BFI: 32 Ozu Films

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by the BFI and the films on them.

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Dr Amicus
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Re: BFI (British Film Institute)

#1 Post by Dr Amicus » Thu Dec 03, 2009 12:40 pm

The new NFT Programme for January includes the first part of a major Ozu retrospective and, as an aside in the season notes, there's a reference to upcoming DVD releases over the next 3 years.

I'm assuming that these are going to be from the BFI, although this isn't explicitly stated. I never got the Tartan sets as I was always put off by the apparently poor standards conversion on the first two boxes - I guess these would be a good place to start with new editions as they included Tokyo Story...

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zedz
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Re: BFI (British Film Institute)

#2 Post by zedz » Thu Dec 03, 2009 4:12 pm

I sincerely hope that, where Ozu's concerned, the BFI opts for the many films that are unavailable anywhere in decent subtitled editions rather than the same old ones that have been released over and over again. For most of those fifties films there are at least four English-friendly editions still in print (Criterion, Tartan, Madman, Panorama). Why opt for diminishing returns when you can put out a silent or early sound box set and have the field to yourself?

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antnield
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BFI: 32 Ozu Films

#3 Post by antnield » Tue Dec 15, 2009 7:05 am

Individual releases due on April 19th 2010. Currently only listed on Moviemail...

Late Spring
Early Summer
Tokyo Story

and...

Tokyo Story Blu!

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ellipsis7
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Re: Late Spring / Early Summer / Tokyo Story

#4 Post by ellipsis7 » Tue Dec 15, 2009 7:34 am

Interesting to see the DVD transfers of LATE SPRING & EARLY SUMMER vs. the Criterions, while TOKYO STORY Blu is a cert to pick up... The BFI on fire again!... The way things are panning out presently, while multiregion DVD players have been and are a necessity, Blu Ray Region B is proving so rich in releases, and ahead of its Region A counterpart, there is not yet the compelling case to have a modified Blu Ray player to access Region A releases also...

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Caligula
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Re: Late Spring / Early Summer / Tokyo Story

#5 Post by Caligula » Tue Dec 15, 2009 7:58 am

Would the Tokyo Story restoration be the same one as used for the Criterion edition, or has a new one been done since?

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Tommaso
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Re: Late Spring / Early Summer / Tokyo Story

#6 Post by Tommaso » Tue Dec 15, 2009 8:54 am

ellipsis7 wrote:Interesting to see the DVD transfers of LATE SPRING & EARLY SUMMER vs. the Criterions
It would be truly great to see "Early Summer" without the CC-imposed blackness boosting; and I'm really curious about "Late Spring" (and its extras), as I never picked up the CC because of its price point (the Wenders documentary on the second disc is no use to me as I already have the stand-alone German disc with "Chambre 666").

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ellipsis7
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Re: Late Spring / Early Summer / Tokyo Story

#7 Post by ellipsis7 » Tue Dec 15, 2009 12:40 pm

From today's BFI Newsletter, promising more...
The BFI will release many of Ozu's greatest works on DVD starting in 2010.

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Finch
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Re: Late Spring / Early Summer / Tokyo Story

#8 Post by Finch » Tue Dec 15, 2009 3:44 pm

I'd rather the BFI focus on hitherto unreleased titles like What Did The Lady Forget?, There was A Father etc. Still, it's great for region-locked Ozuians over here to get the "Noriko Trilogy" in decent transfers, given how below par Tartan's first and second boxsets were. Me, I think I'll wait for Criterion to reissue Tokyo Story on Blu, and hopefully they'll also consider my favourite Ozu (and overall all-time favourite film), Early Summer.

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Re: Late Spring / Early Summer / Tokyo Story

#9 Post by zedz » Tue Dec 15, 2009 3:48 pm

Ho-hum. Re-runs again. It's nice that Tokyo Story is getting the Blu treatment, but I hope we see something new from the BFI with their Ozu releases. I'd even be happy with some of those early fragments as extras.

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Re: Late Spring / Early Summer / Tokyo Story

#10 Post by ellipsis7 » Tue Dec 15, 2009 5:52 pm

This from the BFI Ozu season #1, not yet released with Eng subs on DVD...
I Flunked, But...
I Flunked, But... contrasts graduates who can't find jobs with 'perennial student' types who have to resit their exams; Aoki plays the landlady's obnoxious son
Director Yasujiro Ozu
Cast Tatsuo Saito, Kaoru Futaba, Kinuyo Tanaka
Country Japan
Year 1930
Running time c65min

A Straightforward Boy
In A Straightforward Boy, a riff on an O Henry story, he's a kidnap victim who confounds his kidnapper.
Director Yasujiro Ozu
Country Japan
Year 1929
Running time c28min

The Lady and the Beard
This comedy of manners (with gags credited to Ozu under his pseudonym 'James Maki') centres on the aggressively conservative kendo student Okajima, who becomes employable only when he shaves off his luxuriant beard. On his way to a party to meet a friend's sister, Okajima rescues a young woman from a mugging at the hands of a woman delinquent; the plot explores his fraught relations with all three women.
Director Yasujiro Ozu
Cast Tokihiko Okada, Hiroko Kawasaki, Choko Iida
Country Japan
Year 1931
Running time c75min

The Munekata Sisters
Ozu's first film outside Shochiku is also his only attempt to adapt a popular serialised novel (by Jiro Osaragi), and the result is untypically prosaic. The storyline - two contrasted sisters, one with an alcoholic husband, are rivals for a potential lover - is perhaps too linear to allow Ozu the space for his usual play with patterning and film language. There's a great all-star cast, though.
Director Yasujiro Ozu
Cast Kinuyo Tanaka, Hideko Yakamine, Ken Uehara
Country Japan
Year 1950
Running time 112min

That Night's Wife
A desperate bank robber cornered in his apartment promises to surrender to the cops if his sick daughter makes it through the night.
Combining chamber thriller with family melodrama, this adaptation of a translated American story features a bank robber cornered in his apartment who promises to surrender to the cops if his sick daughter makes it through the night. The fine performances from the whole cast are sharpened by the confined setting, which also gives Ozu the leeway for daring experiments in continuity matching.
Director Yasujiro Ozu
Cast Tokihiko Okada, Emiko Yagumo, Togo Yamamoto
Country Japan
Year 1930
Running time c65min

Walk Cheerfully
A small-time gangster and his brother try to go straight for the love of a good woman.
Notable for being set in an unrealistically westernised world, Ozu's melodrama (originally developed by Hiroshi Shimizu) tells the story of a small-time gangster and his brother who try to go straight for the love of a good woman. Garnished with quotes from The Threepenny Opera and Sternberg's Underworld, it mixes gags, caricatures (Tatsuo Saito's effete gang-boss) and intense emotions.
Director Yasujiro Ozu
Cast Minoru Takada, Hiroko Kawasaki, Nobuko Matsuzono
Country Japan
Year 1930
Running time c96min

Where are Now the Dreams of Youth?
Ending a suite of student/salaryman comedies, this movie offers Ozu's last word on the tribulations of dating and making the awkward transition from college to the world of work. It was made as a quickie (some of the budget went to help pay for a more expensive film), but belies these origins by exploring moral and social complexities, garnished, of course, with great gags.
Director Yasujiro Ozu
Cast Ureo Egawa, Kinuyo Tanaka, Tatsuo Saito
Country Japan
Year 1932
Running time 85min

Woman of Tokyo
Ozu spoke of beginning to find his own style in Woman of Tokyo, and the film is rich in spatial ambiguities and unexpected continuity links. But the storyline (attributed to a non-existent German novel) is more like a Mizoguchi melodrama: a student kills himself when he discovers that his sister prostitutes herself to support him.
Director Yasujiro Ozu
Cast Yoshiko Okada, Ureo Egawa, Kinuyo Tanaka
Country Japan
Year 1933
Running time 47min

Kagamijishi
Ozu's only documentary Kagamijishi, made in part with sync-sound: a portrait of kabuki actor Onoye Kikugoro VI, who performs the titular lion dance.
Director Yasujiro Ozu
Country Japan
Year 1935
Running time 25min
Hopefully several or many of these lesser known films will make it too onto BFI DVD or BR...

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HerrSchreck
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Re: Late Spring / Early Summer / Tokyo Story

#11 Post by HerrSchreck » Tue Dec 15, 2009 5:54 pm

Hmmm, the elements for Tokyo Story seem so midline, I wonder if the Blu treatment will really result in much more than a better look at all those speckles & scratches....

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Re: Late Spring / Early Summer / Tokyo Story

#12 Post by Caged Horse » Tue Dec 15, 2009 5:57 pm

The original negative was lost in a fire, yes?

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zedz
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Re: Late Spring / Early Summer / Tokyo Story

#13 Post by zedz » Tue Dec 15, 2009 6:02 pm

HerrSchreck wrote:. . . a better look at all those speckles & scratches....
Perversely, I'd be quite happy with this! But I suspect there's been more work on this film since the last DVDs came out. I vaguely remember mention of a new restoration, but that was a while back.

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Re: Late Spring / Early Summer / Tokyo Story

#14 Post by HerrSchreck » Tue Dec 15, 2009 6:59 pm

I sure hope so-- the film is eternally on my Top Ten of all time. Maybe Mike K knows off the top of his head if there was a new resto.

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Re: Late Spring / Early Summer / Tokyo Story

#15 Post by Paupau » Tue Dec 15, 2009 8:37 pm

Lots of Ozu films will be shown at BFI Southbank in January, so probably new restos [-o<

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manicsounds
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Re: Late Spring / Early Summer / Tokyo Story

#16 Post by manicsounds » Mon Dec 21, 2009 8:40 am

I remember reading that there was a separate restoration done for Tokyo Story around the same time Criterion made theirs, but I can't remember the details.

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Re: BFI (British Film Institute)

#17 Post by tojoed » Mon Dec 28, 2009 9:00 am

Moviemail says that the BFI will be releasing 32 Ozu films on DVD in the next 3 years, starting with the Noriko Trilogy.

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Tommaso
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Re: BFI (British Film Institute)

#18 Post by Tommaso » Mon Dec 28, 2009 9:10 am

Excellent news, that probably means all the sound films and likely some silents, too. I hope they will continue with some non-CC films after the Trilogy. In any case, no need anymore to go for Panorama or the Tartans to fill the gaps in your collection, unless you really can't wait.

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Re: Late Spring / Early Summer / Tokyo Story

#19 Post by MichaelB » Mon Dec 28, 2009 9:12 am

MovieMail has helpfully let the cat out of the bag regarding the BFI's Ozu plans - 32 titles to be released on DVD (and, where decent materials are available, Blu-ray), over the next three years.

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Re: BFI (British Film Institute)

#20 Post by gyorgys » Mon Dec 28, 2009 9:24 am

Thanks for that!
Tokyo Story will also be released on blu-ray and probably [-o< the whole Noriko Trilogy.

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Re: Late Spring / Early Summer / Tokyo Story

#21 Post by ellipsis7 » Mon Dec 28, 2009 9:43 am

There's 34 titles in the BFI Southbank Ozu season, of which END OF SUMMER & FLOATING WEEDS are already out from AE DVD in UK/IRL R2, so the remaining 32 titles are presumably what we can expect from BFI on DVD (& sometimes Blu Ray)...

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Re: Late Spring / Early Summer / Tokyo Story

#22 Post by Tommaso » Mon Dec 28, 2009 10:53 am

Fine! Lots of little seen early stuff. I hope the silents will come out soon, in the usual BFI packaging fashion. Hopefully we can all avoid further barebones Eclipse sets then. On the other hand, it would also be great to get "Good Morning" in a good edition soon.

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Re: Late Spring / Early Summer / Tokyo Story

#23 Post by Peacock » Mon Dec 28, 2009 11:18 am

Drats! I own all the Tartan sets, and it looks like End of Summer will only ever be available in a decent release as part of the Late Ozu Eclipse, all that money for one film! Is it worth it?

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Re: Late Spring / Early Summer / Tokyo Story

#24 Post by ellipsis7 » Mon Dec 28, 2009 12:56 pm

Wonder if BFI Publishing might also release a new edition of Bordwell's 'Ozu & The Poetics of Cinema', seeing as they were the original publisher with Princeton - would seem to make sense..

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Re: BFI (British Film Institute)

#25 Post by zedz » Mon Dec 28, 2009 3:44 pm

32 films! Isn't that just about everything that survives in complete form? That news is a hell of a belated Christmas present!

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