Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji

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Ribs
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:14 pm

Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji

#1 Post by Ribs » Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:04 pm

Praised by Japanese film critics and much admired by his contemporaries Akira Kurosawa and Yasujirô Ozu, Tomu Uchida nonetheless remains a little-known in the west. His 1955 masterpiece Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji is an excellent entry point for the newcomer.

Set during the Edo period, Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji is a tragicomic road movie of sorts, following a samurai, his two servants – including spear-carrier Genpachi (Chiezô Kataoka) – and the various people they meet on their journey, including a policeman in pursuit of a thief, a young child and a woman who is to be sold into prostitution.

Winner of a prestigious Blue Ribbon Award for supporting actor – and Kurosawa regular – Daisuke Katô, Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji is a film deserving of much wider international recognition.

High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
Original uncompressed mono audio
Optional newly translated English subtitles
Brand-new audio commentary by Japanese cinema expert Jasper Sharp, recorded exclusively for this release
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Corey Brickley
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic and filmmaker James Oliver

Image

UK & US on September 3rd

Orlac
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Re: Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji

#2 Post by Orlac » Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:36 pm

Definetly an instant buy for me!

dda1996a
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Re: Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji

#3 Post by dda1996a » Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:45 pm

What's up with all the Japanese films getting just a commentary and a slim booklet? I'd pick up way more if the releases were a little more elaborated upon...

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji

#4 Post by Michael Kerpan » Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:45 pm

In terms of "anti-samurai code" samurai films, this is the best (at least after Humanity and Paper Balloons). IMHO, it blows Kobayashi's later films of this sort out of the water. ;-)

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Finch
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Re: Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji

#5 Post by Finch » Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:51 pm

Excellent news! Fingers crossed this sells so well they'll consider more Uchida in the future.

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tenia
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Re: Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji

#6 Post by tenia » Fri Jun 08, 2018 4:47 pm

dda1996a wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:45 pm
What's up with all the Japanese films getting just a commentary and a slim booklet? I'd pick up way more if the releases were a little more elaborated upon...
That's unfortunately the level of resources allocated by Arrow for these releases now, and IIRC that's something Marc Walkow himself explicitly regretted. But he also said the Japanese titles just weren't selling, so this probably explains that. It's unfotunate because the lack of lengthier extras combined with the usual state of the available HD masters limit the excitement for these HD releases, at least enough so that these definitely are the kind of stuff I'll wait to buy after a price drop.

dda1996a
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Re: Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji

#7 Post by dda1996a » Sat Jun 09, 2018 4:00 am

Sadly that's the case and as someone who at first was picking up all Japanese releases I've been skipping a lot of them. I picked the Suzukis only because of lack of availability and getting the two sets for cheap (and each set having a few films) but lately I either picked ones for dirt cheap (only paid for shipping after using points for Diamond Guys vol 2) or skipped even those I might like.
Definitely a Catch-22...

Orlac
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Re: Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji

#8 Post by Orlac » Sat Jun 09, 2018 4:39 am

I favour the Japanese releases as a priority, but I think it's unfair of Arrow to complain about low sales of one sub-genre, when they have glutted the market with limited editions of everything.

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J Wilson
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Re: Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji

#9 Post by J Wilson » Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:11 am

tenia wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 4:47 pm

That's unfortunately the level of resources allocated by Arrow for these releases now, and IIRC that's something Marc Walkow himself explicitly regretted. But he also said the Japanese titles just weren't selling, so this probably explains that. It's unfotunate because the lack of lengthier extras combined with the usual state of the available HD masters limit the excitement for these HD releases, at least enough so that these definitely are the kind of stuff I'll wait to buy after a price drop.
As someone who wants to see more Japanese titles, particularly stuff we might not have gotten in the West before, this is disheartening to hear. Will be picking this title up though.

Apperson
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Re: Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji

#10 Post by Apperson » Mon Aug 27, 2018 2:38 pm

DVDBeaver

Unfortunately the transfer looks quite ropey, but surprisingly along with the audio-commentary there are three extra interviews which aren't listed here or even on Arrow's own website!

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tenia
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Re: Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji

#11 Post by tenia » Mon Aug 27, 2018 2:50 pm

The good news is that these 3 extras are the same that were on the French DVD, so I can get rid of that, the not so good news is that as expected, the transfer indeed doesn't look very good.

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Finch
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Re: Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji

#12 Post by Finch » Tue Aug 28, 2018 4:26 am

Keeping my preorder as Arrow need to be supported for these releases. Might be a good while before a 2k or 4k resto gets done, if ever.

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Re: Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji

#13 Post by Michael Kerpan » Tue Aug 28, 2018 11:10 am

Even if not as good looking as it should be, I'd rate the film as essential viewing. An English-subbed release has been too long a time coming....

Orlac
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Re: Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji

#14 Post by Orlac » Tue Aug 28, 2018 12:54 pm

Apperson wrote:
Mon Aug 27, 2018 2:38 pm
DVDBeaver

Unfortunately the transfer looks quite ropey, but surprisingly along with the audio-commentary there are three extra interviews which aren't listed here or even on Arrow's own website!
Looks in need of a contrast boost.

jdj
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Re: Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji

#15 Post by jdj » Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:29 pm

Just watched this for the first time and thought it was great! The humor was actually funny and the gradual turn to tragedy felt quite natural. Often when a filmmaker is mentioned in the same sentence as Kurosawa and Ozu, it's a bit of an exaggeration. I don't know if I would list this film as being on par with their best, but it sure felt close.

I hope this sells well so Arrow isn't so cautious about putting out great Japanese releases in the future. I'm also hoping that they listed Uchida's entire filmography in the booklet in an attempt to drum up interest in future releases from him.

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Re: Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji

#16 Post by Michael Kerpan » Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:14 pm

I rank this above similarly-themed works of both Kurosawa and Kobayashi (but maybe just a tiny bit below those of Yamanaka).

One of his most famed works, Policeman, has yet to get even an unsubbed home video release. Another, Rice (made furtively, on a budget of zero yen), is missing some key portions. Kiga kaikyo (Straits of Hunger aka A Fugitive from the Past) prefigures (to some extent) Imamura's Vengeance Is Mine (the murderer in this even plays the murderer's father in Imamura's film). Mori to Mizuumi no Matsuri (The Outsiders) was supposedly inspired by the westerns of Anthony Mann -- and features the Ainu of Hokkaido as the targets of cultural oppression.

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tenia
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Re: Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji

#17 Post by tenia » Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:15 am

Finch wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 4:26 am
Keeping my preorder as Arrow need to be supported for these releases. Might be a good while before a 2k or 4k resto gets done, if ever.
Judging by the booklet details, it actually IS a 2K restoration, and not a decade-old HD master. :shock:
I thus suppose that whatever Toei did got filtered to death, hence the overall smooth textureless PQ. This really is unfortunate, because one could have thought no recent work was done on this movie, but actually it has been, except it hasn't been done properly.

jdj
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Re: Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji

#18 Post by jdj » Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:22 am

Jasper Sharp confirms in the commentary that more English-language Uchida releases are forthcoming!

longstone
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Re: Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji

#19 Post by longstone » Sat Sep 08, 2018 5:24 am

I really enjoyed this ,the first Uchida I've ever seen and what a treat, so thanks Arrow and I hope there are more to come as hinted at in the commentary.
I know some people have expressed a little disappointment with the transfer but it's way more than good enough to enjoy the film and it’s great just to have it available at all.

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