81 / BD 3 Tokyo Sonata

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Peacock
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Re: 81 Tokyo Sonata

#51 Post by Peacock » Fri Jun 12, 2009 6:43 pm

It seems obvious to me why their not rating it with 5 stars, just read what they've said again; there's no 'wow breathtaking colors' or anything, just because a transfers good it doesn't make it 5 stars. Also they've specifically said 'edge enhancement isn't a serious issue' implying it is a slight niggle right?

Anyway I haven't seen this film would you recommend?

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manicsounds
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Re: 81 Tokyo Sonata

#52 Post by manicsounds » Wed Jun 17, 2009 2:08 am

Also, what was the problem with porting the audio commentary? cost reasons?

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peerpee
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Re: 81 Tokyo Sonata

#53 Post by peerpee » Wed Jun 17, 2009 7:39 am

The audio commentary was a question and answer audio recording between KK and an interviewer and was not scene specific. We decided not to include it because of this, and because of the considerable cost of subtitling a commentary track, when we'd already gone to great lengths to subtitle 90 minutes of other documentaries on the release which covered very similar ground.

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MichaelB
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Re: 81 Tokyo Sonata

#54 Post by MichaelB » Thu Jun 18, 2009 12:04 pm

peerpee wrote:The audio commentary was a question and answer audio recording between KK and an interviewer and was not scene specific. We decided not to include it because of this, and because of the considerable cost of subtitling a commentary track, when we'd already gone to great lengths to subtitle 90 minutes of other documentaries on the release which covered very similar ground.
I wish Second Sight had been as conscientious with the documentary and commentary on Aria - the anecdotal overlap is one of the biggest I've come across in ages, to the point where if you've sampled one you might as well not bother with the other.

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Re: 81 Tokyo Sonata

#55 Post by poohbear » Fri Jun 19, 2009 4:56 pm

peerpee wrote:The audio commentary was a question and answer audio recording between KK and an interviewer and was not scene specific. We decided not to include it because of this, and because of the considerable cost of subtitling a commentary track, when we'd already gone to great lengths to subtitle 90 minutes of other documentaries on the release which covered very similar ground.
The audio commentary is scene specific but not at all times. MOC is now getting cheap and can't see the usefulness of an audio commentary by the director?! I think MOC has officially jumped the shark.

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Finch
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Re: 81 Tokyo Sonata

#56 Post by Finch » Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:17 pm

MoC jumping the shark because they decide the audio commentary isn't good enough to warrant inclusion when the other features are reportedly more to the point? That's quite a stretch. I don't understand some people's obsession with audio commentaries to the point where they cry foul when a DVD doesn't have one. I'd take MoC's booklets and one or two good documentaries over an audio commentary anytime.

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MichaelB
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Re: 81 Tokyo Sonata

#57 Post by MichaelB » Sat Jun 20, 2009 5:48 am

poohbear wrote:The audio commentary is scene specific but not at all times. MOC is now getting cheap and can't see the usefulness of an audio commentary by the director?! I think MOC has officially jumped the shark.
I think we have a runaway winner for Most Dementedly Hyperbolic Post of June 2009.

Like Mr Finch, I've never fathomed the mentality of people who prize quantity over quality. My DVD producing mentor told me that one of the worst presentational sins you can commit is excessive repetition of the same material across multiple extras, and Peerpee's comments suggests that this is exactly the situation here. So what's the point of spending more money (and a fair bit more money, given that subtitle translation and timing costs have to be factored in on top of other factors like BBFC classification) only to get more of what's already on the disc?
Mr Finch wrote:I don't understand some people's obsession with audio commentaries to the point where they cry foul when a DVD doesn't have one.
Neither do I - they're a decidedly imperfect, often unsatisfactory medium, and I'd prefer a well-edited documentary or a comprehensive booklet any day. Jonathan Rosenbaum has written some admirably sceptical pieces about the medium's numerous drawbacks, such as:
On the more general question of the legitimacy of audio commentaries, James Naremore and I were certainly flattered to discover that our joint commentary in Criterion’s Mr. Arkadin box set came in second in DVD Beaver’s “Best DVD of 2006” awards. Yet the fact that first place, with 16% of the vote, went to “I don’t listen to commentaries” is surely telling.

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swo17
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Re: 81 Tokyo Sonata

#58 Post by swo17 » Sat Jun 20, 2009 9:08 am

I'm still eagerly waiting for poohbear to jump the shark, i.e. say something worthwhile.

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: 81 Tokyo Sonata

#59 Post by Michael Kerpan » Wed Jun 24, 2009 12:07 am

Blu-ray arrived. Test peeks look gorgeous (ditto the HD trailer). Essay in booklet seems very good.

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The Elegant Dandy Fop
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Re: 81 Tokyo Sonata

#60 Post by The Elegant Dandy Fop » Sun Jun 28, 2009 12:37 am

Saw this yesterday morning. I have to say this may be the best movie released last year.

Very heartfelt without ever getting sentimental or cheesy. B. Kite's comparisons to Ozu may not be that far off. The ending is very simple, but in the two shot of the husband and wife where the husbands eyes start to turn red (but never to tears) was very bitter sweet (the kind of bitter sweet I haven't encountered since the end of "The Royal Tenenbaums" where "Fairest of the Seasons" starts). It leaves you with hope though that things will get better for them, but considering how the economy is going, it's going to have to be little by little.

The nice sudden change for all the characters in the third act was a very risky. At that moment, he could've lost control of the film and take it to a different course, but he managed to keep it in control while keeping it believable.

The Blu-Ray transfer was beautiful as well. The format was made for films like this where you can soak up the beauty and detail of each shot.

Great movie. I'm making a point to watch his horror movies now. This is the first one I've seen of Kurosawa's, and it left me greatly impressed. Considering how much this and Mad Detective have impressed me, I'm going to continue taking the risk and getting any Masters of Cinema Blu-Ray that comes out (as long as they're region free).

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: 81 Tokyo Sonata

#61 Post by Michael Kerpan » Sun Jun 28, 2009 12:01 pm

I liked this a lot. But I disagree with the (apparent) majority view that sees this as starting off naturalistically and then veering into more fantastic territory towards the end. I think many (most) of the events are pretty fanciful right off from the start (albeit in a low key way) and that things simply escalate gradually. I think that (at its core) this is pretty close in style and tone to Bright Future.

The Blu-ray looks wonderful.

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Yojimbo
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Re: 81 Tokyo Sonata

#62 Post by Yojimbo » Sun Jun 28, 2009 12:57 pm

The Elegant Dandy Fop wrote:Saw this yesterday morning. I have to say this may be the best movie released last year.

Very heartfelt without ever getting sentimental or cheesy. B. Kite's comparisons to Ozu may not be that far off. The ending is very simple, but in the two shot of the husband and wife where the husbands eyes start to turn red (but never to tears) .
As a rule this kind of ending would leave a bad taste in my mouth, but this is one wonderful exception.
The only thing thats preventing me from calling it an Indisputable Masterpiece, is that I want to see it again before confirming that first impression.
This was only my second Kurosawa, after 'Bright Future', and enhances my favourable impression of him after that wonderful film.

Of course given he's Japanese comparisons with Ozu are inevitable, although I also saw similarities with Kaurismaki, and 'Time Out', of course.

Apart from the beautiful look of the film what may be its greatest achievement is the unimpeachably flawless handling of the varying shifts in tone

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kinjitsu
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Re: 81 Tokyo Sonata

#63 Post by kinjitsu » Sun Jun 28, 2009 1:16 pm

Saw this theatrically and again on DVD, and have to agree with Michael regarding its fanciful (if often unsettling) nature, although I understand how some might react to the sudden shifts in tone, most notably the Koji Yakusho episode, however, the finale is just as remarkable, but the end result is one of revelation.

Michael, I was reminded more of License to Live rather than Bright Future, but then it's been a while since I've seen the latter.

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: 81 Tokyo Sonata

#64 Post by Michael Kerpan » Sun Jun 28, 2009 4:36 pm

Alas, have not seen License to Live. (Was it ever issued with subs?)

For some reason, I think of Rivette now and again when watching KK's films.

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kinjitsu
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Re: 81 Tokyo Sonata

#65 Post by kinjitsu » Sun Jun 28, 2009 5:02 pm

Michael Kerpan wrote:Alas, have not seen License to Live. (Was it ever issued with subs?)
Yes, from Geneon, but unfortunately it's OOP.

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jsteffe
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Re: 81 Tokyo Sonata

#66 Post by jsteffe » Fri Jul 17, 2009 12:12 am

I just saw TOKYO SONATA tonight on the big screen--what a beautiful, moving film! Too bad I wasn't able to get *any* of my friends to see it with me.

rs98762001's comments on this thread pretty much encapsulate how I see the film, except I would add that I really appreciated how KK eschewed obvious directorial flourishes. The visual style was more understated than I had anticipated, even if the plot was not. Some critics in the U.S. have complained about the last part of the film, and at first I was skeptical, but if you accept the film's larger metaphorical (i.e., spiritual) dimension it makes sense. Also, the younger son's development as a character nicely sets up the very last scene of the film--if it's sentimental, it's completely earned. This is only the second film of K. Kurosawa's that I've seen after KAIRO, but he's clearly a major talent.

I think it's great that MoC is picking up significant contemporary films like this. It's a good idea to watch the film at least on Blu-ray if not on 35mm, precisely so that its visual textures and the characters' facial expressions can have their intended impact.

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Re:

#67 Post by Nakadai_77 » Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:48 pm

Michael Kerpan wrote:
mattkc wrote:I guess I'm the only one here who thinks Johnnie To, at his very best, is pretty much as great as anything else in the MoC collection, barring maybe Naruse and Mizoguchi. I don't hold KK in the same regard, but I like his films a lot and am looking forward to this release.
I've now seen 30 films by Johnnie to -- and haven't regretted seeing even the flimsiest of these. Happily, lots and lots of them proved to be quite substantial artistically. Truth be told, I might prefer Ann Hui to be the first director from HK to get MOC treatment -- but I fear her work (unjustifiably) has too little commercial potential in the West. So, why not Johnnie To?
Jonnie To is not my cup of tea. On the other hand, Ann Hui has made some of the best films from HK in the last 30 years. If the MOC wants to introduce a contemporary director from HK in their series, it should be her or Kar Wai Wong.

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Murdoch
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Re: 81 Tokyo Sonata

#68 Post by Murdoch » Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:57 pm

WKW is already well represented on DVD, Hui would be the better choice for MoC - if they do pursue more from HK.

To get back on-topic, I've only seen KK's Bright Future and Kairo, are there any similarities between this film and those or is this completely different?

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: 81 Tokyo Sonata

#69 Post by Michael Kerpan » Wed Dec 30, 2009 4:53 pm

I would say that there are definitely similarities between Bright Future and Tokyo Sonata -- Kairo has a rather different feel.

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Murdoch
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Re: 81 Tokyo Sonata

#70 Post by Murdoch » Wed Dec 30, 2009 6:44 pm

Thanks, Michael.

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Blood Pie
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Re: 81 Tokyo Sonata

#71 Post by Blood Pie » Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:26 am

Michael Kerpan wrote:I would say that there are definitely similarities between Bright Future and Tokyo Sonata -- Kairo has a rather different feel.
I agree. Both BF and TS focus on the breakdown of family but in strikingly different ways (and look and feel the closest to one another of any of his films). On the other hand, Kairo, Cure, and Charisma (to an extent) are more mysterious and use repetition to show breakdown and reveal the plot. However, all of his films share an unsettling tone that is hard to describe.

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Re: 81 Tokyo Sonata

#72 Post by Michael Kerpan » Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:44 pm

Blood Pie wrote:However, all of his films share an unsettling tone that is hard to describe.
Agreed -- except Seance tries to hard to be suspenseful in a linear fashion -- and consequently fails (for me) -- this is more annoying than "unsettling".

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repeat
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Re: 81/3 Tokyo Sonata

#73 Post by repeat » Sun Mar 07, 2010 7:19 am

Michael Kerpan wrote:Alas, have not seen License to Live. (Was it ever issued with subs?)
just watched this french-subbed release - i don't think it's been mentioned here yet. really liked it - recommended for those who have any facility in the language (mine is shaky to say the least, but i found it pretty easy to follow). chalk up another one for France regarding Japanese cinema on DVD...

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dadaistnun
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Re: 81 / BD 3 Tokyo Sonata

#74 Post by dadaistnun » Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:36 am

Given the effusive praise this received in many circles upon release, I was admittedly a little underwhelmed when I first watched this around five years ago. I admired it very much - the performances, the mood, the little touches like the family's apartment being right next to a train passage. It just didn't grab me emotionally the way I had expected.

I just watched it again and that has all changed. I found it completely enthralling on an emotional level, and as moving as anything I've seen lately. The performances all hit certain registers that had eluded me before, with Kyoko Koizumi being the standout. (I immediately ordered Penance after watching this.) The last section of the film (the Koji Yakusho part) had come across as overly schematic to me before, but it fits into the whole much better than I had thought.
SpoilerShow
And what a great image to send his character out on, with the car tracks leading into the ocean.
Watching this again reminded me of how much I loved Bright Future, and how bummed I am that my R3 Korean disc of the long cut has gone missing from my collection. Here's hoping it gets a proper release sometime soon. The comparison of Bright Future to Journey to the Shore in the latter's dedicated thread, plus generally being on a Kurosawa kick at the moment, led me to order Journey as well. (Creepy and Loft are streaming on Amazon Prime at the moment, btw.)

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