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The Warped World of Koreyoshi Kurahara

 

Intimidation (1960)      The Warped Ones (1960)     I Hate But Love (1962)

 

Black Sun (1964)       Thirst for Love (1967)

 

Over the course of his varied career, Koreyoshi Kurahara made meticulous noirs, jazzy juvenile-delinquency pictures, and even nature films. His free-form approach to moviemaking was perfectly suited to the radical spirit of the 1960s, when he was one of the biggest hit makers working at the razzle-dazzle, youth-oriented Nikkatsu studios. The five films collected here hail from that era of the Japanese New Wave, and encompass breathless teen escapades, cruel crime stories, a Yukio Mishima adaptation, and even a Hollywood-inspired romantic comedy.

Titles

 

 


 

Intimidation
Koreyoshi Kurahara 1960
The marvelously moody Intimidation (Aru kyouhaku) is an elegantly stripped-down and carefully paced crime drama.

The Warped Ones
Koreyoshi Kurahara 1960
The anarchic descent into amoral madness that is The Warped Ones (Kyonetsu no kisetsu) sounded a lost generation’s cry for help and was one of the films that kicked off Japan’s cinematic sixties with a bang.

I Hate But Love
Koreyoshi Kurahara 1962
In the high-octane, unorthodox romance I Hate But Love (Nikui anchikusho), a celebrity (played by megastar Yujiro Ishihara), dissatisfied with his personal and professional lives, impulsively leaves fast-paced Tokyo to deliver a much-needed jeep to a remote village.

Black Sun
Koreyoshi Kurahara 1964
You’ve probably never seen anything quite like this manic, oddball, anti–buddy picture about a young, jazz-obsessed Japanese drifter and a black American GI on the lam in Tokyo.

Thirst for Love
Koreyoshi Kurahara 1967
Kurahara adapted a novel by Yukio Mishima for Thirst for Love (Ai no kawaki), a tense psychological drama about a young woman who is widowed after marrying into a wealthy family. 

Posters

Theatrical Releases: 1960 - 1967

  DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Eclipse 28: The Warped World of Koreyoshi Kurahara (5-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC

 

 

DVD Box Cover

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Distribution Eclipse / Criterion Collection - Region 1 - NTSC
Time: Respectively - 1:05:36, 1:15:27, 1:44:48, 1:34:45 and 1:38:57
Bitrate:  Intimidation
 
Bitrate: The Warped Ones
 
Bitrate: I Hate But Love
 
Bitrate: Black Sun
 
Bitrate: Thirst For Love
 
Audio Japanese (original mono)
Subtitles English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Eclipse / Criterion Collection

Aspect Ratio:
All Original Aspect Ratios - 2.35:1

Edition Details:

  •  one page (for each film) of liner notes in the transparent case


DVD Release Date:
August 23rd, 2011
5 Slim Transparent Keep Cases inside a Slipcase cardboard box
Chapters:
10, 14, 16, 14, 15

 

Comments:

NOTE: The 5 main features of this boxset are housed in individual slim transparent keep cases (see image above and below) they are not sold separately, by Criterion, at this time. These particular NTSC editions can only be obtained in Criterion's Eclipse Series 28 package at present. I am unaware of any English-friendly editions available elsewhere.

All five DVDs are single-layered. Bitrates are reasonably strong. In individual image-quality terms; I Hate But Love, the only color film of the five is pictureboxed and to a lesser degree so is, the sharpest looking film-transfer, Thirst For Love. Intimidation is a bit softer than the others and Black Sun - has the weakest contrast with some green infiltration. They are all progressive, anamorphic and very clean. Hopefully the screen captures below will give you a fair idea of the visual quality. I had no major issues.

The sound is original Japanese mono. The dialogue is clear enough and audible - I noted a couple of instances of minor hiss, but overall it is supporting the films well enough - free of distracting flaws. There are optional English subtitles (font sample below).

Aside from one page liner notes for each film (visible on the inner case sleeve through the transparent case cover except for Intimidation where it is a separate double-sided sheet) there are no supplements - as typical for Eclipse.

Many cinephiles that will appreciate this package as Eclipse are fulfilling their mission statement: "...a selection of lost, forgotten, or overshadowed classics in simple, affordable editions. Each series is a brief cinematheque retrospective for the adventurous home viewer."

The bizarre edge to these Koreyoshi Kurahara films certainly help maintain the interest level. There is definitely a kind of French New Wave, running-in-the-streets, stream-of-consciousness, attitude of filmmaking at times - and as little restraint as I can recall in Japanese cinema. I was actually expecting a kind of free-form Seijun Suzuki appeal combined with Hausu (minus the horror) plus a little of what I had been exposed to in Kurahara's debut film, I Am Waiting, that was available in Criterion's Nikkatsu Noir set. Aside from Black Sun and maybe Thirst For Love I'm still not sure that I liked wading through these. I definitely felt the filmmaking was 'maturing' along with my appreciation but this may have been my perception of it becoming more accessible. This was, at its least, unique - but, I think, its appeal will be more dependant on the flexibility of the viewer. If you were unaware before indulging - it would be obvious that these came out of the mimicking brand of Nikkatsu produced cinema. The package itself is at Criterion's impressive level of consistency and this makes for an ideal self-present for Japanese cinema fans open to its... eccentricities.            

Gary W. Tooze


DVD Menus



 

Slim Transparent Keep Case Cover

 

 

 

Screen Captures

 

Intimidation (1960) aka 'Aru kyouhaku'

 

Directed by Koreyoshi Kurahara

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Slim Transparent Keep Case Cover

 

 

 

Screen Captures

 

Tormento (1960)

 

Directed by Koreyoshi Kurahara

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Slim Transparent Keep Case Cover

 

 

 

Screen Captures

 

I Hate But Love (1962) aka 'Nikui anchikusho'

 

Directed by Koreyoshi Kurahara

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Slim Transparent Keep Case Cover

 

 

 

Screen Captures

 

Black Sun (1964) aka 'Kuroi taiyo'

 

Directed by Koreyoshi Kurahara

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Slim Transparent Keep Case Cover

 

 

 

Screen Captures

 

Thirst For Love (1967) aka 'Ai no kawaki'

 

Directed by Koreyoshi Kurahara

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

 

Distribution Eclipse / Criterion Collection - Region 1 - NTSC




 

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Gary Tooze

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