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December 07, 2009


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S. Porath

Funny, I just saw Throne of Blood for the first time a couple of days ago. I wasn't overwhelmed by it like I was with other Kurosawa...but even thinking about it now, I'm getting the same kind of vibe I get when trying to pin down Lawrence of Arabia in thought.


Can we trade in the DVDs we already bought from Criterion, or are we expected to pay again for the same films already bought? Yes, yes, I know: they're remastered. Remastered from remasters. A year from now these will probably be out on Blu-ray so Criterion can profit again.

Glenn Kenny

While I believe the box is a really well-done one, I wouldn't "expect" anyone who already owns Criterion versions of the films to necessarily spring for it, and I don't think Criterion necessarily expects that either. I imagine the wartime pictures heretofore unknown to DVD will surface in another Eclipse set at some point, and that "Madadayo" may see a stand-alone release, perhaps in the "Essential Art House" series, and perhaps not. In any event, I'm not going to condemn this box merely on the grounds that it exists; I don't think Criterion's forcing it down anyone's throat. If you can't afford it/don't want it/think it constitutes some kind of ripoff, then your course is pretty clear: don't even consider buying it.

Just because Criterion puts out movies we love doesn't exempt it from being a capitalist entity. And I rather doubt it could do all the great stuff that it does were it run as a non-profit.

Tom Russell

"Just because Criterion puts out movies we love doesn't exempt it from being a capitalist entity. And I rather doubt it could do all the great stuff that it does were it run as a non-profit."

An excellent point.

This is the kind of thing I'd love to buy if I had the money/will buy when I do. I'm especially intrigued by the "tyro almost drunk on the possibilities of filmmaking" description you give of the Sugata films.


I dearly wish that the films previously unavailable would come out separately, but the Criterion folk have been pretty clear about how terribly expensive THE HUMAN CONDITION and the Rossellini WWII boxsets were to produce. Both those sets considerably slowed down their release pace for this year. I imagine this Kurosawa box was, erm, a bit costly too.


Also, speaking of THRONE OF BLOOD...I may be remembering this incorrectly, but I always thought that the Coens referenced it in THE MAN WHO WASN'T THERE. There's a shot of Gandolfini, after he's been stabbed, lying on his stomach bleeding out. There's a very similar shot in THRONE OF BLOOD, after Mifune has flipped and stabbed one of his underlings, bleeding on the floor while a horrified Mifune looks on. I haven't seen the Kurosawa film in ages, so I don't know how closely the two shots really mirror each other.

The Siren

I never get the somewhat condescending attitude some critics exhibit toward Kurosawa. (Clearly not you, Glenn - I'm talking about the attitudes that Kehr discusses.) Being accessible and easy to love doesn't count against Hawks or Hitchcock, why Kurosawa?

I do have some sympathy for Flickhead's point. It's hard to see the same films get released and re-released when so many others either aren't out at all, or exist only in relatively crappy editions. I won't knock Criterion though; they do too many good things for that, capitalists or no.

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