Shinji Somai

Discussion and info on people in film, ranging from directors to actors to cinematographers to writers.

Moderator: DarkImbecile

Message
Author
User avatar
feihong
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 12:20 pm

Re: Shinji Somai

#51 Post by feihong » Fri Feb 26, 2021 8:38 pm

I shortened the URL to this:

https://works.bepress.com/aarongerow/

and at the bottom of the page is the Somai article.

Somai thread page three!!! Woot Woot!

bad future
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:16 pm

Re: Shinji Somai

#52 Post by bad future » Sat Feb 27, 2021 12:08 am

I’m thrilled to hear Arrow is working on something! No idea if we can expect it anytime soon, but I wonder if this big list of clues has anything that fits. Nothing immediately jumps out at me, unless one of the “SS” clues is for Shinji Sômai, or “Sailor Suit..” I guess (with the other SS being the already-announced Switchblade Sisters.)

Calvin
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:12 am

Re: Shinji Somai

#53 Post by Calvin » Sat Feb 27, 2021 4:14 am

bad future wrote:
Sat Feb 27, 2021 12:08 am
I’m thrilled to hear Arrow is working on something! No idea if we can expect it anytime soon, but I wonder if this big list of clues has anything that fits. Nothing immediately jumps out at me, unless one of the “SS” clues is for Shinji Sômai, or “Sailor Suit..” I guess (with the other SS being the already-announced Switchblade Sisters.)
I suspect that you're right about that. Sailor Suit is probably the Somai title with the most commercial potential and I'm surprised that they haven't already released it given they have a pretty good relationship with Kadokawa, from whom they've licensed all the Gamera films and others.

'F' could be The Friends, but it seems less likely that they'd get that one on its own without Moving / Ohikkoshi (they're both owned by Yomiuri TV).

User avatar
Michael Kerpan
Spelling Bee Champeen
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:20 pm
Location: New England
Contact:

Re: Shinji Somai

#54 Post by Michael Kerpan » Sat Feb 27, 2021 11:01 am

Not sure I am allowed to say which film this IS -- but I can sadly report it ISN'T Ohikkoshi. And that only one film is on tap for now. But people should enjoy the one that is being worked on.

User avatar
feihong
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 12:20 pm

Re: Shinji Somai

#55 Post by feihong » Sat Feb 27, 2021 12:55 pm

Since Arrow already has dealings with Kadokawa, then this is probably Sailor Suit Schoolgirl with a Machine Gun, which , if true, will be a big disappointment for me. Not only is that film already on blu ray in Japan (another reason it's likely to be the one), but it is––to my mind––very dated, and very low-key. The long takes in that film aren't so innovative as in the later films––they're more just a thing the camera's doing as it sits on a tripod in front of the action. The whole movie is pretty low-key––I think it's possible to watch the whole thing and not know it's meant to be a comedy––and it's low-rent roots show all over in the small scale of the scenes. It's more Violent Cop than Sonatine in terms of scope. I'd be kind of worried that if this is the first Somai movie western audiences get to see, it'll also end up being the last––though I guess that argument could really be made for any one film in his oeuvre. No single movie I think really conveys the range of Somai's interest and talents, that also stands to connect to English-language audiences very directly.

bad future
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:16 pm

Re: Shinji Somai

#56 Post by bad future » Sat Feb 27, 2021 2:23 pm

I’m personally hoping for Typhoon Club, which has become one of my favorite films since I first saw it last summer, though I can see its provocative approach to adolescence being as difficult a first impression as any of his films. Speaking of which, does anyone know if that one is held by Art Theatre Guild, meaning it could maybe be released through similar channels as Arbelos and BFI used for Funeral Parade of Roses, or is the situation more complicated than that?

User avatar
Michael Kerpan
Spelling Bee Champeen
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:20 pm
Location: New England
Contact:

Re: Shinji Somai

#57 Post by Michael Kerpan » Sat Feb 27, 2021 2:47 pm

I liked Typhoon Club ... until the ending/epilog on the day after.

User avatar
Michael Kerpan
Spelling Bee Champeen
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:20 pm
Location: New England
Contact:

Re: Shinji Somai

#58 Post by Michael Kerpan » Sat Feb 27, 2021 3:06 pm

feihong -- Does the Japanese BluRay of Sailor Suit and Machine Gun have English subs?

User avatar
feihong
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 12:20 pm

Re: Shinji Somai

#59 Post by feihong » Sat Feb 27, 2021 4:54 pm

No English subs on the disc. I found subs online and watch the disc with those. Same with Love Hotel. Back in the day there was a Hong Kong DVD from I think Edko, that presented Sailor Suit Schoolgirl with English subs.

Typhoon Club would have to be licensed from Odessa entertainment now, I think? They're the company that I think ordered the HD scans of that film, P.P. Rider, The Terrible Couple, Kaza-Hana and Ohikkoshi, and they are releasing those on DVD and they've licensed them in HD for television and streaming in Japan.

The ones I want to see in full HD are Typhoon Club and especially P.P. Rider, which I think is Somai's masterpiece. I'd also like to see Luminous Woman and Tokyo Heaven in hi-def.

The HK DVD is a good example of what I'm afraid of. Sailor Suit Schoolgirl came out on DVD in HK. There was no more demand for Somai movies following that one, and they didn't release any more. I feel like they ought to start with one of the more striking films and then they can cultivate an audience that will have patience and understanding when they work their way back to Sailor Suit Schoolgirl.

User avatar
Michael Kerpan
Spelling Bee Champeen
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:20 pm
Location: New England
Contact:

Re: Shinji Somai

#60 Post by Michael Kerpan » Sat Feb 27, 2021 5:03 pm

If there WERE a "typical" Somai film, Sailor Suit would not be it. But it is certainly the easiest film to release in the West at this point, right? I wouldn't object to replacing the HK DVD with a restored Blu-Ray version.

Calvin
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:12 am

Re: Shinji Somai

#61 Post by Calvin » Sat Feb 27, 2021 6:47 pm

I believe the Japanese rights situation is thus

Tonda Couple - Toho
Odessa Entertainment 'HD Remastered' DVD released 2015

Sailor Suit and Machine Gun - Kadokawa
4K Remastered Blu-Ray released by Kadokawa

P.P. Rider - Toho
Odessa Entertainment 'HD Remastered' DVD released 2015

The Catch - Shochiku
Blu-Ray released by Shochiku

Typhoon Club - Toho / ATG
Odessa Entertainment 'HD Remastered' DVD due May 2021

Love Hotel - Nikkatsu
Happinet Blu-Ray released 2016

Lost Chapter of Snow: Passion - Toho
Available on HD Digital. No DVD release.

Luminous Woman - Toho
OOP

Tokyo Heaven - Shochiku
OOP

Moving - Yomiuri TV
Odessa Entertainment 'HD Remastered' DVD released 2015

The Friends - Yomiuri TV
Odessa Entertainment 'HD Remastered' DVD released 2015

Wait and See - Shochiku
Shochiku DVD released 2012

Kaza Hana - ?
Odessa Entertainment 'HD Remastered' DVD due May 2021

Calvin
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:12 am

Re: Shinji Somai

#62 Post by Calvin » Sat Feb 27, 2021 7:12 pm

Michael Kerpan wrote:
Sat Feb 27, 2021 5:03 pm
If there WERE a "typical" Somai film, Sailor Suit would not be it. But it is certainly the easiest film to release in the West at this point, right? I wouldn't object to replacing the HK DVD with a restored Blu-Ray version.
As above, I suspect most would be within reach of Western distributors with the Shochiku and Nikkatsu titles probably being the easiest other than Sailor Suit. But I would be very surprised if Arrow put out The Catch or Tokyo Heaven as the first English-friendly Somai release!

artfilmfan
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:11 pm

Re: Shinji Somai

#63 Post by artfilmfan » Sat Feb 27, 2021 10:10 pm

Kaza-hana was released on DVD in Japan with English subs twenty years ago. I bought it and watched it but was not very impressed. Maybe it was just the wrong timing because I was discovering Ozu at that time. Perhaps I should revisit it. All of these discussions now make me want to finally watch the unsubbed Ohikkoshi DVD that I bought years ago (after reading about it in Donald Richie’ book).

User avatar
Michael Kerpan
Spelling Bee Champeen
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:20 pm
Location: New England
Contact:

Re: Shinji Somai

#64 Post by Michael Kerpan » Sat Feb 27, 2021 10:20 pm

You might be able to find subs for Ohikkoshi. I know that these were made (because I lent the DVD for the purpose), but I never actually got a copy of the subs (that I can recall).

artfilmfan
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:11 pm

Re: Shinji Somai

#65 Post by artfilmfan » Sat Feb 27, 2021 10:33 pm

Thanks. But that assumes I know what to do with the subs if I can find them ;). I no longer have a computer with a DVD player. I have other unsubbed Japanese DVDs that are stuck in the same situation (still unwatched after all these years).

User avatar
Michael Kerpan
Spelling Bee Champeen
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:20 pm
Location: New England
Contact:

Re: Shinji Somai

#66 Post by Michael Kerpan » Sun Feb 28, 2021 12:34 am

I think Ohikkoshi can be understood pretty well even unsubbed -- and there is a long chunk that has little or no dialogue at all. If you were close to Boston I could serve (as a very inadequate) benshi -- I have done this for a couple of folks (including Dan Sallitt). ;-)

artfilmfan
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:11 pm

Re: Shinji Somai

#67 Post by artfilmfan » Sun Feb 28, 2021 11:18 am

A benshi in Boston? Sounds good. I might take up the offer the next time I’m in the area. And the unsubbed DVD that I’ll bring along will not be Ohikkoshi. It might be a Heinosuke Gosho film ;)
Ohikkoshi has been placed on my to-watch list. It was at the top of the list yesterday until it got bumped by another unsubbed film, Happiness of Us Alone ;)

User avatar
Michael Kerpan
Spelling Bee Champeen
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:20 pm
Location: New England
Contact:

Re: Shinji Somai

#68 Post by Michael Kerpan » Sun Feb 28, 2021 2:00 pm

Only a pseudo-benshi -- for films I've watched a lot.

I didn't dislike Happiness of Us Alone -- but found it too melodramatic for even my taste.

For Gosho films I have to take a look at Noletti's Gosho book -- and hope he provides a synopsis.

artfilmfan
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:11 pm

Re: Shinji Somai

#69 Post by artfilmfan » Sun Feb 28, 2021 6:27 pm

I did not plan to watch Happiness of Us Alone this weekend. It unexpectedly jumped ahead of Ohikkoshi. For its shortcomings in the first half, the second half makes up for it. I was interested in seeing Hideko Takamine’s performance, haven’t bought the HK VCD during the height of my discovery of her in Naruse’ films, and I was not disappointed. There are some scenes with some of her best performances that I’ve seen. A heartbreaking film.

User avatar
Michael Kerpan
Spelling Bee Champeen
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:20 pm
Location: New England
Contact:

Re: Shinji Somai

#70 Post by Michael Kerpan » Sun Feb 28, 2021 8:04 pm

This might help a LITTLE in deciphering what goes in Ohikkoshi: https://subslikescript.com/movie/Ohikkoshi-107736

artfilmfan
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:11 pm

Re: Shinji Somai

#71 Post by artfilmfan » Tue Mar 02, 2021 9:29 am

Ohikkoshi is a very well-made film. I am glad I finally watched it. There are some very poignant moments in the film. Two of such moments that really moved me are when the girl hands a stuffed animal to her father and the scene/sequence at the beach near the end.

I think those who like Kore-era’ films will really enjoy this film.

The film looks beautiful, too. I think it would look stunning in high definition should some company release it on Blu-ray (and don’t forget to include English subs, please).

Michael, thanks for that link to the script. I will read it someday to round off my understanding of the film.

I think I’ll revisit Kaza-hana soon.

User avatar
Michael Kerpan
Spelling Bee Champeen
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:20 pm
Location: New England
Contact:

Re: Shinji Somai

#72 Post by Michael Kerpan » Tue Mar 02, 2021 9:53 am

I look at Ohikkoshi as virtually a live-action Studio Ghibli (Takahata style) film -- and I wonder if it did not (in turn) have some impact on later Ghibli films. The long, almost-entirely-silent section of this is one of my favorite segments of any movie. But, to tell the truth, I love almost every single second.

While I was glad to find a predecessor of that (semi) script link long ago -- I actually felt like there was not much there that I had not been able to figure out without its aid. The visuals -- and the tone of the spoken parts -- seemed to communicate at least 90% of what one wanted to know.

Post Reply