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Criterion Collection: Eclipse 15: Travels With [Import USA Zone 1]

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Détails sur le produit

  • Acteurs : Shin'ichi Himori, Kanji Kawahara, Hiroko Kawasaki, Koji Matsumoto, Hideko Mimura
  • Réalisateurs : Hiroshi Shimizu
  • Scénaristes : Hiroshi Shimizu, Masuji Ibuse, Mitsu Suyama, Tôma Kitabayashi, Yasunari Kawabata
  • Producteurs : Yasuyuki Arai
  • Format : Noir et blanc, Sous-titré, NTSC, Import
  • Audio : Japonais
  • Sous-titres : Anglais
  • Région : Région 1 (USA et Canada). Ce DVD ne pourra probablement pas être visualisé en Europe. Plus d'informations sur les formats DVD/Blu-ray.
  • Rapport de forme : 1.33:1
  • Nombre de disques : 4
  • Studio : Criterion
  • Date de sortie du DVD : 17 mars 2009
  • ASIN: B001O549GG
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 254.214 en DVD & Blu-ray (Voir les 100 premiers en DVD & Blu-ray)
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31 internautes sur 31 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Another Fine Discovery from Eclipse 6 avril 2009
Par Randy Buck - Publié sur Amazon.com
Criterion's bare-bones Eclipse line continues its winning streak with another excellent package of films, this time from Japanese director Hiroshi Shimizu. A contemporary of Ozu's, and with a similarly long-lasting career, Shimizu's relatively unknown in the West, but these pictures serve as a sterling introduction to his work. The "travels" in the package title are literal as well as figurative -- not only do these movies cover a lot of ground, with fascinating shots of various Japan locales in the 1920s-40s, Shimizu is fond of rapid horizontal tracking shots and dissolves that give his work a dynamic feeling. These films are nicely acted, filled with gentle humor and touching humanity, and provide a fascinating exploration of a society in transition between traditional ways and the modernism of the twentieth century. According to the liner notes, Shimizu liked to work from actor improvisation, rather than fully written scripts, and that impulse pays off with work that feels as fresh as if it were done yesterday. Here's one trip any lover of Japanese cinema will find richly enjoyable.
24 internautes sur 24 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Fascinating glimpses of pre-war Japan 24 juin 2009
Par Glenn E. Stambaugh - Publié sur Amazon.com
Four films, each a little over an hour long, provide fascinating glimpses of pre-war Japan. Maybe the best way to describe their charms is to provide some details about two of them.

In THE MASSEURS AND A WOMAN, two blind men who make tenuous livings as migratory masseurs, moving from seaside resorts to mountain spas each summer, are walking along the road, counting and taking pride in the number of sighted people they overtake - seventeen so far. One alerts the other that he senses eight and a half children are approaching. Eight and a half? Yes, one of the children is carrying another piggyback. Later on the journey, a wagon passes them, and the same masseur somehow detects from her scent that one of the passengers is an exciting woman from Tokyo, who, as the film progresses, carries on a flirtation with him and also with a potential rival, a young man on vacation with his orphaned pre-teen nephew, who with his baseball cap and intolerance of adults could have stepped out of a fifties Ozu movie. The woman turns out to be on the run, and perhaps both suitors will be disappointed.

ORNAMENTAL HAIRPIN, also set in an inn, relates the blossoming romance between a young soldier (Ozu's favorite actor, Chishu Ryu) and a geisha who wants to leave her profession and marry. The soldier, in the inn's public baths, cuts his foot on a hairpin left behind by the geisha, and she returns to the inn, apologizes, helps him recover as he takes more challenging walks each day, and falls in love with him. Meanwhile, we meet many of the inn's guests and discover their eccentricities in casual scenes. For instance, they decide to form a discussion group (led by a crusty old professor who somehow maintains his dignity even while waking the others with his snoring each night), and the first topic is to complain about the inn's food - every day breakfast is the same: miso soup, egg, sea weed, and pickles; dinner is invariably sashimi, grilled fish, soup, and boiled greens. Finally, recovered, the soldier returns to Tokyo, and the closing scenes, in which the geisha realizes her dreams of marriage will end in disappointment, are somehow heartbreaking and unsentimental at once.
14 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Poignant slices of life 9 avril 2010
Par William Timothy Lukeman - Publié sur Amazon.com
I can only echo the previous reviewers in praising this collection from pre-War Japan. For such short films with such simple plots, they all possess a remarkable richness of detail & a wide range of idiosyncratic characters, each with his or her own story. And there's a real freshness to them, with surprising humor interwoven through the quiet drama, that makes them feel quite contemporary. Sometimes the prospect of watching acclaimed older films can make the viewer fear obligatory drudgery -- nothing of the sort here, though! We're introduced to the characters & get caught up in their lives almost immediately.

While the theme of travel certainly runs through all four films, so does that of a woman's plight in the (then) modern world. Director Hiroshi Shimizu is quite sympathetic to his female leads, a quality that many Japanese films from the 1930s seem to share. These woman appear in both traditional & Western clothing, visual shorthand for the two worlds they're struggling to negotiate. This is especially notable in my favorite of the four, "Mr. Thank You."

A cheerful young bus driver, nicknamed "Mr. Thank You" for his habit of calling out "Arigato!" to travelers getting out of his way, has the usual group of assorted passengers for the day's journey. These include a spunky young woman, very Westernized & not unlike her independent sisters in 1930's Hollywood films; a shy village girl being taken to the city by her mother, obviously to go into prostitution to support her family; and a rather pompous, lecherous middle-aged man who can't stop leering at & propositioning the dispirited village girl.

During the journey, we watch these characters interact, along with several other passengers. The Westernized young woman constantly mocks the lecherous man for his blatant leering, even as she chats jokingly with the good-hearted bus driver, clearly trying to convince him to help the village girl. But as straightforward as that sounds, it's told with a compassionate eye for sorrow, tenderness, and even a moment of lovely transcendence.

I'll say no more, except that all four films share these thoroughly humane qualities. They may be more than 70 years old now, but there's nothing out-of-date about them. Thanks to Criterion for making them available in such a reasonably-priced package -- most highly recommended!
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
fresh and funny 28 décembre 2010
Par WSH - Publié sur Amazon.com
Achat vérifié
Never having seen a film by Hiroshi Shimizu before, I was totally unprepared for these four gems.

Shimizu was a prolific director whose work (a great deal of which seems to have been lost) spanned the silent and sound ages of film, so it is not possible to say whether these are his best or most representative works. The four films here include one silent production and three pre-war sound films. Interestingly, the most recent of them (1941), "Ornamental Hairpin", has survived least well. That's not to say this DVD edition is bad quality - only a few scenes are seriously degraded, and the the film's intrinsic interest overwhelms any such concern. The three earlier films are wonderfully preserved.

All share a similar theme: a character's desire for escape from a social predicament. Shimizu's method is completely fresh: he deftly combines humour with pathos, cinematic artistry with subtle characterisation. The stories flow with no sense whatsoever of premeditated staging. Shimizu was famous for working outside a script and improvising scenes. This leads to some genuine surprises. In "Mr Thank You", for instance, Shimizu and crew came across a group of Korean labourers walking a rural backroad between assignments, and incorporated them into the story. This is consistent with the director's abiding interest in non-mainstream and working class characters, particularly women of the "water trade" (mizu shobai).

"Mr Thank You" possibly best illustrates Shimizu's strengths as a film-maker. He takes a very simple situation - a bus journey through rural Izu (beautifully shot) - and makes it a vehicle for a penetrating study of character and social conditions. The overt lightness of the subject-matter is the enabling means for Shimizu to lead the viewer, almost unawares, into deep sympathy with the bus's disparate group of passengers. It is the nearest thing to a perfect film: wonderful to look at; constantly surprising; and, at the end, leaving the viewer wondering how he came to be so deeply affected.

"Japanese Girls At the Harbour" - the silent offering - is fascinating for several reasons. It includes mixed-race Japanese characters, which is quite unusual. It contains some stunningly beautiful images of Yokohama, just a decade after the Great Kanto Earthquake. And it conveys a strong impression of the social tensions building in Japanese society during the Taisho Era.

"The Masseurs and a Woman" has similarities to "Ornamental Hairpin". Both are set in a mountain hot-spring resort, both use blind masseur characters as a vehicle for social satire, both feature a woman trying to escape from a courtesan relationship, and both play with, but discard, conventions of romance. The former film is the slighter of the two, but perhaps they are best viewed as bookends to the several years separating their production, during which Japan went from war against China to the cusp of war against the Western Allies. Politics and social commentary seem far removed from the settings of these films - the characters are overtly in retreat from the world of action - and yet, as with "Mr Thank You", Shimizu draws themes of unexpected depth and seriousness out of apparently trivial or commonplace situations. His satirical touch is superb and left me gasping at times at its daring.

Highly recommended.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Travels with Hiroshi Shimizu 25 septembre 2011
Par Charles D. Fulton - Publié sur Amazon.com
JAPANESE GIRLS AT THE HARBOR: 2 schoolgirls fall for the same ne'er-do-well. 1 attacks his trampy girlfriend & flees Yokohama, becoming a geisha, the other ends up marrying him years later. Conflict ensues when the geisha returns home. Director Hiroshi Shimizu shows a 1933 Japan rife w/ Western influence: the girls are Catholics, the male lead is named "Henry". He shoots on location a lot & has a neat sylistic gimmick: diagonal tracking shots that move from room to room. At key points he also rapidly cuts closer & closer to his subject, like the shots of the eye-pecked farmer in THE BIRDS. Melodramatic subject matter is touching & underplayed. 7/10

MR THANK YOU: Hiroshi Shimizu takes his camera out on the road for a bus trip from the rural mountains to a valley train station in this 1936 charmer. A Japanese STAGECOACH 3 years before the fact. Vivid character portraits of the Depression-era: a kindly bus driver, a desperate mother taking her daughter off to be sold into prostitution, an arrogant salesman, a flirtatious city girl who smokes and drinks. Winsome movie w/ many touching moments. 7/10
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