(aka "Kikujiro no natsu" or "Kikujiro - een zomerse roadmovie" or "Kikujiros Sommer" or "L'Eté de Kikujiro" )

 

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/kitano.htm
Japan 1999

 

Celebrating the success of “Hana-bi”, by which Kitano announced himself to be a master, the world tour brought him to Rotterdam, where Tony Rayns during the talk show asked him about his next project. “I’m going to make a road movie”, Kitano said. “One like those by Wim Wenders?”, Rayns asked. “No, one like ‘The Wizard of Oz’”, Kitano said – and made his idiosyncratic laughter.

Experimenting with form and function, Kitano also used the road movie structure in “Hana-Bi”. The advantage is, that it offers the chance to bring in a wide range of characters and incidents without any of them being unrealistic and without one having to explain anything. Equally free in form, Kitano chose to use improvisation in many of the scenes. Finally, the entire form was divided into chapters, represented by living pictures, as if someone read an old diary and remembered back; this also allowed more freedom.

Typically for Kitano, he got bored with the simple form not even halfway thru production. He needed something to keep his mind busy, to keep his interest, so he made up several dream sequences, playing around with editing (from Kuleshov cuts to cause/effect ellipses) and colours.

Masao is nine and lives alone with his grandmother. When all his friends go away for the summer, he is all alone all day, so he decides to go visit his mother, whom he never has seen, as she moved away to get a job to support Masao. Being too young to travel on his own, a friend of his grandmother sends along her no good husband, Kikujiro, to protect him. However on the very first day of travel, Kikujiro has gambled all Masao’s traveling money away. So begins the real journey.

“Kikujiro” is easily the most beloved film by Kitano. It is full of life, it has the heart at the right place. Like no other Kitano film, “Kikujiro” is all about moving on (“the angel trilogy”) and as such it marks the end of the three films about making things right he made after recovering from his accident. Life is cruel, life never is as one hopes it to be, but there is always a friend you can rely on. Both the use and representation of the angel motif is stronger here than in the two films prior: Not a Christian motif, but about people who helps others in time of need
.
 

Henrik Sylow of kitanotakeshi.com

Poster

Theatrical Release: June 5, 1999

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison:

Bandai - Region 2- PAL vs. Enter One - Region 3- NTSC vs. Sony - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Chinese Bootleg - Region 3 - NTSC vs. de Film Freak - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to EnochHenrik of TakeshiKitano.com and Martin Norefors for all the Screen Caps!

(Bandai - Region 2- PAL LEFT vs. Enter One - Region 3- NTSC 2nd vs. Sony - Region 1 - NTSC - 3rd vs. Chinese Bootleg - Region 3 - NTSC - 4th vs. de Film Freak - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)

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Distribution

Bandai Visuals

Region 2- PAL

Enter One

Region 3- NTSC

Sony

Region 1 - NTSC

Chinese Bootleg
Region 3 - NTSC
de Film Freak
Region 2 - PAL
Runtime 2:01:54 201:36 2:01:31 2:01:54 1:56:49 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.36 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.36 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4.90 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.78:1 Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4.83 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4.80 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bandai and

Enter One 

and 

Sony

 

   

Chinese Bootleg

 

and 

de Film Freak

 

   

Audio 2.0 Dolby Digital Japanese Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround 2.0 Dolby Digital Japanese

2.0 Dolby Digital Japanese

2.0 Dolby Digital Japanese

Subtitles English, Japanese, None Japanese, Korean, English, None English, French, Spanish, None English, None Dutch, French, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Bandai Visuals

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Making of featurette (12:00)
• Trailer (2:16)
• 4 page booklet
* no subtitles on extra

 

DVD Release Date: January 25, 2001
Keep Case

Chapters 11

Release Information:
Studio: Enter One

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Interview with director & composer (4:22)
• Making film (12:15)
• Theatrical trailer (2:16)

DVD Release Date: 2003-02-17
Keep Case

Chapters 11

 

Release Information:
Studio: Sony

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Talent File
• Trailer

DVD Release Date: December 12, 2000
Keep Case

Chapters 28

Release Information:
Studio: Chinese Bootleg

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:

 

DVD Release Date:
 

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: de Film Freak

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Jam session - Kikujiro no natsu koshiki kaizokuban (1999)
• Photo gallery
• Trailer

 

DVD Release Date: December 8, 2003
Keep Case

Chapters 9

Comments

ADDITION; Bandai (Sept. -2004) -

Not surprising, the Japanese DVD from Bandai, has the best picture, followed by the Korean DVD, which is a direct port of the Bandai DVD, followed the
Chinese Bootleg, a direct "copy" of the Bandai DVD.

Both Sony and FilmFreak are cropped. Sony 2.5% left/right, 3.5% top/bottom vs. FilmFreak 3.5% left/right, 4.5% top/bottom. In addition, the FilmFreak frame is streched horizontal to get the aspect ratio of 1.85:1. Equally, these versions colours are off scheme. Sony is very green and FilmFreak is yellow-ish with alot of contrast.

While the DVD from FilmFreak is has the worst picture, it has the best additional material in form of the 93-minute ultra rare documentary “Jam session - Kikujiro no natsu koshiki kaizokuban” (1999) by Makoto Shinozaki, which deals with the production of “Kikujiro” and offers a rare glimpse behind the scenes of a Kitano film and has cameo’s by for instance Hou Hsiao-Hsien. This documentary alone makes the Film Freak DVD a must buy, regardless if one doesn’t understand the languages, as its only subtitled in French and Dutch.

 - Henrik Sylow of kitanotakeshi.com

 


Recommended Reading for Japanese Film Fans (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

The Japan Journals : 1947-2004,

by  Donald Richie

The Midnight Eye Guide to New Japanese Film
by Tom Mes and Jasper Sharp

Kon Ichikawa (Cinematheque Ontario Monographs)

by James Quandt, Cinematheque Ontario

Shohei Imamura (Cinematheque Ontario Monographs, No. 1)
by James Quandt
Eros Plus Massacre: An Introduction to the Japanese New Wave Cinema (Midland Book, Mb 469)
by David Desser
The Films of Akira Kurosawa by Donald Ritchie

Tokyo Story

by Yasujiro Ozu, Kogo Noda, Donald Richie, Eric Klestadt

Ozu by Donald Richie

A Hundred Years of Japanese Film by Donald Richie

Check out more in "The Library"




DVD Menus

(
Bandai Visuals - Region 2- PAL TOP LEFT vs. Enter One - Region 3- NTSC TOP MIDDLE vs. Sony - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP RIGHT). 


 

 

(Chinese Bootleg - Region 3 - NTSC - LEFT vs. de Film Freak - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)

 

 
 

 

 

 


 

Subtitle Samples

(Bandai - Region 2- PAL TOP vs. Enter One - Region 3- NTSC 2nd vs. Sony - Region 1 - NTSC - 3rd vs. Chinese Bootleg - Region 3 - NTSC - 4th vs. de Film Freak - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


Screen Captures

(Bandai - Region 2- PAL TOP vs. Enter One - Region 3- NTSC 2nd vs. Sony - Region 1 - NTSC - 3rd vs. Chinese Bootleg - Region 3 - NTSC - 4th vs. de Film Freak - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


 

(Bandai - Region 2- PAL TOP vs. Enter One - Region 3- NTSC 2nd vs. Sony - Region 1 - NTSC - 3rd vs. Chinese Bootleg - Region 3 - NTSC - 4th vs. de Film Freak - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 

 


(Bandai - Region 2- PAL TOP vs. Enter One - Region 3- NTSC 2nd vs. Sony - Region 1 - NTSC - 3rd vs. Chinese Bootleg - Region 3 - NTSC - 4th vs. de Film Freak - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 

 


 

(Bandai - Region 2- PAL TOP vs. Enter One - Region 3- NTSC 2nd vs. Sony - Region 1 - NTSC - 3rd vs. Chinese Bootleg - Region 3 - NTSC - 4th vs. de Film Freak - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Bandai - Region 2- PAL TOP vs. Enter One - Region 3- NTSC 2nd vs. Sony - Region 1 - NTSC - 3rd vs. Chinese Bootleg - Region 3 - NTSC - 4th vs. de Film Freak - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 

 


Hit Counter


Report Card:

 

Image:

Bandai

Sound:

Sony

Extras: de Film Freak
Menu: de Film Freak

 

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Distribution

Bandai Visuals

Region 2- PAL

Enter One

Region 3- NTSC

Sony

Region 1 - NTSC

 




 

 

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