By Jasper Sharp. It is a ballsy act for a company to put out a four-film box set of titles made almost half a century ago that have never had any form of home video release outside Japan, all made by a director whose name is unknown outside the rarefied circles of Japanese film specialism. […]
By Jasper Sharp. The robustly-designed and impressively laid-out new tome On Kurosawa: A Tribute to the Master Director by Peter Tasker inevitably prompts the same questions I raised a year ago in my review of Paul Anderer’s Kurosawa’s Rashomon. Does the world really need another book on this director, and what exactly is it about […]
By Jasper Sharp. The Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan (Eiren) has just released its annual overview of the financial facts, figures and trends for the Japanese film industry for last year. For filmo-watchers, the 2018 statistics yield few surprises, but still merit further contemplation.
By Jasper Sharp. People often assume that the animated muse in Satoshi Kon’s celebration of Japan’s cinematic heritage, Millennium Actress (2001), was based on Setsuko Hara, the film star who anchored Yasujiro Ozu classics like Tokyo Story, and who retired from the screen for fifty years of self-imposed exile. There is, however, at least one […]
By Jasper Sharp. Home viewers have become the most substantial market for the Hollywood majors. At the turn of the millennium, revenues from VHS sales and rentals amounted to three times those of box-office receipts, while Stephen Sommers’ CG-slathered The Mummy (1999) earned more for Universal in the US on its first week on home […]