Himiko is excellent. I saw it when Criterion was still on Hulu so god knows when that will see a release.yoshimori wrote:ATG filmographydda1996a wrote:What are other worth ATG films? (aside from Imamura and Funeral Parade)
My favorites, aside from the four Jissojis, the Oshimas, Mastumotos, and Terayamas, are Hani's Inferno of First Love (68), Shinoda's bizarre (Jissoji-esque?) Himiko (74), and, one of the last ATG films, Morita's Family Game (83). I've seen 34 of the 71 titles listed there, and every one of them was at least "of interest".
Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released from Arrow and the films on them.
- Jean-Luc Garbo
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- Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:04 pm
According to amazon.co.jp, this (the Japanese ATG 4 blu-ray set) is the first time the longer cut (what it refers to as 137 mins.) has been released so it's certainly not the most common version in Japan. Apparently Jissoji was forced to bring the film in at 2hrs (hence the theatrical version which it lists as 120mins.) but that his preferred cut was the longer version. The longer version included on that blu-ray (which I don't own to check) is described as a special feature following the 'miraculous discovery' of 'material that was digitised for preservation'. Since it doesn't mention restoration or anything being done to this material I assume it isn't of particularly high quality and isn't a replacement for the 'main feature', the shorter, theatrical version - it may even be in SD (hopefully someone who owns these discs could check and confirm at some point).joshua wrote:I've seen Poem listed under two different running times- 119 min and 136 min. Does anyone know anything about this?
It also describes the cuts as being, rather than one or two large scenes being removed, many small cuts made for economic reasons (presumably so the film could be shown more times a day).
So obviously it would be best if this version could be included too, however it may not be as simple as both versions having been included in similar quality on the Japanese blu-rays. They do, however, include Asaki yumemishi [Faint Dreams], and that film's exclusion here is certainly unfortunate.
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Very helpful information. Thanks for this.colinr0380 wrote:Yes, it was definitely made in 1988.
The film was available through ADV Films on DVD in the US but that was a number of years ago and that company has since folded. I'm not sure if anyone has picked the film up for Western distribution since, but it apparently got a Blu-ray edition in Japan a couple of years ago. I remember Manga Video put the film out in the UK on VHS back in the 1990s, but I am not sure if they ever revisited it for the DVD era, let alone Blu-ray.
I have not yet had the opportunity to see the live action version but a couple of years after Tokyo: The Last Megalopolis was made in 1988 the same source material was also adapted into a 4 part OVA anime called Doomed Megalopolis which is certainly quite an experience (I suspect that it is also one of the reasons that the live action film did not receive too much attention in the UK, as the anime adaptation got much more traction here and sort of overwhelmed it. Channel 4 even broadcast Doomed Megalopolis in 1995! I remember it being quite the talking point amongst my friends in the school cafeteria for days after each episode aired!). The anime at least plays like a slightly tamer (though these things are relative) version of a story in a similar vein to the notorious Urotsukidoji series (though the heroine giving birth to a giant maggot through her mouth seems more primarily inspired by Poltergeist II!), and quite a lot of the action is based around the 1923 Great Kanto earthquake, layering an occult, apocalyptic context on top of a historical natural disaster.
Apparently (at least according to Wikipedia) both Tokyo: The Last Megalopolis and Doomed Megalopolis are only adapting the first four parts of a twelve volume novel, so they both end rather inconclusively, though it seems that the live action film got a sequel the following year that adapted the eleventh book of the series, which at least provided a little bit of closure.
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Don't know how the Japanese blu-ray of the 137 minute version of Poem is presented, but I have a DVD dupe of the long version. It looks like a transfer from a perfectly nice print (some speckling, some visible defects at cuts). I suspect that the long version on blu-ray is a transfer of this (pretty good, but probably inferior) print and not a composite of the (hopefully pristine) transfer of the 120 version and the "extra bits" from the longer print.
- Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:04 pm
That's certainly the impression I got from the Japanese. Presumably the number of tiny cuts would make creating a composite cut very difficult.yoshimori wrote:Don't know how the Japanese blu-ray of the 137 minute version of Poem is presented, but I have a DVD dupe of the long version. It looks like a transfer from a perfectly nice print (some speckling, some visible defects at cuts). I suspect that the long version on blu-ray is a transfer of this (pretty good, but probably inferior) print and not a composite of the (hopefully pristine) transfer of the 120 version and the "extra bits" from the longer print.
Interestingly, it describes the long version as having been digitised for his archives during his lifetime (he apparently kept everything and it was discovered amongst his materials), and since he died in 2006, that would imply a pre-2006 quality digitisation and not necessarily a brilliant quality copy (possibly a DVD). Due to the large amount of materials he left, it's not impossible that a physical print of this version may appear at some point in the future, but this doesn't appear to be what is available now.
Frustratingly, it seems almost impossible to find Japanese reviews of the blu-ray (or pretty much any blu-ray) with accurate screenshots, apparently for copyright reasons, making it hard to determine the quality on disc.
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I can offer some info re: the Japanese disc. The longer version is indeed from an HD transfer and is different in PQ from the main version. The disc is a BD-50 because of having these two versions in HD (each taking up about 20 GB of space).
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Thanks for the info, that's good to know. Hopefully Arrow will update the extra to include this version too before release, since it's the director's preferred version. If it's not included, I'll consider importing the Japanese version too, for that and the extra film.andyli wrote:I can offer some info re: the Japanese disc. The longer version is indeed from an HD transfer and is different in PQ from the main version. The disc is a BD-50 because of having these two versions in HD (each taking up about 20 GB of space).