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183

Asian Cinema. Discussion, Reviews, Questions (aka ChinJaKoFilm Thread)
Topic by: lizzoqops
Posted: September 17, 2005 - 3:37 PM PDT
Last Reply: December 2, 2007 - 10:31 PM PST

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author topic: Asian Cinema. Discussion, Reviews, Questions (aka ChinJaKoFilm Thread)
hamano
post #121  on December 13, 2005 - 10:40 PM PST  
> On December 13, 2005 - 7:37 PM PST ahogue wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Wow, I never noticed that the original title was English.

Well, it is and it isn't, which was the point I was trying to make to Lizzo with using the German word for CURE. If you look at the Japanese materials, the name is written phonetically in katakana, "KYUA". In the case of RINGU, that's actually an English word that would be familiar to most Japanese when written phonetically in katakana, although many would think of a boxing or wrestling ring first before jewelry or a circular shape. But KYUA wouldn't be so recognizable. Most Japanese would first have to figure out that it's an English word, then look up the meaning. Just written like it is on the DVD cover, it looks like an onomatopoeic sound, Kyua Kyua... I think one of the monsters in one of those Godzilla movies made a sound like that. So the original title in Japan would have a whole different impact on a Japanese audience compared to an American who sees "Cure" or "The Cure". We see C-U-R-E and we instantly recognize the meaning and the connotations of that word.

Therefore I think to a native Japanese speaker (other than the film-makers), a debate on "Cure" vs. "The Cure" is almost totally meaningless in terms of this film.
lizzoqops
post #122  on December 13, 2005 - 11:50 PM PST  
Well, I didn't see the movie in a theater in Japan, but I do have the R2 Japanese dvd. The opening sequence features the title as "CURE". I also remember reading that Kurosawa wrote the original screenplay during a workshop at the Sundance Institute. So, I think the title was meant to be English. Like Ring (the sound a phone makes) or Audition (I'm not really sure why this has a English title, unless the Murakami story also has an English title).
hamano
post #123  on December 14, 2005 - 9:50 AM PST  
> On December 13, 2005 - 11:50 PM PST lizzoqops wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> So, I think the title was meant to be English. Like Ring (the sound a phone makes) or Audition

Oh, I don't really have any doubt about THAT, but in the case of kyua or cure the question is how meaningful Kurosawa meant the title to be to the Japanese audience. He could have gone with a Japanese word, or a more familiar English word. The way it stands the presence/absence of "the" seems to make little difference (unless he originally conceived the title with the presumption of a primarily American or International audience, which is an interesting idea in itself...)

> (I'm not really sure why this has a English title, unless the Murakami story also has an English title).

The English word Oh-dission is commonly used in Japan currently to mean "audition"... for something like a job interview, on the other hand, the old Japanese term is still used, "mensetsu"... so the title Audition (as well as Ring) would be meaningful to the typical Japanese audience.... you know, curiously I didn't associate the title RINGU with the ring of the telephone, although it's obvious now that you've pointed it out. I thought the main reference was to the circle that appears on the videotape! I guess if the presupposition was associating the word ring with "circle" the addition of "the" is more or less unimportant. However, if your presupposition was associating the word ring with "phone ringing" it's probably better with the "the" left off. Interesting.

ahogue
post #124  on December 14, 2005 - 11:16 AM PST  
> On December 14, 2005 - 9:50 AM PST hamano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
I guess if the presupposition was associating the word ring with "circle" the addition of "the" is more or less unimportant. However, if your presupposition was associating the word ring with "phone ringing" it's probably better with the "the" left off. Interesting.
> ---------------------------------

Yes, because without "the" it sounds like an onomatopoeia. It's possible but I think rare to say "the ring" for the sound of a phone.
hamano
post #125  on December 14, 2005 - 12:31 PM PST  
> On December 14, 2005 - 11:16 AM PST ahogue wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> but I think rare to say "the ring" for the sound of a phone.

Unless you KNOW there's going to be a ring, and you are waiting for IT...
^_^
hamano
post #126  on December 15, 2005 - 7:08 AM PST  
More thoughts on the "manga effect"... I was thinking about Aeon Flux and Elektra and the other American comic book adaptations... many of them are flops, regardless of how much they spent on special effects.

I think in the manga effect visual storytellers go for a sort of minimalism that is antithetical to Hollywood style big-budget special effects. You COULD use super expensive CGI and stuff, but it's not the essential element that American producers seem to think is required. Japanese film makers have to work with smaller budgets, so they adapted a storytelling style that is very fast and economic to work with that was already quite familiar to them.

Manga developed into a visual storytelling medium that did quite a LOT with very little. Some manga stories are as dense as a book with plot and information, sometimes cinematic with graphical narrative and clever devices like transitions and the kind of special effects you could draw with ink. I think part of why manga became so sophisticated was because manga artists were heavily influenced by American movies. I think you could make a good case that American directors, writers, cinematographers and editors helped make manga what it is today. After that kind of rigorous and multi-faceted evolution, Japanese manga style was ripe to be exported BACK to live action films.

I think maybe there's an artistic lust for simplicity, and maybe that was expressed in the West as the DOGME movement. Maybe in Japan it was manga minimalism. That sense of economy does seem to be a part of Kurosawa's films that it shares with other "manga effect" film-makers.

I remember one of Kitano's landmark films where he first transitioned from being a comedian to a serious film artist was his very small acting turn in Comic Magazine. The actual title is more like "We have no more need for comic magazines!" Thinking back on the sensibilities expressed in that movie, I'm thinking hey, the manga effect was already happening and being recognized. You don't need comic magazines if everything else (in real life and the media) is turning into manga.
lizzoqops
post #127  on December 15, 2005 - 10:29 AM PST  
> On December 15, 2005 - 7:08 AM PST hamano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> More thoughts on the "manga effect"... I was thinking about Aeon Flux and Elektra and the other American comic book adaptations... many of them are flops, regardless of how much they spent on special effects.
>

That doesn't seem to stop them from doing it, though. Wonder why that is.

> I think in the manga effect visual storytellers go for a sort of minimalism that is antithetical to Hollywood style big-budget special effects. You COULD use super expensive CGI and stuff, but it's not the essential element that American producers seem to think is required. Japanese film makers have to work with smaller budgets, so they adapted a storytelling style that is very fast and economic to work with that was already quite familiar to them.
>

And it seems to work for them, and me. The bigger the budget, the more likely you are to get something like "Casshern", which I think could be marketed as a substitute for seconal.


> Manga developed into a visual storytelling medium that did quite a LOT with very little. Some manga stories are as dense as a book with plot and information, sometimes cinematic with graphical narrative and clever devices like transitions and the kind of special effects you could draw with ink. I think part of why manga became so sophisticated was because manga artists were heavily influenced by American movies. I think you could make a good case that American directors, writers, cinematographers and editors helped make manga what it is today. After that kind of rigorous and multi-faceted evolution, Japanese manga style was ripe to be exported BACK to live action films.
>
> I think maybe there's an artistic lust for simplicity, and maybe that was expressed in the West as the DOGME movement. Maybe in Japan it was manga minimalism. That sense of economy does seem to be a part of Kurosawa's films that it shares with other "manga effect" film-makers.
>

Maybe...although Kurosawa's style takes it to a whole 'nother level. The minimalism could just be a money/time issue, rather than a artistic choice. I personally appreciate his themes, rather than whether or not he has great special effects (although the climax of "Bright Future" is pretty cool). I could say the same for Tsukamoto. The director's style is only important in that they aren't hitting me over the head with what they're trying to say. What does this have to do with manga/not manga? I have no idea : )


> I remember one of Kitano's landmark films where he first transitioned from being a comedian to a serious film artist was his very small acting turn in Comic Magazine. The actual title is more like "We have no more need for comic magazines!" Thinking back on the sensibilities expressed in that movie, I'm thinking hey, the manga effect was already happening and being recognized. You don't need comic magazines if everything else (in real life and the media) is turning into manga.
> ---------------------------------

That sounds interesting...I wonder if we'll ever get to see it?

dpowers
post #128  on December 15, 2005 - 11:34 AM PST  
> That doesn't seem to stop them from doing it, though. Wonder why that is.

overseas sales, DVD sales, merchandising. merchandising is worth a fortune and a half if the hero is cool enough.
ahogue
post #129  on December 15, 2005 - 1:39 PM PST  
> On December 15, 2005 - 11:34 AM PST dpowers wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > That doesn't seem to stop them from doing it, though. Wonder why that is.
>
> overseas sales, DVD sales, merchandising. merchandising is worth a fortune and a half if the hero is cool enough.
> ---------------------------------

The biggest decision that has to be made is: Burger King or McDonalds?
dpowers
post #130  on December 15, 2005 - 2:33 PM PST  
acha! i forgot the games!!! ahem. of course i must have been including video game spinoffs in merchandising. how clever of me.
hamano
post #131  on December 15, 2005 - 3:02 PM PST  
Hence my theory that America's new National Artform is videogames. That's where the money is. Oddly the Japanese are really bad at tying in videogames with movies and stuff. All the ads I see for the Bleach game or the Full Metal Alchemist game... they all look like cheap crap. They're pretty good at inventing fantasy games that in turn don't seem to translate well into movies... Also they're good at turning out strange addictive little games like Katamaridamaci...
hamano
post #132  on December 15, 2005 - 3:08 PM PST  
> On December 15, 2005 - 10:29 AM PST lizzoqops wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Maybe...although Kurosawa's style takes it to a whole 'nother level. The minimalism could just be a money/time issue, rather than a artistic choice.

Well they have to make do with what they have, and necessity is the mother of invention and what not. Oh, I just saw King Kong and there was a whole swamp full of the penisauruses from Flesh Gordon! Except these were their blind cousins...

> What does this have to do with manga/not manga? I have no idea : )

There's a sort of looseness about narrative conventions that I see more in manga than anything else. There have been novels like that recently too but I bet the authors were manga readers.
lizzoqops
post #133  on December 17, 2005 - 11:02 AM PST  
Saw an ad/trailer for "Zinda" this morning on Showbiz India. It looks like they're actually going through with it. Too weird. They even used the same taglines! But it's 14 years, and 4 days. So it goes.
hamano
post #134  on December 18, 2005 - 7:13 AM PST  
Ha ha! The Koreans have vowed revenge!!
lizzoqops
post #135  on December 21, 2005 - 11:28 AM PST  
Is this backlash, jealousy, or just because "April Snow" is a sucky movie? It's hard to tell, with the info given here:

Aoyama Chimes In For No Apparent Reason

These anti-Korean wave stories are always sensationalistic like this, and really give little context for the comments.

hamano
post #136  on December 21, 2005 - 12:47 PM PST  
> On December 21, 2005 - 11:28 AM PST lizzoqops wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> These anti-Korean wave stories are always sensationalistic like this, and really give little context for the comments.

Oy, it looks like Aoyama took a crap and his wife promptly stepped in it. I guess he wanted to get his name in the headlines somehow.

I remember markhl could never understand what this whole Korea boom in Japan was all about. And it's gonna look like nothing when the future China boom hits Japan (sometime between the Geisha movie and the Beijing Olympics).

The Japs are just jealous because globally Korean and Chinese cinema seems to be in ascension compared to Japan, but whose fault is that? Aoyama should become an assistant in an anime studio if he wants to be where the action is. It's going to be YEARS before a Chinese or Korean animated feature is even nominated for an Oscar!
lizzoqops
post #137  on December 28, 2005 - 6:51 PM PST  
Watched this week:

Welcome to Dongmakgol: Not what I expected, at all. Great story, great ending! Hopefully it will be showing up here (and by here I mean any kind of US release)soon.

Sympathy for Lady Vengeance: I knew as soon as I saw this, I needed to watch it again. I really enjoyed the second viewing. This will be in theaters in February, although I expect an extremely limited release.

Ong Bak: Ha! That was fun. I liked it.

Desert Moon: Another Aoyama that doesn't quite cut it. The review at IMDB describes it pretty well.

Anybody watching movies? Anybody? Bueller?
lizzoqops
post #138  on January 3, 2006 - 6:53 PM PST  
Release date for Sympathy for Lady Vengeance has been changed from February 3rd to March 24th. That sucks for people who haven't seen it yet : )

They also seem to have dropped the "Sympathy for" part.
lizzoqops
post #139  on January 3, 2006 - 9:29 PM PST  
I finally saw the Calamari Wrestler.

It wasn't good.
Eoliano
post #140  on January 3, 2006 - 10:20 PM PST  
> They also seem to have dropped the "Sympathy for" part.

So they have. Looks like I'll have an opportunity to see Lady Vengeance at the PSIFF.
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