Criterion. SEVEN SAMURAI. 3-Discs. The Greatest DVD EVER.

Betamax and beyond

Postby The Ginger Man on Sun Jan 07, 2007 9:56 pm

Ok. I've seen it now...the entire thing. And I didn't loathe it! But......it's not something I'd watch again. I just had serious issues with the acting. For instance, the villagers. I hated them. I actually looked forward to their deaths and was disappointed that so many survived. It was like they were told to act like adult-sized infants. They stared uncomprehendingly at everything that was said. And when they did react, it was always in a completely irrational fashion. Bandits coming? Nervous breakdown. Rice is gone? Nervous breakdown. Samurai says no? Samurai says yes? Samurai won’t kiss you? Total nervous breakdown.

Then there was Katsushiro. I didn’t get him. Well…I did. But what I “gotâ€
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Criterion. SEVEN SAMURAI. 3-Discs. The Greatest DVD EVER.

Postby bastard_robo on Tue Jan 09, 2007 1:44 am

Just bought it off EBAY, Hopefully i'll have it by next monday.
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Postby Brocktune on Tue Jan 09, 2007 4:11 pm

[quote="The Ginger Man"]Then there was Katsushiro. I didn’t get him. Well…I did. But what I “gotâ€
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Postby Nachokoolaid on Tue Jan 09, 2007 4:50 pm

I'm just pissed that I finally decided to buy the 2-disc set like right before they came out with this one, and I can't see myself double dipping on this one, even though it's a great film.
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Postby Brocktune on Tue Jan 09, 2007 4:54 pm

its worth it.

this new set is unbelievably, amazingly awesome!

i instantly nutted once for each disk, upon discovering this precious gift 'neath my tree this christmas.
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Thu Jan 11, 2007 1:35 am

Brocktune wrote:oh yeah, and im pretty sure the way you felt about the peasants was exactly the way you were supposed to feel about them.


"You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons."
Personally, I'm an atheist in the voting booth and a theist in the movie theatre. I separate the morality of religion with the spirituality and solace of it. There is something boring about atheism.
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Postby DinoDeLaurentiis on Thu Jan 11, 2007 10:24 am

Brocktune wrote:i instantly nutted once for each disk, upon discovering this precious gift 'neath my tree this christmas.


You know... it's a the Christmas stories like a this one that always a bring a the tear to a the Dino's eye, eh? A the chestnusts roasting inna the fireplace, the aroma of a the Christmas goose inna the oven, the little bambinos eating uppa their figgy pudding, the sounds of a the laughter from a the family anna friends, anna the Brocktune ejaculating under a the Christmas tree...

It's a the Christmas miracle, no?
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Postby Chairman Kaga on Thu Jan 11, 2007 10:35 am

Gives a whole new meaning to the cock crowing eh Dino....
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Postby The Ginger Man on Thu Jan 11, 2007 11:47 am

[quote="Brocktune"][quote="The Ginger Man"]Then there was Katsushiro. I didn’t get him. Well…I did. But what I “gotâ€
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Postby Nordling on Thu Jan 18, 2007 7:03 pm

Admiration does not = g.a.y.

Just sayin'.

You're bringing modern sensibilities into these character's motivations. In this film and in a lot of films of this period, people wore their emotions on their sleeves. The farmers are simple folk - they aren't subtle because that's their lot. Most of the samurai have learned throughout their lives and adventures that their role is to die, likely in battle. They've accepted that, for the most part. Katsushiro's admiration of Kyuzo is the admiration of youth. The look that Kyuzo gives him says it all - the kid has no idea what it means to be "great." He's still, in many ways, a child. That's why he has a problem with Manzo's daughter. He's a teenager and doesn't understand what's happening.

And Kikuchiyo is the same in a lot of respects. He wears his emotions openly, much like the villagers. He is a farmer's son. He knows something the samurai do not - that the farmer is the lowest of the low, barely making an existence while the samurai think of nobly dying in combat. The samurai are arrogant, and they cannot relate or even see people beneath their station. They are of two entirely different worlds, and Kikuchiyo is the buffer between the two. When it's over, we assume that both the samurai and the villagers have taken something from the other.

Not to be insulting, but you aren't understanding the context of what you are seeing. This film isn't in a vacuum. There's a lot going on than what is visibly apparent. SEVEN SAMURAI has a huge amount of subtext - subtext about class, subtext about Japan at the time.
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Postby WinslowLeach on Thu Jan 18, 2007 7:17 pm

You tell em Nordster! :)
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Postby Brocktune on Thu Jan 18, 2007 7:19 pm

Nordling wrote:He's a teenager and doesn't understand what's happening.


i dont buy that for a second

Nordling wrote:SEVEN SAMURAI has a huge amount of subtext - subtext about class, subtext about Japan at the time.


exactly.

and homosexual subtext as well.

dont get me wrong, i understand what you are saying. in fact, that is pretty much the argument i get from my friends who love kurosawa as i do.
and while the possibility exists that your interpretation is accurate, i think it would be presumptuous, to simply cast aside the possibility that the percieved homoerotic subtext does in fact exist as such.

i might not believe this as strongly as i do, if i didnt feel like it was slapping me in the face everytime i watch it. i see a hotter fire burning behind katsushiro's eyes, than that of mere admiration.

and believe me, i couldnt possibly be insulted by your pompous and inaccurate assumption that i "dont get" what i am watching.
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Postby The Ginger Man on Thu Jan 18, 2007 7:26 pm

Nordling wrote:Admiration does not = g.a.y.

You're bringing modern sensibilities into these character's motivations. In this film and in a lot of films of this period, people wore their emotions on their sleeves.


I'll give you the first part, that I'm bringing modern sensibilities to the film. But I'll also mention I was making a funny on this point. Obviously he's not Dumbledore...he wouldn't have boned the farmer's daughter at the end if he didn't like the ladies. But I stand by my point about him wandering off during the battle planning so he could lay in a field of flowers. That was ridiculous, not childish.

Nordling wrote:And Kikuchiyo is the same in a lot of respects. He wears his emotions openly, much like the villagers. He is a farmer's son. He knows something the samurai do not - that the farmer is the lowest of the low, barely making an existence while the samurai think of nobly dying in combat.


I actually liked Kikuchiyo, but didn't realize it until he died. But it was what the character stood for that I liked...not the performance. In fact, I'll come back to that at the end.

Nordling wrote:The samurai are arrogant, and they cannot relate or even see people beneath their station. They are of two entirely different worlds, and Kikuchiyo is the buffer between the two. When it's over, we assume that both the samurai and the villagers have taken something from the other.


I don't entirely buy this. Yes, most of the samurai were arrogant. But Kambei accepts the farmers offer when he learns what they've sacrificed to get his help. The other samurai Kambei recruits gain a measure of this selflessness just by aligning themselves with him. Hell, one of the samurai is even found chopping wood to repay a meal. I understand both groups are from different worlds but the 7 samurai in question continually break through the stereotype to show kindness and forgiveness to the villagers. Though I do agree with statement on Kikuchiyo's role as buffer.

Nordling wrote:Not to be insulting, but you aren't understanding the context of what you are seeing. This film isn't in a vacuum. There's a lot going on than what is visibly apparent. SEVEN SAMURAI has a huge amount of subtext - subtext about class, subtext about Japan at the time.


I accept that you aren't being insulting, but I do grasp the context of the film. You'll notice in my original review, my beef is with the performances, not the story or subtext. A film can have infinite meaning, but if you don't like its presentation than it doesn't matter. Hence my point from earlier about Kikuchiyo. I really, really liked the idea of him. I hated how everything he did was accompanied by screaming and the need to bounce around like Tigger.

You can, and probably will, tell me that the characters were acted as they should have been...many people have. I'll even accept that Kurosawa got the exact perfomances that he wanted from each of these actors. But to me, it didn't feel natural or sincere. It felt over-the-top and often hammy.

I got the context, I liked the context, but I didn't like the film. That's the problem with context/subtext...it's in the background. In this case, I didn't like the foreground. And since you need both to make a film like this, it failed for me.
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Postby The Ginger Man on Thu Jan 18, 2007 7:32 pm

Brocktune wrote:and while the possibility exists that your interpretation is accurate, i think it would be presumptuous, to simply cast aside the possibility that the percieved homoerotic subtext does in fact exist as such.

i might not believe this as strongly as i do, if i didnt feel like it was slapping me in the face everytime i watch it. i see a hotter fire burning behind katsushiro's eyes, than that of mere admiration.


I agree with Brocktune on this. While the character may not actually be homosexual, I do believe a certain level of homosexual subtext is purposefully in the film. And there's nothing wrong with this. It's an ingrained part of our culture to see that subtext as a slap to the character...but that doesn't actually make it so.
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Postby WinslowLeach on Thu Jan 18, 2007 7:56 pm

I love the film mainly because of the characters. Thats the big thing that got me into the film the first time I saw it. It had such great humor and intense raw emotion between the characters, I liken it to Fellini's La Strada (another big fave of mine) in that way. I dont judge it at all, I try to watch it or see it in the way a Japanese viewer would. I also love the incredible action sequences in it. I see the film as a true masterpiece. That said, its not for everyone. If you didnt like it the first time, you probably wont like it the second time. Maybe try some of Kurosawa's other films.

This conversation has made me realize again that over analyzing films can ruin the actual enjoyment you get from just having a real experience watching them and taking them for what they are, not what you think they might be or should be.
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Postby MasterWhedon on Thu Jan 18, 2007 8:06 pm

*sides with Ginger*
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Postby The Ginger Man on Thu Jan 18, 2007 8:12 pm

I certainly didn't go into the viewing with intent to analyze it. KCBC and I had an earnest discussion about me seeing the film and I honestly went in with an open mind looking to just be entertained. But I wasn't...and for the same reasons you were entertained, Winslow...Character and Action Scenes.

While I think it's fantastic that you could attempt to watch the film like a Japanese viewer would...I can't do that. Mainly b/c I'm not Japanese and have had no cultural connection with them. I can only watch it as myself.
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Postby WinslowLeach on Thu Jan 18, 2007 8:13 pm

Its all good. Everyone sees things the way they see them. Noone can force someone to love a film, you either do or dont. Theres nothing else to say really.
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Postby magicmonkey on Thu Jan 18, 2007 8:16 pm

WinslowLeach wrote:Noone can force someone to love a film,


Yeah they can. Watch it again!! :twisted:
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Postby Seppuku on Thu Jan 18, 2007 8:18 pm

WinslowLeach wrote:This conversation has made me realize again that over analyzing films can ruin the actual enjoyment you get from just having a real experience watching them and taking them for what they are, not what you think they might be or should be.


I was thinking the exact same thing. I don't think I have the gift of being able to strip a film apart and analyse every single thought flitting through a character's head. That's why I think I'm gonna delete my part in that 2007 Journal thread. It's just no fun watching a film and trying to squash it down into a rating, all the while coming up with little The Player like soundbites in your head like, "It's kind of like Pee Wee's Playhouse crossed with Blow Out with a few sprinklings of Piglet's Big Adventure thrown in". I'm not saying you can't think when you're watching a movie, just that you can occasionally think your way out of the movie, and then find it hard to get back in again.

Anyway, I would recommend other Kurosawa movies for Ginger Man, but it would sound a bit rich really. Scandal, Red Beard, The Quiet Duel are all earthy, underrated movies from the master, but props to you for trying anyway, it's more than most people can say.

But you do realise this means you have to crop Toshi out of your AV now though, right? :wink:
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Postby The Ginger Man on Thu Jan 18, 2007 8:19 pm

WinslowLeach wrote:Its all good. Everyone sees things the way they see them. Noone can force someone to love a film, you either do or dont. Theres nothing else to say really.


I like you, WL. You're a man of reason and sense. And I'll tell you...I bought Phantom of the Paradise off Ebay based entirely on your Zoner name...and you know what? I loved it.

So we ain't all that different, yooz and I.
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Postby The Ginger Man on Thu Jan 18, 2007 8:23 pm

seppukudkurosawa wrote:Anyway, I would recommend other Kurosawa movies for Ginger Man, but it would sound a bit rich really. Scandal, Red Beard, The Quiet Duel are all earthy, underrated movies from the master, but props to you for trying anyway, it's more than most people can say.

But you do realise this means you have to crop Toshi out of your AV now though, right? :wink:


Oh, I plan on seeing more of his films, if not all of them. I love discovering classic films...they make up a big part of my film viewing. This one just took a while to get to. I trust there's a reason Kurosawa is held in such high regard and I look forward to seeing more of his films.

And that's actually not Toshi in my AV. It was an airbrushed painting of an Urban Samurai that I photoshopped to be all Ginger-like. So...uh....nya! :wink:
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Postby Seppuku on Thu Jan 18, 2007 8:35 pm

The Ginger Man wrote:And that's actually not Toshi in my AV. It was an airbrushed painting of an Urban Samurai that I photoshopped to be all Ginger-like. So...uh....nya! :wink:


What, you didn't even use a real Toshiro? I'm telling Moriarty. You are SO b4nn3d!

:twisted:

EDIT: Hmm, that's a thought, what if Toshiro Lucas McWeeny has the same opinion of Seven Samurai as you and Brock, he'll forever associate his name with mylover Japanese samurai!
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Postby The Ginger Man on Thu Jan 18, 2007 8:39 pm

seppukudkurosawa wrote:
The Ginger Man wrote:And that's actually not Toshi in my AV. It was an airbrushed painting of an Urban Samurai that I photoshopped to be all Ginger-like. So...uh....nya! :wink:


What, you didn't even use a real Toshiro? I'm telling Moriarty. You are SO b4nn3d!


Oh man, than you're gonna be really upset when I tell you he's also not holding a real lightsaber.....
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Postby Brocktune on Thu Jan 18, 2007 8:54 pm

seppukudkurosawa wrote:EDIT: Hmm, that's a thought, what if Toshiro Lucas McWeeny has the same opinion of Seven Samurai as you and Brock, he'll forever associate his name with mylover Japanese samurai!


i would just like to state for the record, that i dont necessarily believe that katsushiro is in fact my lover. but i DO believe that it is a viable interpretation of things.

and if i am communicating the impression that i consider Seven Samurai to be anything less than a masterpiece, then i have made a grievous error in stating my feelings.
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Postby WinslowLeach on Fri Jan 19, 2007 9:06 am

The Ginger Man wrote:
WinslowLeach wrote:Its all good. Everyone sees things the way they see them. Noone can force someone to love a film, you either do or dont. Theres nothing else to say really.


I like you, WL. You're a man of reason and sense. And I'll tell you...I bought Phantom of the Paradise off Ebay based entirely on your Zoner name...and you know what? I loved it.

So we ain't all that different, yooz and I.


You did? Thats awesome man! Very happy to hear that! 8)

But I do think when we find ourselves overanalyzing a film sometimes it sort of means we dont like it. When I watch films I really like I hardly ever feel a need to analyze them because I dont know what the director/actors are trying to get across, I just say: Thats an awesome movie!! I gotta watch that again!!

Thats not to say I dont think about what the film means and the way it was created technically. I always do that with films I love.
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Postby Nordling on Fri Jan 19, 2007 12:21 pm

There's overanalyzing a film, and then there's dipping into something so deep that it requires us to take a longer look at what's going on. SEVEN SAMURAI changed everything, even if it wasn't apparent at the time. So many things in films we take for granted now can be laid directly at SEVEN SAMURAI's feet. It's like saying CITIZEN KANE is overrated without fully understanding that before KANE there was literally nothing like it before. Camera shots (Gregg Toland was the Emmanuel Lubezki of his day), plot points, even special effects that had never been done previously that now we take for granted. So there's nothing wrong in taking a long hard look at these great films, as long as you understand the background they were made in.

But the reason I love SEVEN SAMURAI as much as I do is the story. It's as rich as the best Dickens novel in characterization, plot, and symbolism. And Kurosawa said at the time he wanted to make a rip-roaring audience-pleasing action film. He succeeded far beyond that. He made something that has been debated, celebrated, and deeply felt for generations.
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Postby The Ginger Man on Fri Jan 19, 2007 12:27 pm

Nordling wrote:There's overanalyzing a film, and then there's dipping into something so deep that it requires us to take a longer look at what's going on. SEVEN SAMURAI changed everything, even if it wasn't apparent at the time. So many things in films we take for granted now can be laid directly at SEVEN SAMURAI's feet. It's like saying CITIZEN KANE is overrated without fully understanding that before KANE there was literally nothing like it before. Camera shots (Gregg Toland was the Emmanuel Lubezki of his day), plot points, even special effects that had never been done previously that now we take for granted. So there's nothing wrong in taking a long hard look at these great films, as long as you understand the background they were made in.


I agree with you on this, Nordling. Seeing how films technically and stylistically lay the foundation for future work is always interesting. And 7 Sam is certainly a key point in film history. Though as film viewings go, I prefer Citizen Kane.
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Postby Nordling on Fri Jan 19, 2007 5:40 pm

Not to get too off-topic, I see a lot of people rank on CITIZEN KANE and then it becomes pretty obvious that they either didn't see it or weren't paying attention. That film is filled to the brim with great moments. How about the family discussing Kane's future as he blissfully plays, unaware, out in the snow? That great tracking shot through the sign then through the window? The cracking dialogue? KANE is, at times, hilarious. It's not possible to overrate KANE. Nothing was the same afterwards, nothing. And KANE isn't some stuffy old classic. It's FUN. Witty, charming, intelligent, and ultimately tragic and moving. I do think there's a few classics can be construed as overrated (GONE WITH THE WIND springs to mind - terrifically made, but the story and the characters are pretty cookie-cutter), but not KANE.
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Postby WinslowLeach on Fri Jan 19, 2007 6:47 pm

Kane is just pure cinema at its very best. I love everything about that movie. From the acting to the sets to the direction to the music. Kane set a benchmark for what you could do with the film medium period. So many incredible shots in that. One that i love is the tracking shot that goes up into the opera house rafters where we see those two workers making faces because Susans voice is terrible. Welles actually used a vertical screen wipe on that shot!!

I love the opening of Kane, how we get closer and closer to the mansion through dissolves. Then that outside shot of the window, the light goes off and we're INSIDE the house looking at the same window.

When Kane and Jed (drunk) are talking in the newspaper office. Welles put the mics above the ceiling (which was made out of thin cloth) to get that upward low angle shot.

The endless mirror shot at the end where we see Kane is split into pieces emotionally. Those deep focus shots when Kane is talking to Susan in that huge room with the fireplace the size of a shed.
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Postby Nachokoolaid on Fri Jan 19, 2007 7:31 pm

seppukudkurosawa wrote: That's why I think I'm gonna delete my part in that 2007 Journal thread. It's just no fun watching a film and trying to squash it down into a rating, all the while coming up with little The Player like soundbites in your head like, "It's kind of like Pee Wee's Playhouse crossed with Blow Out with a few sprinklings of Piglet's Big Adventure thrown in".


NO!

It seems like every time I try and start a cool thread in the Zone, it's dashed by damned logic.

*crosses fingers*

Please don't let this start a trend. Please don't let this start a trend. Please don't let this start a trend. Please don't let this start a trend.


Perhaps you could just wait and think about the films you watch and post them in the thread without the "witty banter." That's what I do.

Sepp, don't kill the Journal thread, dammit!!!
(cue Vader "NOOOOO!")
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Postby Seppuku on Fri Jan 19, 2007 8:20 pm

Nachokoolaid wrote:
seppukudkurosawa wrote: That's why I think I'm gonna delete my part in that 2007 Journal thread. It's just no fun watching a film and trying to squash it down into a rating, all the while coming up with little The Player like soundbites in your head like, "It's kind of like Pee Wee's Playhouse crossed with Blow Out with a few sprinklings of Piglet's Big Adventure thrown in".


NO!

It seems like every time I try and start a cool thread in the Zone, it's dashed by damned logic.

*crosses fingers*

Please don't let this start a trend. Please don't let this start a trend. Please don't let this start a trend. Please don't let this start a trend.


Perhaps you could just wait and think about the films you watch and post them in the thread without the "witty banter." That's what I do.

Sepp, don't kill the Journal thread, dammit!!!
(cue Vader "NOOOOO!")


:D :D :D

You really think I hold that much sway over my fellow Zoners? Hell, even my promise to The Ginger Man that I'd never confuse him with The Garbage Man again if he agreed to bump his rating of Seven Samurai up to a 6/10 didn't work. You think I could convince 50 people to Edit their journals out of existence?!

Well, I guess it's worth a try. I just want to feel as if I've achieved something, as if I've left my mark on this world, and if it takes killing the Journal thread to do it, then kill it I shall!






Heh, I thought the thread was really good idea, I just think I was in a really cranky mood when I wrote that rant.

Long Live the 2007 Movie Journal Thread!
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Criterion. SEVEN SAMURAI. 3-Discs. The Greatest DVD EVER.

Postby bastard_robo on Wed Jan 24, 2007 2:39 pm

My copy came yesterday... With my new unemployment, I have plenty of time to watch.
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