Retro Cinemas and Cult Films in Japan

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HungFist
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Re: Retro Cinemas and Cult Films in Japan

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Guro Taku wrote: 13 May 2022, 16:25 I don't want to imagine what 360i would look like projected on even a tiny screen. I once saw Mari Asato's The Boy From Hell screened from a 480i digibeta and that was not an enjoyable experience at all.
I've been to pink cinemas in Ueno and Ikebukuro (once in each) and they were screening digital files only, and some of them seemed like the same VHS-masters you see streaming on Fanza. No, it wasn't pretty.
Guro Taku wrote: 13 May 2022, 16:25 You may well be right. I haven't revisited the film since Toei first released it on DVD in 2005 and I definitely went into watching it with the wrong expectations, having just come off discovering the likes of Shogun's Joy of Torture and Inferno of Torture. Maybe it's time for a rewatch.
Yeah, expectations. I really had quite a good time seeing this in 35mm, partly because of the gorgeous print and projected on a big screen, but also because it's the kind of film that requires patience (it obviously isn't as exciting as the other films you mentioned) and sitting in theatre you have all the time to appreciate its visual merits and historical relevance. I'd love a good BD of this, but I'm not sure I'd enjoy the film as much at home.
Guro Taku wrote: 13 May 2022, 16:25 Thanks for the heads up. I'll keep my eyes peeled. ;) Now all that's missing, as far as my pinky violence needs are concerned, is 下苅り半次郎 (秘)観音を探せ. They'll have to get around to that eventually, right?
Yeah, you just need to kill Goro Ibuki :lol:

We also need 女囚やくざ.
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Re: Retro Cinemas and Cult Films in Japan

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I was in a local small multiplex (*) watching Night of the Living Dead (1968) (4K DCP) the other day, and found myself having a private cinema.

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In all honesty, two other viewers did show up on the last moment before the film started.

Also, good to see A Serbian Film is going for a nationwide theatrical re-release. Touted as new 4K remaster. Obviously gonna be optically censored for some of the nudity, however, so no watch for me.

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* 4 screens, with program catered for the young and trendy adults.
Screening now: https://www.sugai-dinos.jp/cinema/sapporo/now_showing/
Coming soon: https://www.sugai-dinos.jp/cinema/sapporo/coming_soon/
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Re: Retro Cinemas and Cult Films in Japan

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I had 9 hours to spare between flights in Tokyo, so of course I headed to Jimbocho to catch a movie. They were doing a series for actors and filmmakers celebrating their 100th anniversary. I watched the stylish Daiei noir Escape Man (脱獄者) (1967), which I don't think has been ever released on video. Slightly damaged but perfectly watchable 35mm print.

Poster on the right, ad for the upcoming Fujita & Kumashiro joint retrospective on the left
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Hedorah...
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Escape Man in the middle
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Re: Retro Cinemas and Cult Films in Japan

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Sorry for the lack of updates recently. I’ve done two big Tokyo trips in the last three months, and married an incredible Japanese beauty between those, so I haven’t had much time to post.

June - Part 1/2

I had been eying a June Tokyo visit ever since Laputa Asagaya announced an impossible-to-see-at-home Sonny Chiba screening (more about that in a moment), with the “50 Director’s Debut Films” program still running at the same venue as well as a Pink Film 6th Anniversary Program. Then when Shin bungeiza dropped the bomb - they’d be doing a Shintaro Katsu mini retro at the same time – it was decided in a split second. Flights, capsule, films, here I come.

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The primary reason for the trip was Love School (1962), a charming little love comedy playing in Laputa’s Morning Show in the Mayumi Ozora program. In the film best friends Yoshiko Sakuma and Mayumi Ozora go boy hunting (looking for dates) with the former at one point finding herself harassed by an old geezer. To rescue comes young man Sonny Chiba, driving a vintage vehicle that looks like a slightly upgraded version of T-Ford. This is quite a progressive youth film for Toei, from trendy English title (spelled Renai gakko in kanji, but Love School is the intended furigana reading) to a charmingly modern heroine, and an underlying message 'follow your heart, not your family'. For Chiba fans these romantic films predating his tough mofo reputation by a decade are a most pleasant discovery. Fantastic print too!

Love School
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Love School (alternative poster)
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Love School wasn’t the only thing to see in Laputa. I ended up with quite a pink streak watching Virgin Breaker Yuki (50 Debuts program), Angel Guts: Red Vertigo (50 Debuts program) and Bondage Tattoo on Wet Skin (Pink Film 60th Anniversary series) in a row. Virgin Breaker Yuki was better than I recalled, a mean little film that also contains the kind of visual poetry that only a 35mm screening does full justice. Great Takuzo Kawatani turn as angry castrated hobo and yes, Masumi Jun’s breasts are a sight to behold.

Red Vertigo about as good as I recalled – a near excellent psychological erotic drama with Takashi Ishii’s instantly recognizable visual neo-noir flair. The screening was affected by unintended melancholy as Ishii had passed away just a few weeks earlier. Oh and just for the record, while the print was a little scratched, I think the blue push in the colour front was intentional.

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Last and absolutely least was Bondage Tattoo on Wet Skin. I felt obliged to watch this Mamoru Watanabe Shintoho S&M film just because it was screening in 35mm (*). A soldier (Shiro Shimomoto) comes home from war, only to find his sweetheart (Mai Hana) missing. She's actually in the attic, tied up on ropes and tattooed from ankles to neck, under intensive yakuza care. What's curious is that she's fully engaged in self-torture, tying herself up and even pulling herself up in the air on ropes by herself when there's no one to whip her. It's slightly spectacular to look at and supposedly adds a psychological layer to the sleaze. Meanwhile he proceeds to bang other women... a lot. That’s it. Watching this back to back with Toei's Virgin Breaker Yuki and Nikkatsu's Red Vertigo, and it's painfully evident how much lower the production values and filmmaking quality are here.

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* With most pink theatres having gone tits up, and the few remaining ones gone fully digital, Shintoho pinks have become nearly impossible to see in 35mm outside of Laputa's retrospectives.

I also grabbed a few photos inside the screening room.

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And outside. Lobby is on the right, screening room up the wooden stairs in the 2nd floor

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Re: Retro Cinemas and Cult Films in Japan

Post by Takeuchi_Yoko »

HungFist wrote: 19 Sep 2022, 09:37 Sorry for the lack of updates recently. I’ve done two big Tokyo trips in the last three months, and married an incredible Japanese beauty between those, so I haven’t had much time to post.
Omedetô~ :clap:
(And thanks again for posting your theatrical adventures.)
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