as cinematographer on the Criterion Channel

“The golden age of Japanese cinema would not have been the same without visionary cinematographer Kazuo Miyagawa, as the Criterion Channel’s now-streaming retrospective attests. Miyagawa, who over the course of his fifty-year career shot more than 130 films, brought his painterly eye to many of his country’s halcyon works of the 1950s, helping filmmakers such as Akira Kurosawa, Kenji Mizoguchi, Yasujiro Ozu, and Kon Ichikawa express their respective sensibilities on-screen.

One of Miyagawa’s biggest fans—John Bailey, the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and an acclaimed cinematographer in his own right—pays tribute to the astonishing range and adaptability of his talent. Here, Bailey compares the “revolutionary” photography of Kurosawa’s kinetic, high-contrast Rashomon with Miyagawa’s more muted and dreamlike approach to Mizoguchi’s Ugetsu, nodding finally to some of the Ichikawa films that took the cinematographer into more expressionist and technologically sophisticated territory.
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

Machiko Kyo, Japanese Actress, Dies at 95

  • Variety
Machiko Kyo, an actress who starred in some of the most internationally acclaimed Japanese films of the postwar era, died in Tokyo on Sunday at age 95, her former studio Toho announced Tuesday. The cause of death was heart failure.

Born in Osaka in 1924 as Motoko Yano, she joined the Osaka Shochiku Girls Opera in 1936 and, using the stage name Machiko Kyo, the Daiei studio in 1949. Though viewed by studio boss Masaichi Nagata as a Japanese answer to the voluptuous Hollywood sirens of the era, she first came to attention of the world as the sexually assaulted wife of a murdered samurai in Akira Kurosawa’s “Rashomon” (1950). The winner of the Golden Lion at Venice, the film brought not only Kyo and Kurosawa but also Japanese cinema to the attention of the West.

Kyo followed up with starring roles in Kenji Mizoguchi’s “Ugetsu” (1953) and Teinosuke Kinugasa’s “Gate of Hell
See full article at Variety »

Machiko Kyo, Star of Akira Kurosawa's 'Rashomon,' Dies at 95

Machiko Kyo, Star of Akira Kurosawa's 'Rashomon,' Dies at 95
Machiko Kyo, star of films by many of Japan's legendary directors, including Akira Kurosawa, Teinosuke Kinugasa, Kenji Mizoguchi, Kon Ichikawa and Yasujiro Ozu, died Sunday of heart failure at a Tokyo hospital, according to studio Toho. She was 95.

Born Motoko Yano in Osaka in 1924, Kyo began her career as a dancer and showgirl at the now defunct Daiei Co. in 1949, where her charms caught the eye of its president and producer Masaichi Nagata, who groomed her for stardom.

Nagata, with whom she became romantically involved, produced Kurosawa's Rashomon (1950), in which Kyo starred as the "...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s ‘Earth’ Picked up by Free Stone

  • Variety
Indie sales house, Free Stone Productions has picked up sales rights on “To The Ends Of The Earth,” the new film by Japanese directing icon Kiyoshi Kurosawa.

Starring Atsuko Maeda, Ryo Kase, and Shota Sometani, the film is a rare example of a Japanese-Uzbekistan co-production. Production is by Eiko Mizuno-Gray and Jason Gray of Tokyo-based Loaded Films and Toshikazu Nishigaya of Tokyo Theatres. Uzbekistan’s national cinema agency Uzbekkino serves as co-producer, with backing from the Ministry of Tourism, through the State Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan for Tourism Development.

The story involves the host of a popular travel show who is in fact insular and shy on a trip to Central Asia, where her assignment calls for the filming of a mythical fish. As things go wrong, and team members return to Tokyo, she discovers a new freedom in the mountains.

“The once-great Timurid Empire has fascinated me for decades.
See full article at Variety »

Tributes pour in for 'inspirational' John Singleton

Tributes pour in for 'inspirational' John Singleton
Filmmaker remains youngest person ever to be nominated for directing Oscar.

The entertainment world has been paying tribute to John Singleton, the pioneering director who died in Los Angeles on Monday aged 51 following a stroke.

Several of those who took to Twitter to express their condolences used the word “inspirational”, indicating the depth of feeling and the debt of gratitude many in film felt towards the late filmmaker.

Singleton was in his early 20s when he found widespread fame with Boyz N The Hood. He became the first African American to earn a best directing Oscar nomination for the film
See full article at ScreenDaily »

John Singleton Remembered as a ‘Genius': ‘Thank You for Your Vision’

John Singleton Remembered as a ‘Genius': ‘Thank You for Your Vision’
John Singleton was remembered across the film, TV, music, media and sports communities on Monday, with admirers ranging from Regina King, Chance the Rapper, Magic Johnson and more singing the praises of the deceased “Boyz N the Hood” filmmaker.

“A Genius,” Janelle Monae said Monday in reaction to news of the director’s passing at age 51. “Thank you for capturing Us like no other.”

Singleton died Monday at 51 after suffering a stroke 13 days earlier.

Morris Chestnut, one of the stars who Singleton discovered for his debut film “Boyz N the Hood,” said in an Instagram post that Singleton gave him “a chance” and helped scores of black individuals see themselves better.

Also Read: John Singleton, Director of 'Boyz N the Hood,' Dies at 51

“People from all over the world literally tell me how they’re affected by ‘Boyz N the Hood.’ The magnitude and world-wide impact that his
See full article at The Wrap »

‘Apocalypse Now’ Director Francis Ford Coppola On Marlon Brando, ‘Damn Yankees’ And Managing Chaos – Tribeca

‘Apocalypse Now’ Director Francis Ford Coppola On Marlon Brando, ‘Damn Yankees’ And Managing Chaos – Tribeca
In a conversation at the Tribeca Film Festival with Steven Soderbergh, who said he saw Apocalypse Now 17 times as a teenager in Baton Rouge, La, Francis Ford Coppola reminisced about working with Marlon Brando and managing though chaos.

“The fuse had been blown on the circuit,” Coppola said of the 1979 film, whose 40th anniversary “Final Cut” is being celebrated at Tribeca.

“In filmmaking as in life, bad things are going to happen,” Coppola told Soderbergh during the conversation at the Beacon Theatre, alluding to the biblical series of events that hit the production, including a typhoon and Martin Sheen’s heart attack. “The good news is that there is no hell. But the quasi-good news is, this is heaven.”

Soderbergh noted the extensive record of the film,
See full article at Deadline »

Kagemusha

Akira Kurosawa’s lavish period drama was finally able to complete production after George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola convinced 20th Century Fox to fund the remainder of the film when Toho could not. The director’s epic went on to be one of his most successful films, bringing in nearly $25 million at the box office and winning several awards including the Palme d’Or at Cannes.

The post Kagemusha appeared first on Trailers From Hell.
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

‘The Mandalorian’: 5 Revelations From ‘Star Wars’ First Live-Action TV Show’s Celebration Panel

‘The Mandalorian’: 5 Revelations From ‘Star Wars’ First Live-Action TV Show’s Celebration Panel
Star Wars Celebration kicked off its final day in Chicago with one of the event’s most-anticipated panels: a first look at Jon Favreau’s upcoming Disney+ series “The Mandalorian.” As with just about every offering in the Star Wars galaxy, most fans hit the panel knowing next to nothing about the ultra-secret live-action series. And while Favreau and company provided some key details, some biggies still remain.

Favreau, Filoni, Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy, Pascal, Carano, and Weathers offered some major reveals about plot, character, and tone, and even shared some incredibly well-received first looks with the crowd assembled at Wintrust Arena (more on that here). Here’s what we learned.

1. It’s Set After the Events of “The Return of the Jedi”

One bit of information that leaked out before the panel: the series’ setting, long rumored to pick up between the events of “The Return of the Jedi” and “The Force Awakens.
See full article at Indiewire »

How Seven Samurai created the blueprint for this year’s biggest film Avengers: Endgame

Tom Jolliffe takes a look back at Seven Samurai and its influence on modern action cinema, including the film event of the year, Avengers: Endgame

When everyone in the world within 50 miles of a cinema runs off to see Avengers: Endgame (myself included), I’d like you to bare something in mind; That is a key piece of cinema history. A film that is now 65 years old but is still gripping, epic, exciting, funny and…well, badass. That film is Seven Samurai. Avengers: Endgame owes a large debt to this Akira Kurosawa’s masterful work. As does every big action epic of the last 60 years.

I re-watched Seven Samurai again a few days ago. It’s long. Even if you were gauging it by Marvel standards, it’s hella long. Endgame will chime in at 3 hours, but Seven Samurai has an extra half hour on top of that. So this
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

How Mike Leigh Shot the Complex, Poetic, Brutal ‘Peterloo’ Massacre

How Mike Leigh Shot the Complex, Poetic, Brutal ‘Peterloo’ Massacre
The climactic massacre from “Peterloo” may well be the crowning achievement of the nearly three-decade collaboration between director Mike Leigh and cinematographer Dick Pope. Commemorating the 200th anniversary of the brutal government crackdown of the political rally in Manchester’s St. Peter’s Field, the event marked the first action sequence for Leigh and Pope, thrusting them into new cinematic territory.

The Peterloo Massacre was a massive undertaking in terms of scale and managing a cast of hundreds. The filmmakers reenacted the infamous tragedy, in which the cavalry charged a crowd of more than 60,000 gathered to demand increased parliamentary representation after the English economy was ravaged following the Napoleonic Wars. Hundreds were injured and 15 people were killed. But despite its complexity, the massacre did not deviate from Leigh’s method of shooting unscripted and workshopping the staging and performances.

“It was less a technical challenge and more a matter of
See full article at Indiewire »

10 Films You Must Watch On The New Criterion Channel

Ej Moreno on the 10 must-see films on The Criterion Channel…

Cinephiles and film school rejects felt crushed when WarnerMedia’s Filmstruck, a streaming service filled with classic and contemporary cinema, shut down late last year. Filmstruck included hundreds and hundreds of the greatest films ever created and allowed new and old fans to enjoy them at their leisure. It didn’t take long for someone to recognize the mistake and thankfully, that brings us to today.

Yes, The Criterion Collection picked up the pieces and decided to join the likes of Netflix, Hulu, DC, Disney, and even Apple in the world of streaming services. The Criterion Channel boasts about having an expansive catalog of over 1000 films, so navigating around that is a daunting task for even the most diehard film fan.

Use the ten following movies as a launchpad for some of the most exciting and iconic films you’ll find on The Criterion Channel.
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Shah Rukh Khan’s ‘Zero,’ Chinese Propaganda Titles Set as Beijing Festival Highlights

  • Variety
Shah Rukh Khan’s ‘Zero,’ Chinese Propaganda Titles Set as Beijing Festival Highlights
Shah Rukh Khan-starring romance “Zero” has been set as the closing film of the Beijing International Film Festival. The sprawling festival will open with “The Composer,” a forthcoming Chinese-Kazakh co-production, as its opening title.

The festival, which runs April 13 to 20, 2019, has revealed its full selection of 261 titles. The decision to program “Zero” in such a prominent slot underlines the growing success which Indian films are enjoying with Chinese audiences. Directed by Aanand L. Rai and released in December, the Hindi-language “Zero” is Khan’s most expensive film yet. It features the star as a person with dwarfism in a love triangle with a scientist with cerebral palsy (Anushka Sharma) and a famous actress (Katrina Kaif).

“The Composer” is the first movie to emerge from a cooperation agreement between China and Kazakhstan under Chinese president Xi Jinping’s infrastructure-building project, the Belt and Road Initiative. Directed by Kazakhstan’s Xirzat Yahup,
See full article at Variety »

Blu-ray Review – For a Few Dollars More (1965)

For a Few Dollars More, 1965.

Directed by Sergio Leone

Starring Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Gian Maria Volonte, Mara Krup, Luigi Pistilli, Klaus Kinski, Josef Egger, Panos Papadopulos, Benito Stefanelli, Robert Camardiel, Aldo Sambrell, Luis Rodriguez, Mario Brega.

Synopsis:

Kino Lorber has completed its Special Editions of Sergio Leone’s “dollar” or “man with no name” trilogy of spaghetti westerns with a new Blu-ray Special Edition of For a Few Dollars More. Like the other releases in the trilogy, it boasts a new 4K restoration of the movie along with a big batch of bonus features, some of which are new.

When I took a look at Sergio Leone’s classic spaghetti western A Fistful of Dollars, I noted that since Kino Lorber had already taken care of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly with a 50th Anniversary Special Edition, a new Blu-ray edition of For a Few Dollars
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Short Film Review: Autumn Days (2015) by Tsai Ming-liang

Arthouse director Tsai Ming-liang sits down with Nogami Teruyo, who used to be a screenwriter for Akira Kurosawa for nearly half a century, to talk about poetry, films, and society.

Although “Autumn Days” relies almost entirely on the audio track of the recorded interview, it is not a pure documentary. Tsai Ming-liang experiments with our perception of image and sound. As we listen to the motionless dialogue, he presents nothing more than a black screen. After eight minutes into the conversation, the movie shows Nogami’s face for a short period of time. But in a break from tradition, she keeps the silence during the whole shot. It is the same at the end of the film, when we see Lee Kang-Sheng, Tsai’s favorite actor, and Nogami sitting next to each other on a bench, again in silence.

The director highlights the contrast and therefore demonstrates the interplay, which
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

Film Review: Sanshiro Sugata (1943) by Akira Kurosawa

Akira Kurosawa’s directorial debut is based on the homonymous novel by Tsuneo Tomita, the son of prominent judoka Tsunejiro Tomita, with the main character drawing from Shiro Saigo, one of the earliest disciples of Judo, a martial art that was originally created by Jigoro Kano. The film revolves around the challenges Sanshiro Sugata faces, both from himself and from opponents, in his effort to prove judo’s superiority over traditional jujitsu techniques. Gennosuke Higaki, the “villain” in the story, is also based on a real-life fighter, Mataemon Tanabe, who is considered one of the greatest modern jujutsuka.

As usually in my reviews of the classics, I will focus on presenting a contemporary look on the film, as I feel that the writings about such films by people with much more knowledge than me in the particular era have analyzed the film as thoroughly as possible.

On a second note,
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »

The Criterion Channel Unveils Launch Lineup for April

In just two weeks, a cinematic haven will launch. After the demise of FilmStruck left cinephiles in a dark depression, The Criterion Channel has stepped up to the plate to launch their own separate service coming to the U.S. and Canada on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, iOS, and Android and Android TV devices. Now, after giving us a taste of what is to come with their Movies of the Week, they’ve unveiled the staggeringly great lineup for their first month.

Along with the Criterion Collection and Janus Films’ library of 1,000 feature films, 350 shorts, and 3,500 supplementary features–including trailers, introductions, behind-the-scenes documentaries, interviews, video essays, commentary tracks, and rare archival footage–the service will also house films from Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures, Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM), Lionsgate, IFC Films, Kino Lorber, Cohen Media, Milestone Film and Video, Oscilloscope, Cinema Guild, Strand Releasing, Shout Factory, Film Movement,
See full article at The Film Stage »

Criterion Channel Announces First Month of Programming — Stream 10 David Lynch Movies and More

Criterion Channel Announces First Month of Programming — Stream 10 David Lynch Movies and More
Out of the ashes of FilmStruck comes the Criterion Channel, which is launching April 8 and has announced an exciting first slate of new programming being added onto the streaming platform throughout its first month. When the service goes live next month it will be the exclusive streaming home for the Criterion Collection and Janus Films’ library of more than 1,000 classic and contemporary films. Original series that aired on FilmStruck will be back on the Criterion Channel, including “Adventures in Moviegoing,” “Meet the Filmmakers,” and “Observations on Film Art.”

In addition to its extensive library, Criterion Channel will be adding new films daily. The first new addition to the service on April 8 will be a spotlight on Columbia Pictures’ history of film noir through 11 movies: “My Name Is Julia Ross”; “So Dark the Night” (Joseph H. Lewis, 1946); “The Big Heat” (Fritz Lang, 1953); “Human Desire” (Fritz Lang, 1954); “Drive a Crooked Road” (Richard Quine,
See full article at Indiewire »

Beijing Festival Unveils ‘Mad Max,’ ‘Bourne,’ Kurosawa Screening Series

  • Variety
Beijing Festival Unveils ‘Mad Max,’ ‘Bourne,’ Kurosawa Screening Series
The upcoming Beijing International Film Festival will give space to high-profile Hollywood franchise movies with screenings of all films in both the “Mad Max” and “Bourne Identity” series. Classic Hollywood fare will also feature prominently in a lineup that, as usual, features an eclectic grab-bag of titles.

The local government-backed festival opens April 13 and runs through April 20.

The list of films nominated in the festival’s competition section, and jury members has not yet been released. Winners of the Tiantan (Temple of Heaven) Award will be announced at the closing ceremony.

Since this year is the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China, the theme of both the opening and closing ceremonies will be “home and country,” the festival said on its website, so as to make the event “a birthday blessing for the motherland.”

This benediction is so far scheduled to include “Mad Max” (1979), “Mad Max 2” (1981), “Mad Max:
See full article at Variety »

Film Review: Dreams (1990) by Akira Kurosawa

“I had the following dream…”

When “Ran” was released in 1985 many cinephiles as well as critics thought it would be the swan song of director Akira Kurosawa, after a career which had spanned over 40 years starting with the first film of his in 1943. The Japanese had helped to put Japan on the map internationally in terms of cinema with classics such as “The Seven Samurai”, “Rashomon”, “Stray Dog” and “Kagemusha”. With “Ran” it was clear, considering the age of the filmmaker, that his career had probably reached its end, which was only emphasized by the fact that although “Ran” was praised by critics worldwide it made very little money.

However, it was his dream which made Kurosawa go back to the medium he had mastered so many times in the past. Ever since he heard about the dream journal of famous Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky, he kept such a journal
See full article at AsianMoviePulse »
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