BD 22 The Insect Woman / Nishi-Ginza Station

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swo17
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BD 22 The Insect Woman / Nishi-Ginza Station

#1 Post by swo17 » Tue Oct 04, 2011 10:20 am

The Insect Woman / Nishi-Ginza Station

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"My heroines are true to life – just look around you at Japanese women. They are strong, and they outlive men," director Shôhei Imamura once observed. And so an audacious, anthropological approach to filmmaking came into full maturity with the director's vast 1963 chronicle of pre- and post-war Japan, The Insect Woman [Nippon-konchûki, or An Account of Japanese Insects].

Comparing his heroine, Tome Matsuki (played by Sachiko Hidari, who won the "Best Actress" award at the 1964 Berlin Film Festival for the role) to the restlessness and survival instincts of worker insects, the film is an unsparing study of working-class female life. Beginning with Tome’s birth in 1918, it follows her through five decades of social change, several improvised careers, and male-inflicted cruelty.

Elliptically plotted, brimming over with black humour and taboo material, and immaculately staged in crystalline NikkatsuScope, The Insect Woman is arguably Imamura’s most radical and emphatic testament to female resilience. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present The Insect Woman alongside Imamura’s rarely seen 1958 feature Nishi-Ginza Station in a special Dual Format edition.

DUAL FORMAT RELEASE INCLUDING BLU-RAY AND DVD VERSIONS OF BOTH FILMS

• Newly restored high-definition master of The Insect Woman
• New progressive transfer of Nishi-Ginza Station, a 1958 feature by Imamura
• Newly translated optional English subtitles for both films
• A video conversation about The Insect Woman between Imamura and critic Tadao Satô
• A lavish booklet featuring essays by film scholar Tony Rayns on both films, rare archival imagery, and more!

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colinr0380
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Re: BD 22 The Insect Woman / Nishi-Ginza Station

#2 Post by colinr0380 » Tue Oct 04, 2011 4:49 pm

Very exciting to see Nishi-Ginza Station included on this release! That makes the upgrading from the Criterion version of Insect Woman even more essential!

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antnield
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Re: BD 22 The Insect Woman / Nishi-Ginza Station

#3 Post by antnield » Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:18 am


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mfunk9786
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Re: BD 22 The Insect Woman / Nishi-Ginza Station

#4 Post by mfunk9786 » Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:38 pm

Can anyone comment on whether this and the Pigs and Battleships release are so substantially better than the Criterion releases that I should skip the Criterion boxset and pay (ultimately) the premium of both cost and time (assuming we're indeed just biding time until we see an Intentions of Murder Blu from MoC) to get these instead?

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swo17
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Re: BD 22 The Insect Woman / Nishi-Ginza Station

#5 Post by swo17 » Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:44 pm

Pigs & Battleships looks fantastic in HD. Nick has had several times that materials aren't up to snuff for them to release Intentions of Murder.

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mfunk9786
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Re: BD 22 The Insect Woman / Nishi-Ginza Station

#6 Post by mfunk9786 » Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:09 pm

At all? Unfortunately that'll have to be the icing on the cake for me since the Criterions aren't sold individually, but it's really disappointing to say so!

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bainbridgezu
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Re: BD 22 The Insect Woman / Nishi-Ginza Station

#7 Post by bainbridgezu » Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:05 am

Agreed; Intentions of Murder is my favorite Imamura by far.

Since MOC didn't include it with either of their releases of the other two titles from the set, I'm hoping Criterion puts Endless Desire onto disc before too long. Has anyone else watched this on Hulu (or seen it otherwise)? It seems like a perfect candidate for one of their monthly $30 titles.

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zeroism
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Re: BD 22 The Insect Woman / Nishi-Ginza Station

#8 Post by zeroism » Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:29 am

bainbridgezu wrote:Agreed; Intentions of Murder is my favorite Imamura by far.

Since MOC didn't include it with either of their releases of the other two titles from the set, I'm hoping Criterion puts Endless Desire onto disc before too long. Has anyone else watched this on Hulu (or seen it otherwise)? It seems like a perfect candidate for one of their monthly $30 titles.
Add me to the list for Intentions of Murder. Objectively (as much as that is possible), I'd consider it his 'greatest film', though my personal favorite is The Pornographers.

I watched Endless Desire on Hulu and enjoyed it quite a bit. Based on all that's written about Pigs & Battleships being his 'breakthrough film', I wasn't expecting something quite so thoroughly 'Imamura'. Perhaps it's not quite on the level of his later work, but there's plenty to indicate the paths he would later take - the underbelly of society; the earthy, laconic, black humor; Shinsaku Himeda's cinematography, already distinctive. It certainly deserves a physical format release, though my guess would be Eclipse if anything from Criterion.

EDIT: The script wasn't in fact written by Natto Wada, but by Imamura and Hisashi Yamanouchi, just as with Pigs & Battleships, which makes a lot more sense. I shouldn't rely on IMDB/Wikipedia to compensate for my poor memory.
Last edited by zeroism on Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:17 am, edited 2 times in total.

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knives
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Re: BD 22 The Insect Woman / Nishi-Ginza Station

#9 Post by knives » Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:32 am

bainbridgezu wrote:Agreed; Intentions of Murder is my favorite Imamura by far.

Since MOC didn't include it with either of their releases of the other two titles from the set, I'm hoping Criterion puts Endless Desire onto disc before too long. Has anyone else watched this on Hulu (or seen it otherwise)? It seems like a perfect candidate for one of their monthly $30 titles.
I'd prefer them to put it out as an early Imamura eclipse with the other two '50s titles and Nianchan.

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zeroism
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Re: BD 22 The Insect Woman / Nishi-Ginza Station

#10 Post by zeroism » Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:36 am

knives wrote:I'd prefer them to put it out as an early Imamura eclipse with the other two '50s titles and Nianchan.
If anything, my guess would be that's exactly what they'd do. Here's hoping.

Gaddis
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Re: BD 22 The Insect Woman / Nishi-Ginza Station

#11 Post by Gaddis » Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:37 am

Can anyone comment on whether this and the Pigs and Battleships release are so substantially better than the Criterion releases that I should skip the Criterion boxset and pay (ultimately) the premium of both cost and time (assuming we're indeed just biding time until we see an Intentions of Murder Blu from MoC) to get these instead?
I ended up buying both as the collector mentality got the better of me. I think you'd be perfectly happy with just the MOC, the image for one, even on SD seems noticeably sharper particularly on PIGS AND BATTLESHIPS. Supplements would be the reason to double-dip, with Criterion adding some nice contextual info, but then you don't get the added films, and I really warmed to STOLEN DESIRE.

I'd love to see MOC release INTENTIONS OF MURDER - or just more Imamura, next to the Pialat series they've been my favourites.

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Der Spieler
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Re: BD 22 The Insect Woman / Nishi-Ginza Station

#12 Post by Der Spieler » Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:47 pm

swo17 wrote:Pigs & Battleships looks fantastic in HD. Nick has had several times that materials aren't up to snuff for them to release Intentions of Murder.
They could release it in SD though.

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swo17
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Re: BD 22 The Insect Woman / Nishi-Ginza Station

#13 Post by swo17 » Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:54 pm

peerpee wrote:At the moment, THE INSECT WOMAN Dual Format is moving along nicely, but we have no intention of releasing INTENTIONS OF MURDER on DVD or Blu-ray because the available materials that Nikkatsu have aren't up to scratch.

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swo17
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Re: BD 22 The Insect Woman / Nishi-Ginza Station

#14 Post by swo17 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:11 pm

Nishi-Ginza Station was a blast--a great inclusion, MoC! Here's hoping his other early features find their way onto future Imamura releases (though I know you're taking a break on him at the moment).

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: BD 22 The Insect Woman / Nishi-Ginza Station

#15 Post by Michael Kerpan » Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:26 pm

Also watched Nishi-Ginza Station last night -- lots of fun -- it reminded me (in some ways) of Ichikawa's comedies of this era (though Ichikawa's comedies had a darker tinged sort of humor).

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