Takeshi Kitano Collection, 1989-1993

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rapta
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Takeshi Kitano Collection, 1989-1993

#1 Post by rapta » Tue Feb 04, 2020 1:00 pm

Confirmed for June 29th - a box set of Violent Cop, Boiling Point and Sonatine (finally)!

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Finch
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Re: Takeshi Kitano Collection, 1989-1993

#2 Post by Finch » Tue Feb 04, 2020 4:06 pm

Eyed the Japanese import of Sonatine for a long time so this is welcome news and no one in the US seems to prioritise it (perhaps sales of the other two titles for Film Movement weren't as good as hoped).

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The Fanciful Norwegian
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Re: Takeshi Kitano Collection, 1989-1993

#3 Post by The Fanciful Norwegian » Tue Feb 04, 2020 4:48 pm

Lionsgate has Sonatine in the U.S., via their deal with the current owners of the Miramax library. They sell it on digital storefronts (and used to have it on Netflix), but no surprise that they haven't bothered with a physical release.

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rapta
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Re: Takeshi Kitano Collection, 1989-1993

#4 Post by rapta » Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:13 pm

I bought a DVD box set of these three films in Oxfam not long ago so I can now ditch that and get this. I've only seen Sonatine but got that box set to see the other two, but I might wait to see them in HD. I love Kitano and everything I've seen of his to date (mostly just his 90's and early 00's stuff) and got each of the Third Window titles on release so will be getting this immediately as well. Props to BFI for grabbing something the people were asking for, and I'm sure this will be a great package!

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Finch
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Re: Takeshi Kitano Collection, 1989-1993

#5 Post by Finch » Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:41 pm

tubi has Violent Cop, Boiling Point, Hana Bi and Outrage Beyond so I streamed the first two. Violent Cop does what it does very well but Boiling Point swings for the fences and in my opinion misses. I found the shift of tone in the second act too jarring and the misogyny of Kitano's character makes for a grim experience of watching the film. I mean, it's right that Kitano doesn't excuse his character's behaviour and is very blunt about it but I don't see myself revisiting this film anytime soon. It doesn't help that my interest in baseball is non-existent and I found the game scenes mostly boring. What I did like about those scenes is the sense of community and camaraderie they conveyed. I also did like a scene in the second act in the restaurant that feels like the characters are trapped in a Twin Peaks-esque timeloop (if I recall correctly, an incident is repeated in the same scene in the same long take as if it hadn't happened previously). But yeah.... absolutely one of my least favourite Kitanos.

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Mr Sausage
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Re: Takeshi Kitano Collection, 1989-1993

#6 Post by Mr Sausage » Sat Feb 15, 2020 5:21 pm

It’s true, Kitano’s desire to escape his comedic persona by making his character in Boiling Point as unlikeable as possible sinks the film. Such endless misogynistic violence is hard enough to take on its own, let alone uncoupled from any larger themes that might justify it (if it can be justified). Luckily it’s a mistake he would learn from, and his subsequent films balance their ruthless violence with a feeling of sensitivity and even sweetness. Boiling Point is a pointless abyss of rotten behaviour.

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Lowry_Sam
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Re: Takeshi Kitano Collection, 1989-1993

#7 Post by Lowry_Sam » Sat Feb 15, 2020 5:32 pm

Finch wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 4:06 pm
Eyed the Japanese import of Sonatine for a long time so this is welcome news and no one in the US seems to prioritise it (perhaps sales of the other two titles for Film Movement weren't as good as hoped).
I think the covers scared people off. I first thought they were public domain releases.

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: Takeshi Kitano Collection, 1989-1993

#8 Post by Michael Kerpan » Sat Feb 15, 2020 5:55 pm

My recollection was that these were also priced rather high.

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kindaikun
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Re: Takeshi Kitano Collection, 1989-1993

#9 Post by kindaikun » Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:00 pm

I thought BFI had given up the whole Westernising Japanese names by reversing the order thing? Shouldn’t this be the Kitano Takeshi Collection?

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swo17
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Re: Takeshi Kitano Collection, 1989-1993

#10 Post by swo17 » Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:17 pm

Actually, I'm struggling to think of a single Japanese release where they've done what you're suggesting

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kindaikun
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Re: Takeshi Kitano Collection, 1989-1993

#11 Post by kindaikun » Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:26 pm

Maybe I’m thinking of MoC. I know whenever Tony Rayns write notes for them, he makes a point of keeping the names in the original Japanese order.

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Re: Takeshi Kitano Collection, 1989-1993

#12 Post by yoshimori » Sun Feb 16, 2020 4:15 am

Finch wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:41 pm
Boiling Point swings for the fences and in my opinion misses.
Obviously not for everyone. Boiling Point - the Japanese title means something like "A Late Season 3 to 4 Loss in Extra Innings" - is filled with what are for me hilarious bits - the finger chopping scene, an accidental murder, the repeated swatting of the "girlfriend" that you and others found hard to take. [I myself find the more clichéd and sentimental portrayal of women in Scene at the Sea and Hana-bi hard to take, pretty obvious weaknesses of those films. Kitano just doesn't seem to have a feel for female characters, and so mostly, wisely, avoids featuring them.]

fwiw, lots of Japanese critics - Abe Kasho in his Kitano book, others cited in Aaron Gerow's Kitano book - count this film his "purest". I love it.

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Takeshi Kitano Collection, 1989-1993

#13 Post by MichaelB » Sun Feb 16, 2020 5:51 am

swo17 wrote:Actually, I'm struggling to think of a single Japanese release where they've done what you're suggesting
Sight & Sound has a policy of doing this in print, but I too can’t think of a video release.

(I once asked them why they insisted on Kurosawa Akira but not Jancsó Miklós and the answer was a delightfully candid “I don’t know”. Although I’ve never seen a Hungarian name presented surname-first in an English sentence unless it’s explicitly about this issue.)

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colinr0380
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Re: Takeshi Kitano Collection, 1989-1993

#14 Post by colinr0380 » Sun Feb 16, 2020 5:57 am

And without Boiling Point I don't think we would have gotten the perfect balance of Sonatine.

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Finch
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Re: Takeshi Kitano Collection, 1989-1993

#15 Post by Finch » Sun Feb 16, 2020 4:13 pm

I'm curious as to how the repeated beatings of the girlfriend can be considered funny. Maybe it's a cultural thing but I don't find misogyny even remotely funny. Kitano doesn't even seem to offer a critique of it.

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whaleallright
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Re: Takeshi Kitano Collection, 1989-1993

#16 Post by whaleallright » Sun Feb 16, 2020 5:29 pm

Boiling Point is, with A Scene at the Sea, probably my favorite Kitano. It's undoubtedly messier than Sonatine, whose story it closely resembles, but that anarchic quality combined with Kitano's truly original use of film language—the film is full of cuts and framings that are strange and startling— really does it for me. It probably helps to be familiar with the clichés of Japanese popular narrative that the film is travestying, from the nagaremono and oyabun/kobun of yazuka stories to the double suicide at the end.

In re. the film's misogynistic violence: One of the key things about Kitano (in his comedy routines and several of his best films) is that he cheerfully darts back and forth over the line between funny and uncomfortable. His character in Boiling Point is genuinely appalling and also the source of a lot of humor. Personally I find that kind of exhilarating. There's a long tradition in art of this sort of thing—think of the Marquis de Sade. I'm not going to pretend the violence in the film is "responsible," and Kitano doesn't avail himself of (for example) the antifascist alibi of Saló, but the film does communicate a powerful sense of the utter futility of violence. Or maybe the film is just about futility, period. That said, I'm not someone who thinks art needs to "offer a critique" of bad behavior or make sure the audience knows it disapproves of it.

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Finch
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Re: Takeshi Kitano Collection, 1989-1993

#17 Post by Finch » Sun Feb 16, 2020 5:51 pm

I guess my problem is that the woman isn't shown to have any kind of agency. She isn't even going to the other characters for help unless she figures they aren't going to help her anyway which given the scenes the film presents is a fair guess. She exists to be slapped around and to get fucked, and that's where it crosses the line from very very dark humour to something else altogether.

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Re: Takeshi Kitano Collection, 1989-1993

#18 Post by Michael Kerpan » Sun Feb 16, 2020 5:59 pm

Possibly the most horrifying violence directed at a woman (an adult daughter) by Kitano was in LEE Sang-Il's Blood and Bone -- where it was intended to be horrifying and definitely not the slightest bit funny....

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Mr Sausage
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Re: Takeshi Kitano Collection, 1989-1993

#19 Post by Mr Sausage » Mon Feb 17, 2020 12:16 pm

Finch wrote:I'm curious as to how the repeated beatings of the girlfriend can be considered funny. Maybe it's a cultural thing but I don't find misogyny even remotely funny. Kitano doesn't even seem to offer a critique of it.
I’m not sure the beatings and rape is supposed to be funny. I’ve always understood it as Kitano’s overblown attempt to put aside his Beat Takeshi persona in the public imagination. Even its defenders can’t seem to find a justification for the misogyny, mostly choosing to imply the fault lies somehow with the viewer (not understanding Japanese cinema; not getting Kitano’s humour; preferring sentimental cliches that are even more reprehensible, somehow). Not exactly convincing.

That said, while the movie doesn’t work, it’s nowhere near as bad as Getting Any?, the absolute nadir of his pre-Takeshis work.

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colinr0380
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Re: Takeshi Kitano Collection, 1989-1993

#20 Post by colinr0380 » Mon Feb 17, 2020 12:36 pm

Well Getting Any? is kind of the Monty Python's Meaning of Life of Kitano's films, in that its more of an elaborate string of sketches around a slim central plot thread. It does have the best drug deal scene in film though! And that parody of a Zatoichi film years before he made a straight-faced attempt at it!

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Re: Takeshi Kitano Collection, 1989-1993

#21 Post by Michael Kerpan » Mon Feb 17, 2020 1:17 pm

I also think Getting Any has at least some entertaining parts -- as a whole, however, yeah, not so good.

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Re: Takeshi Kitano Collection, 1989-1993

#22 Post by M Sanderson » Thu Feb 20, 2020 9:54 am

Are these new restorations? If not what kind of shape are the materials in?

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Re: Takeshi Kitano Collection, 1989-1993

#23 Post by stroszeck » Wed May 06, 2020 2:01 am

Is everyone going to go with the Japanese Blu of Sonatine? Knowing my luck I would hate to finally buy it at such a premium price and then have a US blu finally get released 😬

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Finch
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Re: Takeshi Kitano Collection, 1989-1993

#24 Post by Finch » Wed May 06, 2020 4:15 am

Hell will freeze over before Lionsgate bother to release Sonatine on a US Blu-Ray, plus, I like Violent Cop well enough to justify getting the BFI set (even with Boiling Point in it!). And even if Lionsgate's licence expires, who is more likely to release it? Film Movement would slap an ugly cover on it and charge too much for it. Can't see the Japanese import being significantly cheaper than the BFI set and you get two more films with Sonatine.

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