413 Drunken Angel

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dave41n
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413 Drunken Angel

#1 Post by dave41n » Fri Mar 16, 2007 3:38 pm

Drunken Angel

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In this powerful early noir from the great Akira Kurosawa, Toshiro Mifune bursts onto the screen as a volatile, tuberculosis-infected criminal who strikes up an unlikely, unhealthy relationship with Takashi Shimura's jaded physician. Set in and around the muddy swamps and back alleys of postwar Tokyo, Drunken Angel (Yoidore tenshi) is an evocative, moody snapshot of a troubled time and place, featuring one of the director's most memorably violent climaxes.

Special Features

• New, restored high-definition digital transfer
• Audio commentary featuring Japanese-film scholar Donald Richie
• A 30-minute documentary on the making of Drunken Angel, created as part of the Toho Masterworks series Akira Kurosawa: It Is Wonderful to Create
• Kurosawa and the Censors, a new, 25-minute video piece that looks at the challenges Kurosawa faced in making Drunken Angel
• New and improved English subtitle translation
• PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by cultural historian Ian Buruma and a reprint from Kurosawa's Something Like an Autobiography

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....
dave41n wrote:I wrote in asking if we would get any new Kurosawa anytime soon.
Kim Hendrickson wrote:We are currently working on DRUNKEN ANGEL. Should be in stores late summer.

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Cinephrenic
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#2 Post by Cinephrenic » Fri Mar 16, 2007 3:41 pm

This wasn't rumored because Criterion handles the rights to this, but the confirmation is good that it is coming this year. But please 'im' when news like to arrives so I can update the list.

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#3 Post by denti alligator » Fri Mar 16, 2007 3:43 pm

How is it that you're getting all these responses??!! Do you have Kim's email or do you send your questions through the main site?

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#4 Post by dave41n » Fri Mar 16, 2007 3:45 pm

denti alligator wrote:How is it that you're getting all these responses??!! Do you have Kim's email or do you send your questions through the main site?
I haven't been the one e-mailing Kim. This and the Melville news (Les Enfants terribles) just popped up over on .com the last two days. Just figured I'd share the news here.

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#5 Post by balzer » Sun Mar 18, 2007 11:53 pm

best news this year, a much over looked film of Kurosawa's.

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#6 Post by ByMarkClark.com » Mon Mar 19, 2007 11:34 am

It's high time that Kurosawa's first Masterpiece joined the CC. This is it.

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#7 Post by Antoine Doinel » Mon Mar 19, 2007 11:48 am

IMDB has the director's cut listed at 150 minutes. I saw this on VHS years ago, in what I'm sure was the edited version. Does anyone know what the major differences are in the director's cut?

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#8 Post by fred » Mon Mar 19, 2007 12:12 pm

ByMarkClark.com wrote:It's high time that Kurosawa's first Masterpiece joined the CC.
You mean Sanshiro Sugata?

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#9 Post by ByMarkClark.com » Mon Mar 19, 2007 12:41 pm

Fred, you're a viewer after my own heart.

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Forrest Taft
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#10 Post by Forrest Taft » Mon Mar 19, 2007 1:05 pm

Finally. That's one more Mei Ah Kurosawa DVD I can throw away. I've never heard of the 150 min cut before, but I thought it was Criterions policy to always release the longest available version. I hope we get both cuts.

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#11 Post by Michael Kerpan » Mon Mar 19, 2007 1:42 pm

ByMarkClark.com wrote:Fred, you're a viewer after my own heart.
I have yet to see "Sanshiro Sugata" -- but would submit that "No Regrets" was also another earlier masterpiece (despite any comparatively minor imperfections). And this film _desperately_ needs an acceptable DVD release.

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#12 Post by Cinephrenic » Mon Mar 19, 2007 2:08 pm

Kurosawa from Eclipse would be nice featuring Scandal, One Wonderful Sunday, No Regrets for Our Youth, The Most Beautiful and Sanshiro Sugata.

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#13 Post by fred » Mon Mar 19, 2007 2:47 pm

Michael Kerpan wrote:I have yet to see "Sanshiro Sugata"
It's very great. I saw a beautiful restored print, but there's also a good R4 dvd. Way better than the Chinese disc. There are a couple of references to it in Johnnie To's Throw Down. By no means necessary to the enjoyment of that film, but knowing the Kurosawa may add a little...

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#14 Post by ByMarkClark.com » Mon Mar 19, 2007 4:04 pm

I love SANSHIRO SUGATA and think there are a lot of wonderful elements in NO REGRETS FOR OUR YOUTH, but for me DRUNKEN ANGEL is the film where Kurosawa puts everything together, perfectly, for the first time. I try not to throw around the word "masterpiece" like confetti, but DRUNKEN ANGEL definitely earns that label, imho.

If you believe there are earlier Kurosawa masterworks, I'm not inclined to debate the matter, even if I don't entirely agree. Every Kurosawa picture is well worth seeing. Hopefully SANSHIRO SUGATA and NO REGRETS will eventually receive Criterion (or maybe Eclipse) releases, as well.

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#15 Post by ByMarkClark.com » Mon Mar 19, 2007 4:10 pm

Cinephrenic wrote:Kurosawa from Eclipse would be nice featuring Scandal, One Wonderful Sunday, No Regrets for Our Youth, The Most Beautiful and Sanshiro Sugata.
No SANSHIRO SUGATA PART 2?

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#16 Post by Cinephrenic » Mon Mar 19, 2007 4:50 pm

That too!

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#17 Post by Tommaso » Tue Mar 20, 2007 6:11 am

And don't forget "Record of a living being". Okay, it's available from the bfi (as "I live in fear"), but it would certainly deserve a nice double-disc edition. It's the only 50s Kurosawa not yet available from CC, and I wonder why.

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#18 Post by ByMarkClark.com » Tue Mar 20, 2007 8:38 am

Tommaso wrote:It's the only 50s Kurosawa not yet available from CC, and I wonder why.
Well, SCANDAL (1950) and THE IDIOT (1951) aren't available from the CC yet, either, although both are available from MoC. RECORD OF A LIVING BEING is a provocative film and contains a superb Mifune performance.

Why isn't it available yet from Criterion? Problems with elements, perhaps? Also, let's be realistic and admit that it doesn't have the same kind of built-in audience as some of Criterion's previous Kurosawa releases. Nevertheless, I was surprised to learn that Criterion was working on THE MEN WHO STEP ON THE TIGER'S TAIL ahead of RECORD and some of the other non-CC Kurosawas.

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#19 Post by Forrest Taft » Tue Mar 20, 2007 8:50 am

I remember reading in the STRAY DOG booklet (I think) that Linda Hoaglund had also written subtitles for DRUNKEN ANGEL and RECORD..., so I guess that means that they are also working on RECORD... Who knows how long it will take to get it out though, it's been a while since the subtitles were written already.

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#20 Post by balzer » Tue Mar 20, 2007 9:36 am

ByMarkClark.com wrote:
Cinephrenic wrote:Kurosawa from Eclipse would be nice featuring Scandal, One Wonderful Sunday, No Regrets for Our Youth, The Most Beautiful and Sanshiro Sugata.
No SANSHIRO SUGATA PART 2?
Have you seen it? I agree I would like it on Eclipse or as a bonus on Sanshiro Sugata, but it is like a bad Rocky sequel. Definitely by far the worst Kurosawa film ever made.

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#21 Post by ByMarkClark.com » Tue Mar 20, 2007 11:20 am

balzer wrote:Definitely by far the worst Kurosawa film ever made.
True, although it has a few choice moments, especially the final showdown in the snow.

Weak though it is (Kurosawa didn't want to make a sequel, and it shows), I would still prefer to SANSHIRO SUGATA PART 2 included in the Eclipse Early Kurosawa series that The Cinephrenic One was dreaming of, rather than left out.

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#22 Post by Tommaso » Tue Mar 20, 2007 12:54 pm

ByMarkClark.com wrote:Well, SCANDAL (1950) and THE IDIOT (1951) aren't available from the CC yet, either, although both are available from MoC.
Yes, sorry, I guess I thought after MoC there was no need for any other edition anyway :wink:
ByMarkClark.com wrote:RECORD OF A LIVING BEING is a provocative film and contains a superb Mifune performance.
Ah, shame, I never got around to watch it, though I always had that bfi disc (which apparently is quite good) on my list of purchases. So I cannot say anything about the possible built-in appeal of the film that you say is perhaps missing, but wouldn't that also go for "The Lower Depths", "The Bad Sleep Well" or the upcoming "Drunken Angel"?

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#23 Post by ByMarkClark.com » Tue Mar 20, 2007 2:03 pm

Tommaso wrote:... I cannot say anything about the possible built-in appeal of the film that you say is perhaps missing, but wouldn't that also go for "The Lower Depths", "The Bad Sleep Well" or the upcoming "Drunken Angel"?
Sure. It would go for TIGER'S TAIL, too. But it would at least explain why things like SEVEN SAMURAI, YOJIMBO, THE HIDDEN FORTRESS, RAN, etc., were released ahead of RECORD. And THE LOWER DEPTHS afforded Criterion the unique opportunity to present Renoir and Kurosawa adaptations of the same material, side-by-side, so I can readily understand that decision, as well.

Besides, the Powers That Be at Criterion may simply like the other Kurosawa films more than RECORD. I prefer most of the current Criterion Kurosawa titles to RECORD myself, although there are a few I consider inferior to RECORD.

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#24 Post by Felix » Tue Mar 20, 2007 3:36 pm

Antoine Doinel wrote:IMDB has the director's cut listed at 150 minutes. I saw this on VHS years ago, in what I'm sure was the edited version. Does anyone know what the major differences are in the director's cut?
From what I can see the major difference is that one exists and the other doesn't (according to both the BFI booklet and Donald Richie's book on Kurosawa the 150" version no longer exists). BFI was 2005 so unless there has been anything found since then...

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#25 Post by Harold Gervais » Wed Mar 21, 2007 11:15 am

ByMarkClark.com wrote:
Tommaso wrote:It's the only 50s Kurosawa not yet available from CC, and I wonder why.
Well, SCANDAL (1950) and THE IDIOT (1951) aren't available from the CC yet, either, although both are available from MoC. RECORD OF A LIVING BEING is a provocative film and contains a superb Mifune performance.

Why isn't it available yet from Criterion? Problems with elements, perhaps? Also, let's be realistic and admit that it doesn't have the same kind of built-in audience as some of Criterion's previous Kurosawa releases. Nevertheless, I was surprised to learn that Criterion was working on THE MEN WHO STEP ON THE TIGER'S TAIL ahead of RECORD and some of the other non-CC Kurosawas.
I Live in Fear aka Record of a Living Being is one of my favorite Kurosawa films. The final shot of the aged Takashi Shimura descending the stairs while the young mother & child ascend the stairs is one of the most beautiful & simple images in all of film for me. On its face Mifune is clearly miscast, as he was about 30 years too young for the role but wills the performance through sheer force of personality & talent. Great film. The Bfi disc looks good if not great but that can be said of a lot of Japanese films of the period. I would have no problems double-dipping on it if it recieved some Criterion love.

The Idiot is more a curiosity than a great movie and I enjoy Scandal but again would not call it a great Kurosawa film.
Drunken Angel is something I'm always putting in my basket and then putting back on the cyber-shelf because I keep assuming a Criterion announcement is coming. Hopefully now it really is.

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