Retro Cinemas and Cult Films in Japan

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Guro Taku
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Re: Retro Cinemas and Cult Films in Japan

Unread post by Guro Taku » 31 Jan 2018, 19:42

HungFist wrote:Image
So you weren't the only white dude in the theater?

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Re: Retro Cinemas and Cult Films in Japan

Unread post by HungFist » 31 Jan 2018, 23:41

Guro Taku wrote:
HungFist wrote:Image
So you weren't the only white dude in the theater?
I was as far as I know. I think the photo is just making some people's skin glow whiter that it should...

I did see one gaijin at the Shogoro Nishimura screenings, though.

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Re: Retro Cinemas and Cult Films in Japan

Unread post by HungFist » 25 May 2018, 16:28

Tokyo programmers have a major boner for Meika Seri. There's a retrospective for her, this time in Shin Bungeiza, and it's the third Seri retro in in 4 years.

2014: Meika Seri retrospective in Laputa Asagaya (Tokyo)
2016: Meika Seri retrospective in Cinema Vera (Tokyo)
2018: Meika Seri retrospective in Laputa Asagaya (Tokyo)

Too bad I can't be there this time. Kumashiro's Failed Youth is included in the program... been wanting to see that for ages.
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- http://www.shin-bungeiza.com/pdf/20180524.pdf

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Re: Retro Cinemas and Cult Films in Japan

Unread post by HungFist » 20 Jun 2018, 14:27

Meiko Kaji Film Festival in Shin Bungeiza

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Full report in the Female Prisoner Scorpion thread:
http://www.bulletsnbabesdvd.com/forums/ ... 43#p179643

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Re: Retro Cinemas and Cult Films in Japan

Unread post by HungFist » 25 Jun 2018, 16:59

While I was in Tokyo, I also found time to drop by in Jinbocho Theater for Japanese 1970s retrospective. I don't know how to translate the title (七〇年代の憂鬱 退廃と情熱の映画史) well but basically the focus was on socially aware films mirroring the new gloomier era.

The program is quite excellent with titles like Tanaka's Secret Chronicle: She Beast Market (1974), Kumashiro's Africa's Light (1975), Fukasaku's Cops vs. Thugs (1975), Terayama's The Boxer (1977), Hasegawa's The Man Who Stole the Sun (1979), and more, all in 35mm except Sachiko no sachi. I only had a chance to see two titles, Sadao Nakajima's Aesthetics of a Bullet (1973) (my second time in 35mm) and Toshiya Fujita's Did the Red Bird Escape (1975).

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Aesthetics of a Bullet is a well done tale of a miserable wanna-be gangster (Tsunehiko Watase) getting his change act big while he's actually just being used by big shots. It was an ATG film made by Toei director and cast, and feels exactly that. Also features fantastic theme song and Miki Sugimoto is a supporting role.

Did the Red Bird Escape is a pretty fantastic "70s depression" zeitgeist about two small time goons (Yoshio Harada, Masaaki Daimon) and a girl (Kaori Momoi) living together and trying to make money with frauds and blackmails. The film is a bit of a slow burner, but the cast is great, Momoi spends half of the movie topless, cinematographer Tatsuo Suzuki does terric job and director Fujita was at his element with this kind of material. The 35mm print was so amazing it nearly blew my brain out.

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Other pics

Africa's Light and The Boxer
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Ryoma Ansatsu and Cops. vs. Thugs
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Zeni geba, Take Care,Red Riding Hood, Sachiko no sachi
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Re: Retro Cinemas and Cult Films in Japan

Unread post by HungFist » 26 Sep 2018, 14:39

Went to rent some dvds from Tsutaya (Japan's biggest rental store chain) today and this caught my eye.

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The Rapeman 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7... the whole series that is.

God bless Japan :cool:

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Re: Retro Cinemas and Cult Films in Japan

Unread post by Guro Taku » 26 Sep 2018, 15:25

There is also an anime:

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Directed by "Kinta Kunte". The entire franchise is based on a 13 volume manga series.

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Re: Retro Cinemas and Cult Films in Japan

Unread post by HungFist » 30 Sep 2018, 13:24

A friend of mine just attended this last night in Tokyo:

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Battles Without Honor and Humanity all night. All 5 films back to back in 35mm, from 8:20 pm to 6 am.

Couldn't afford a Tokyo trip myself this time as I needed to save money... all the Lone Wolf and Cub films are gonna be on screen in 35mm from next month.

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Re: Retro Cinemas and Cult Films in Japan

Unread post by HungFist » 21 Nov 2018, 15:12

In search of a Lone Wolf

It is no secret that Laputa Asagaya is my favorite movie theatre in Tokyo. I also love the Asagaya district. I was walking the streets one day and spotted something interesting:

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What's that, you ask? Could it be that Laputa Asagaya is running a Lone Wolf and Cub retrospective?

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Lone Wolf isn't the only thing on screen. This ad attached to a restaurant wall is for Toei Literature Adaptations retrospective in Laputa.

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We have found the treatre

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Let's get inside. Oh yes! Babycart at River Styx!

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Babycart in Peril

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Fast forward a few weeks to another night: White Heaven in Hell

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I watched Babycart to Hades, Babycart in Peril and White Heaven in Hell (actually it took two Tokyo trips to do that). I had already seen Sword of Vengeance and Babycart at River Styx in National Film Archive, and Babycart in the Land of Demons in Jinbocho Cinema before. Which means I have now seen them all in glorious 35mm! Life goal achieved. What a blast it was!

http://www.laputa-jp.com/laputa/program ... f_and_cub/

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Re: Retro Cinemas and Cult Films in Japan

Unread post by HungFist » 22 Nov 2018, 14:11

Of course Lone Wolf was not the only thing I saw in Laputa Asagaya. I went there early in the morning to catch the entertaining 1957 Toho thriller The Decoy with Ryo Ikebe using his wife as a decoy to catch escaped prisoner Makoto Sato.

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I also re-watched the Koji Tsuruta ninkyo film Dragon’s Life (1964), which features Sonny Chiba and Junko Fuji in supporting roles as brother and sister, in the Toei Literature series.

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I did not have time for other films, but here are some photos

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Gotta love the curry plate under the film poster for “Curry Rice”.

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They just started a 20 year celebration program screening some of the films they have shown in the past two decades. Here are some old chirashi ads for their programs

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Re: Retro Cinemas and Cult Films in Japan

Unread post by HungFist » 24 Nov 2018, 14:38

Also on my travels I stopped by in Cinema Vera. Unfortunately they no longer play double features. That beautiful, traditional system came to its end last summer. What we get now is a set of 5 or 6 films played every day in different order for a week. The prices went up as well as now you have to a separate buy ticket to each film. The programming is still the same, a mix of JP and foreign film retrospectives, with JP programs mainly 35mm and foreign mostly digital.

Also I need to mention that the projection quality is not as good as it used to be. A few years ago they started projecting films with brighter image which causes weaker blacks and weaker colors. I don't know if that's to do with the projector lamp or what, but the difference is clear when you compare to Laputa Asagaya, Shin Bungeiza, Film Archive etc.

That being said, it's still very much worth visiting for the program and film prints. This time they were playing Toei Ninkyo Yakuza series with a focus on lesser known films (no Red Peonies or Brutal Tales in the program). I caught the rare and entertaining if unexceptional Ken Takakura / Sonny Chiba modern day ninkyo tale Violent Street (1963), the messy Toei-turns-Zatoichi-into-an-Osaka-punk Blind Monk Swordsman (1964) that only woke my up from a come when a woman ran through the screen with her boobs out, and the enjoyable Koji Tsuruta epic Theater of Life - New Hishakaku Story (1964).

Vera's chirashi / retrospective poster art is consistently great!
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A set of Gambling Den posters
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Violent Street (right) and Blind Monk Swordsman (left)
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http://www.cinemavera.com/preview.php?no=216

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