Fires on the Plain (Shinya Tsukamoto, 2014)

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Fires on the Plain (Shinya Tsukamoto, 2014)

Unread postby HungFist » 25 Jul 2014, 05:34

New film by Tsukamoto. I suppose it's based on the Kon Ichikawa war film of the same name, or the novel that film was based on.

(empty) Website:
http://nobi-movie.com/

Will premiere at the Venice Film Festival (Aug. 27-Sept. 6)

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Re: Fires on the Plain (Shinya Tsukamoto, 2014)

Unread postby Masterofoneinchpunch » 25 Jul 2014, 17:00

HungFist wrote:New film by Tsukamoto. I suppose it's based on the Kon Ichikawa war film of the same name, or the novel that film was based on.
...


The original is such a powerful film and a favorite of mine (out on Criterion) that it is one I don't think I would want to see a remake of.

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Re: Fires on the Plain (Shinya Tsukamoto, 2014)

Unread postby Tenchu1998 » 25 Jul 2014, 23:02

That's Tsukamoto in the picture, right? Looks like him.

Hmm, this is quite a surprise for me. Totally unexpected for me that Tsukamoto would make a movie drawing upon such material. I am quite curious to this one.

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Re: Fires on the Plain (Shinya Tsukamoto, 2014)

Unread postby HungFist » 25 Aug 2014, 09:56

Synopsis
It is towards the end of World War II. After invading an island in the Philippines, Japanese servicemen meet fierce counter-offensive from the locals and the allied forces. It’s just a matter of time before the few survivors are wiped out. Suffering from tuberculosis private Tamura is abandoned by both his platoon and the mobile hospital. A group of soldiers with untreatable sicknesses and injuries are outside the hospital, just waiting to die. Private Tamura joins them but that night, artillery fire destroys the hospital. Tamura escapes injury and roams into the jungle. He throws himself into the overwhelming force of nature expecting that his end is near. Unable to go on anymore he takes out his grenade ready to kill himself when he notices some yams growing in the wild. The only problem is that the yams are inedible unless they’re cooked. Tamura goes to a village in search of matches. But there’s nothing there as the villagers have fled. Tamura takes a nap in a church when a young couple turns up. The woman screams in horror when she sees Tamura so he pulls the trigger of his rifle to silence her. She’s the first person he’s ever murdered. Tamura roams the jungle which is now hell on earth, with piles of bodies everywhere. Extreme fatigue numbs his mind and hunger changes him. When he starts to view his companions as food, he crosses a threshold into a realm where there are no friends, enemies or God.


Director’s Statement
I’ve been making movies about humans trapped in the city. With this film I want to show modern city dwellers that the city is not the world. That it’s just a rudderless boat floating in the sea of nature. By showing people engaged in the foolishness of war, I wanted to ask why we opt to go to war. If fighting is our primal instinct, I wanted to investigate if intelligence had a role to play in it. I don’t believe in propaganda movies. So what you take away from my film is up to you. I can sense the seventy-year-old horror and screams of those who decayed in the jungle. I pick it up on a radar that’s directly connected to my spine and I injected those sensations into every frame. If you smelled any of that, I succeeded.

- http://www.labiennale.org/en/cinema/71s ... ?back=true

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Re: Fires on the Plain (Shinya Tsukamoto, 2014)

Unread postby HungFist » 02 Sep 2014, 04:20

The first Twitter comments are starting to show up

Fires on the Plain: Tetsuo goes to war. Violent and vital and stunning. The most visually arresting film thus far
- John Bleasdale

Fires on the Plain (Tsukamoto): mad and cacophonous jungle war hell-stew. Kon Ichikawa would approve, then puke
- Robbie Collin

Shinya Tsukamoto's powerful Fires on the Plain puts Spielberg's battle scenes to shame. The horrors of war as never seen before.
- Simon Popek

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Re: Fires on the Plain (Shinya Tsukamoto, 2014)

Unread postby HungFist » 02 Sep 2014, 17:20

and a couple of reviews

Brilliantly bonkers Japanese film reminds us war is hell
- Xan Brooks

Tsukamoto’s movie is pure cinema
- Jo-Ann Titmarsh


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Re: Fires on the Plain (Shinya Tsukamoto, 2014)

Unread postby HungFist » 17 Oct 2014, 17:22


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Re: Fires on the Plain (Shinya Tsukamoto, 2014)

Unread postby HungFist » 06 Nov 2014, 10:17


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Re: Fires on the Plain (Shinya Tsukamoto, 2014)

Unread postby Tenchu1998 » 07 Nov 2014, 14:17

Wow! Looks intense as hell!

I gotta really give it to Tsukamoto for being a very talented and capable filmmaker.
I just like how he produces these low-budget, independent productions, done with a small cast and crew.
The technical proficiency of his movies is always quite impressive, I think.

I have just recently been thinking about what 'talent' is, and how it goes into wanting to create.
Tsukamoto is a good example, because he handles so many aspects of his movies.
So, just that he works jobs on the side, and then when he has enough money to produce a movie, he goes for it.
You really have to be motivated to see such projects through.
But, also technically gifted, to handle these projects mostly on your own - directing, editing, and just working quickly and effectively.
It's not easy making movies on low budgets and tie it all together in the end.

You know, Tsukamoto was talking about the fear of war, in the Kotoko interview.
I can't remember exactly now.
But I remember Kotoko was partly about the fear of an upcoming war and the pressures of trying and protecting your children.
Of course, it was not inserted directly into the movie's story. But, the sentiments was there, I think.
Because, firstly, Kotoko was really fighting an inner war, and trying to protect her child during it.
Kotoko trembling with worry and anxiety of the fragility of the life of her child, I think was partly an sentiment of the frailty of human life during a war.
But, also, there is that scene in Kotoko where she loses touch with reality completely and has that dream of the soldier entering her house and murdering her child.

So, I think Tsukamoto hinted at that fear, in Kotoko - now, he's made an actual movie about war.
It seems like it's going to be another psychological mindfuck.

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Re: Fires on the Plain (Shinya Tsukamoto, 2014)

Unread postby HungFist » 11 Dec 2014, 10:13

Tokyo FILMeX 2014 - Tsukamoto Shinya Talks FIRES ON THE PLAIN
http://twitchfilm.com/2014/12/tokyo-fil ... plain.html

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Re: Fires on the Plain (Shinya Tsukamoto, 2014)

Unread postby Tenchu1998 » 11 Dec 2014, 13:01

I watched the 2 preview video clips on YouTube. Very Tsukamoto-ish, with frenetic editing, terrorizing and nerve-wrecking atmosphere. It looks very digital video, but Tsukamoto has been shooting movies in HD-DV since 'Snake of June', after all. Dude keeps on making these low-budget movies - keeps pushing on in these dark times when it gets harder and harder to make independent movies like this.

Much looking forward to this one. I hope 3rd Window Films will release it.

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Re: Fires on the Plain (Shinya Tsukamoto, 2014)

Unread postby HungFist » 29 Apr 2015, 13:19

Teaser:
https://youtu.be/BKwrbjaD6Gg

Website is also updated and reveals they managed to get a pg-12 for it! The film's climax is supposed to be total splatter.

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Re: Fires on the Plain (Shinya Tsukamoto, 2014)

Unread postby HungFist » 21 Jun 2015, 08:09

Full trailer:
https://youtu.be/CaEItmCwC8o

Also, the website is updated, including a 27 page English language press book.
http://coproductionoffice.eu/sites/defa ... nglish.pdf

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Re: Fires on the Plain (Shinya Tsukamoto, 2014)

Unread postby HungFist » 21 Aug 2015, 04:03

Finally had time to see this. Quite a good film. The digital cinematography looks a bit rough and digital but you forget about it pretty soon. The minimal budget doesn't really show other than in the digital cinematography and the idea that the enemy is almost never seen (bullets and grenades just start coming out of seemingly nowhere), which however works fine for a jungle war film. This film really shows war at its ugliest: there's nothing pretty or heroic about it. Popular war movies like American Sniper or Fury or Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War all seem strangely clean and polished in comparison.

I don't think this is necessarily among Tsukamoto's very best films - it's still kind of missing a little bit something in terms of storyline and audio/visual execution - but it doesn't matter. It's a very solid movie and comes recommended. I would personally rank this in the same category as Kotoko, which I also thought was pretty good.

And yes, the film carries a pg-12 rating in Japan. Which is absolutely fucking insane. You get headshots, arms and legs blown off, brains splattered on the ground (and one solder stepping on those brains) and of course cannibalism.

Tsukamoto is very serious about educating youngsters about the horrors of war, though. He's been inviting high school students to the screenings and holding discussion events with them after the movie to discuss the film and its themes.

The film is performing over the expectations, being a bit of a mini-theater* hit. 30 00 admissions in three weeks so far. It seems to be more than they expected for such a non-commercial film which Tsukamoto is distributing by himself. That being said, the (supposedly) nationalistic mainstream war epic The Eternal Zero sold 7 million tickets a year ago, so that's the sad reality out there...

* Japan has this really cool thing called "mini-theater ranking", which excludes all big multiplexes and only includes small theaters. This allows you to see how smaller audience films are performing, which is really good because those films would never be able to enter the national top 10 list (you'd need a very wide distribution for that, and only major studios could do that)

Weekly Mini Theater Ranking (in Japanese):
http://www.kogyotsushin.com/archives/minitheater/

National Weekly Top 10 (in Japanese):
http://www.kogyotsushin.com/archives/weekly/

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Re: Fires on the Plain (Shinya Tsukamoto, 2014)

Unread postby Guro Taku » 29 Sep 2017, 13:27

Well, that took a long time, but FIRES ON THE PLAIN is finally available with English subtitles in the UK from Third Window Films:

Image

My snarky initial impression was along the lines of "so this is what THE THIN RED LINE had looked like if Mallick had filmed it with his iPhone" but the ugliness of the digital look can't really diminish the impact of what is a really solid anti-war film. The beauty of the landscape nicely contrasts what can only be described as a depiction of mankind at its worst and ugliest.

By the way, IMDB says Tsukamoto is currently working on an "untitled samurai film". Do we know anything about that or is it typical IMDB bullshit?

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Re: Fires on the Plain (Shinya Tsukamoto, 2014)

Unread postby HungFist » 29 Sep 2017, 14:40

Guro Taku wrote:By the way, IMDB says Tsukamoto is currently working on an "untitled samurai film". Do we know anything about that or is it typical IMDB bullshit?


I think I heard something about that somewhere a month or two ago. Probably true.


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