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Features Four Frames Widescreen

Overstepping genre boundaries: Séance and Séance on a Wet Afternoon

Bryan Forbes’s Séance on a Wet Afternoon (UK, 1964) starts with mystery-filled images of a séance; Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Séance (Korei, Japan, 2000, produced by Kansai Television) begins with an academic debate on parapsychological phenomena between a professor and a student. Both films are inspired by Mark McShane’s novel Séance on a Wet Afternoon (1961). Forbes’s […]

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Features Four Frames Uncategorized

What remains of the Samurai? – Seven Samurai and 13 Assassins

When I was informed about this month’s “double feature” topic, I spontaneously decided to write about Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai (Shichinin no samurai, 1954) and Takashi Miike’s 13 Assassins (Jusan-nin no shikaku, 2010). On rethinking the matter, I quickly became discouraged. Is it possible to deal in one short article with a masterpiece such as […]

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Features Four Frames Lost Classics

The long way back to normality: Shohei Imamura’s The Eel

After serving eight years in prison for the murder of his wife, Takuro Yamashita (Koji Yakusho) is released on probation and opens a barber shop in the home town of his parole officer, an elderly Buddhist priest (Fujio Tokita). Shohei Imamura’s The Eel (Unagi, 1997) depicts the slow return to normality of the former salaryman […]

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Features Four Frames

The taste of humanity: Tampopo

At the core of Juzo Itami’s Tampopo (1985) is the ambition of the central character, Tampopo (Nobuko Miyamoto), to produce in her small ramen noodle shop the best ramen (Chinese-style wheat noodles served in a broth) in Tokyo. Truck driver Goro (Tsutomu Yamazaki) and four other men help the widow to turn her business around. […]