KUROSAWA'S BLOOD MERIDIAN OR THE EVENING REDNESS IN THE WEST

This topic contains 15 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Peter Josyph 2 years, 7 months ago.

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  • 07 Jun 2015 at 7:41 pm #7226

    Peter Josyph
    Member
    07 Jun 2015 at 7:49 pm #7227

    Peter Josyph
    Member

    Look out, John Sepich: the students at Harvard are gaining on you:

    http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51fK1slx3DL.jpg


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    07 Jun 2015 at 7:54 pm #7228

    Peter Josyph
    Member

    We know that MURAKAMI was a fan of BLOOD MERIDIAN OR THE EVENING REDNESS IN THE WEST:

    Daniel Morales @howtojapanese
    Murakami recommends “Blood Meridian” to a Japanese reader looking for more int’l lit: http://www.welluneednt.com/entry/2015/01/16/230234
    9:46 PM – 16 Jan 2015
    村上さんのところ/村上春樹 期間限定公式サイト
    村上さんのところ/村上春樹 期間限定公式サイト


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    08 Jun 2015 at 8:00 am #7231

    Rick Wallach
    Keymaster

    Of course, it is Josyph’s recalcitrant monolingualism – as when he insists on referring to Shi no bouto as Blood Meridian or the Evening Redness in the West when it means Dance of Death – that is the source of his antipathies. If you can’t understand a word of it, pan it. You’d think he had just listened to a lecture by Gayatri Spivak. In fact Mifune won a major Mexican acting award for his performance so he apparently learned his “sides” (speaking of which, did you know that Olive Garden discontinued its unlimited breadsticks?) pretty well. And in the post-funereal dance Mifune performs in the village circle, did I detect a subtle allusion to Mifune’s classic dancing scene in Drunken Angel?

    I am charmed by that Japanese cover of Blood Meridian, which reminds me in a way of the original hardcover issue of Cities of the Plain, which featured a bleached steer skull lying in the sand. It seems to me that the Japanese publisher actually grasped the ethos of the novel. Bravo!

    But the good news is, if you’re not a native Spanish speaker like me, you can buy Animas Trujano, with English subtitles – just like a real Japanese movie – directly through the Cormac McCarthy Society’s privileged link with Amazon.com, here: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Dmovies-tv&field-keywords=animas+trujano. Don’t miss out on this landmark film, which, along with Yojimbo and Hell in the Pacific, was one of the pinnacles of Mifune’s storied career – as would Shi no bouto have been if Kurosawa had lived long enough to make it.

    Incidentally, in my continuing research into Kurosawa’s unmade masterpiece, I read about Kurosawa’s obsessive preparations for the climactic scene of Ran, which involved the immolation of Lord Hidetora’s castle. The Master warned his entire crew, and especially Tatsuya Nakadai, who played the star-crossed Lord, that they had to get it right on the first take because he wasn’t about to build that sprawling castle set again for a re-shoot. It occurred to me that the equivalent scene in Shi no bouto would have been the destruction of Shimabara Castle, the construction of which would have been a far more complicated undertaking than Hidetora’s fortress. This would be true not only because the structure itself was so massive but because, unlike the Lord’s castle sitting out in the middle of an otherwise empty plain surrounded by low hills, Shimabara castle sat in the middle of a city, all of which would have had to be built. Eiji Tsuburaya, Kurosawa’s friend Ishiro Honda’s miniatures wizard from the many kaiju eiga (monster movies) on which they collaborated, had died in 1970, sixteen years before Kurosawa began to work on Shi no bouto.

    Moreover, Kurosawa’s relations with Toho had soured somewhat due to the poor box office returns on Ran, which ran up the biggest Japanese studio budget in history – $12,000,000 – to the time of its production but, despite generally good reviews, barely broke even in its initial release. So, it is probably doubtful that Toho, at least, would have been comfortable allocating what would surely have been an even bigger budget to film Shin no bouto.


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    • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by  Rick Wallach.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by  Rick Wallach.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by  Rick Wallach.
    08 Jun 2015 at 12:24 pm #7235

    Rick Wallach
    Keymaster

    Could Toshiro Mifune have handled a derivative samurai character based on an American Western role out of Blood Meridian?

    I invite you all to decide for yourselves:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sULTwrKipc


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    17 Jun 2015 at 7:26 pm #7263

    Peter Josyph
    Member

    Returning to the original topic: Exactly how much have you seen of the unfinished film, Rick?

    I vaguely recall you telling me about one sequence that appeared to be nearly complete but that had not been fine-tuned and included no music. In other words, a rough cut such as directors often like to see while shooting is in progress. Also, something about some of the audio track being blank. But I clearly recall that it was a scene that you recognized out of the narrative of the novel. And – hopefully I didn’t invent this – you might have been told that this was the last sequence Kurosawa put on film. Am I remembering correctly? I also recall that we argued over your use of the term “unmade,” my pov being that if scenes were, in fact, shot, it was more unfinished than unmade…


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