The films of Akira Kurosawa

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Kirk Tsai, Oct 7, 2001.

  1. Kirk Tsai

    Kirk Tsai Screenwriter

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    I have recently began to start watching more of Kurosawa's films, but could not find many on our beloved DVD format. These are the films I know on DVD: (or at least, region one):
    Seven Samuri CC
    Yojimbo CC
    Sanjuro CC
    High & Low CC
    The Hidden Fortress CC
    Rashomon CC (upcoming)
    Dersu Uzala
    Ran
    Madadayo
    So I guess my question contains three parts. First, are there more on DVD, and if so, how is the quality? Second, for those unreleased in region one, who controls the rights and are there plans to release them? And finally, is it possible for films like Dersu Uzala or some of the Criterion DVDs to have new and improved editions? I am aware that there has been several threads on the potential (or lack of) re-release of Ran, but I have yet to read more about the other films of this great master. Any info is welcomed.
     
  2. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

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    That's it right now, there are two others that I know of on the way:
    Do-Des-Ka-Den Criterion
    New version of Dersu Uzala from Ruscico. Should be anamorphic, 5.1, and have extras in a 2 disc set. This is supposed to be out any day now.
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  3. Kirk Tsai

    Kirk Tsai Screenwriter

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    Dersu Uzala getting a two disc set? Wow, that's extremely good news. I am unfamiliar with the company Ruscico, are they a good company for DVDs?
    I just read in the "Criterion is doing George Washington" thread that Ikiru will also be a future release.
     
  4. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    I am hoping that Dreams makes it to DVD. It is a beautiful LD!
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    RAF
    [Demented Video Dude since 1997]
    [Computer Maven since 1956]
    ["PITA" since 1942]
    My HT (latest update 02/05/01)
     
  5. Jussi Tarvainen

    Jussi Tarvainen Second Unit

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  6. MikeM

    MikeM Screenwriter

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    I remember hearing a rumor that there may be a Criterion version of Ikiru sometime in the future. I'd really like to get my hands on that one as it's one of my favorite Kurosawa films.
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    [​IMG]
     
  7. Kirk Tsai

    Kirk Tsai Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the link Jussi.
    Anyone else know who controls the rights to his unreleased films such as Throne of Blood?
     
  8. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    Stop! You guys are making me drool! A two-disc version of Dersu Uzala? I didn't pick up the other version because I'd heard it was sub-par. Great to know a better version is coming! Can't wait for the CC Rashomon, either. Hopefully, CC will do Ikiru, too! I'd also like to see Dreams, Stray Dog, Throne of Blood, The Bad Sleep Well, Kagemusha, Rhapsody in August, and a new, better version of Ran. Whew!
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    He thought on homeland, the big timber, the air thin and chill all the year long. Tulip poplars so big through the trunk they put you in mind of locomotives set on end. He thought of getting home and building him a cabin on Cold Mountain so high that not a soul but the nighthawks passing across the clouds in autumn could hear his sad cry. Of living a life so quiet he would not need ears. And if Ada would go with him, there might be the hope, so far off in the distance he did not even really see it, that in time his despair might be honed off to a point so fine and thin that it would be nearly the same as vanishing.
    -- Charles Frazier, Cold Mountain
     
  9. soop.spoon

    soop.spoon Supporting Actor

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    Robert... do you know who produced the LD of Dreams? I've heard Warner owns it.
     
  10. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

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    Throne of Blood is in the Janus Films Collection so it should get an eventual Criterion release.
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    "It's funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you viddy them on the screen"
    S&S Challenge: 72 ...24
    DVD BEAVER

    My DVD Collection
     
  11. Michael St. Clair

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    I have the Dreams letterboxed laserdisc, and it is most definitely from Warner.
    I bought it half-priced at a comic book store that ordered it by accident!
     
  12. Matthew_Millheiser

    Matthew_Millheiser Supporting Actor

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    Kirk,
    There are numerous Region 0 Hong Kong releases of most of Kurosawa's films, distributed by (I think) Mei Ah. I bought many of these off of Ebay back in 1999. But BEWARE! The quality of these discs is trulypitiful (for DVD, that is). They look like mediocre VHS transfers. Furthermore, the English subtitles read like 2nd-generation Ebonics.
    I bought the HK Rashomon in 1999 with no other release in site. Now that I know a Criterion release is in the pipeline, I realize I should have waited....
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  13. Kirk Tsai

    Kirk Tsai Screenwriter

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    Matthew, thanks for the info/warning. I suspected there were other region or region 0 releases of them, but I also have some not-so-good-looking Mei Ah discs, so I understand where you are coming from.
     
  14. Peter Yee

    Peter Yee Stunt Coordinator
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    I'm holding out for Kagemusha. The old P&S VHS tape I had is really showing its age.
    -Peter
     
  15. Carl C

    Carl C Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree with Matthew that the Region-Free Akira Kurosawa discs from Mei Ah are very subpar in quality.
    However, they're quite inexpensive and I've found that it's probably a good idea to pick up a few of the more "obscure" AK titles (like "Stray Dog", some his earlier work, etc) that won't be out on Region 1 DVD anytime soon, if ever. Besides, they can be had for under $20 each. Nothing wrong with that. [​IMG]
     
  16. Kirk Tsai

    Kirk Tsai Screenwriter

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    Bringing this back up since I just saw Kagemusha, which completely floored me, definitly one of my favorites now.

    Who owns the rights to the movie, Toho or Fox?
     
  17. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Fox has Kagemusha. Fox! PLEASE SOON!
     
  18. Steve_Ch

    Steve_Ch Supporting Actor

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    >>Fox has Kagemusha. Fox! PLEASE SOON!
     
  19. Graeme Clark

    Graeme Clark Cinematographer

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    From the recent Criterion Chat:

     
  20. Robb Hudspeth

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    Two years later, is there any new word on Throne of Blood? It's been #1 on my must have list since I saw it in film school in 1988.
     

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