Takashi Ishii thread (A Night in Nude: Salvation etc.)

China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Thailand, etc
Guro Taku
King of Beggars
Posts: 674
Joined: 29 Apr 2014, 16:37

Re: Takashi Ishii thread (A Night in Nude: Salvation etc.)

Post by Guro Taku »

Guro Taku wrote:I'm all sorts of bummed that it didn't get a Takashi Ishii drawn cover artwork like SWEET WHIP last year.
Turns out that if you want Takashi Ishii cover artwork you have to spring for the GONIN BLU-RAY TRIPLE PACK, which packs the previously released GONIN and GONIN 2 BDs with the standard (theatrical cut only) BD of GONIN SAGA in a nifty cardboard box with Ishii's artwork:

Image

The painting continues on the side and all over the back of the box.

To be fair it should be noted that the color booklet that comes with the above mentioned $100 special edition of GONIN SAGA also includes a single page of (different) Ishii artwork.
User avatar
HungFist
Bruce Lee's Fist
Posts: 11759
Joined: 14 Dec 2005, 15:50
Location: Japan
Contact:

Re: Takashi Ishii thread (A Night in Nude: Salvation etc.)

Post by HungFist »

I had such great time with (the non-Ishii directed) Flower and Snake: Zero, which I saw a few days ago, that I decided to give another S&M movie a try, Ishii's Sweet Whip.

Ugh. This is a strong candidate for the worst film I've seen all year. Ishii's been down for years, yes, but with this film he's gone all Dario Argento.

The beginning is surprisingly decent. We have a dual story simultaneously following a character as an abducted high school girl and traumatized adult. For a moment I was interested in seeing where it goes.

The answer: absolutely nowhere. We get nearly two hours of very nasty raping, beating and humiliation, mostly shot in two locations, and very little anything else. Do not expect to see Ishii's once so elegant aesthetics here, as those have been traded for porn film close ups of genitals - censored of course. Which brings us to the next problem: the film is an unbelievable mosaic mess with blurring applied to nearly every scene.

Add classical music, a narrator, and a climax you can see coming miles away, and you've got a film that ultimately isn't as offensive as it is incredibly dull, nearly unwatchable.

By far the worst film Ishii has ever done. He was once a master of neo noir; now just a dirty old man with a camera.
User avatar
HungFist
Bruce Lee's Fist
Posts: 11759
Joined: 14 Dec 2005, 15:50
Location: Japan
Contact:

Re: Takashi Ishii thread (A Night in Nude: Salvation etc.)

Post by HungFist »

Did anyone get the A Night in Nude (1993) BD? Is it a notable improvement over the R2J DVD?

The BD is OOP now.
Guro Taku
King of Beggars
Posts: 674
Joined: 29 Apr 2014, 16:37

Re: Takashi Ishii thread (A Night in Nude: Salvation etc.)

Post by Guro Taku »

I have it and you can find some full-resolution screenshots below (click for full size) but I no longer have the DVD, so I can't do a comparison.

ImageImageImageImageImageImage
User avatar
HungFist
Bruce Lee's Fist
Posts: 11759
Joined: 14 Dec 2005, 15:50
Location: Japan
Contact:

Re: Takashi Ishii thread (A Night in Nude: Salvation etc.)

Post by HungFist »

Great! Thank you!

Top: Geneon DVD
Bottom: Kadokawa BD
(right click for full size)

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
Guro Taku
King of Beggars
Posts: 674
Joined: 29 Apr 2014, 16:37

Re: Takashi Ishii thread (A Night in Nude: Salvation etc.)

Post by Guro Taku »

Takashi Ishii has died on May 22nd. It was only reported an hour ago. It was cancer. He was 75.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.asahi. ... VL035.html
User avatar
HungFist
Bruce Lee's Fist
Posts: 11759
Joined: 14 Dec 2005, 15:50
Location: Japan
Contact:

Re: Takashi Ishii thread (A Night in Nude: Salvation etc.)

Post by HungFist »

Fucking hell! This came as a total shock! Just next week I'm planning to watch Red Vertigo in 35mm at Laputa ("50 Directors' Debut Film" screening series).
- http://www.laputa-jp.com/laputa/program/debut_works/
Lou Bloom
Jackie Chan's BIG toe
Posts: 48
Joined: 08 Apr 2023, 12:29

Re: Takashi Ishii thread (A Night in Nude: Salvation etc.)

Post by Lou Bloom »

I'm on a Takashi Ishii binge right now. Got Gonin on DVD from many years ago and watched it again recently. It's such a good movie and I had to look into his other stuff. Managed to find all his movies online and I'm watching them one by one. I'm really impressed with A Night in Nude and Alone In the Night. It's almost criminal how these gems are ignored outside of Japan. I recently saw Rainy Dog for a second time, it's a decent noir with several releases outside of Japan, but Ishii's yakuza movies are definitely more gripping and interesting. One of the most interesting writer-directors from the 90's. Cinematography is generally stunning and he had a flair for writing dark and desperate stories with panache. A company like Arrow should look into his work. I could see something like a yakuza trilogy of the movies I mentioned kicking up some dust and gaining some popularity in Europe.
User avatar
HungFist
Bruce Lee's Fist
Posts: 11759
Joined: 14 Dec 2005, 15:50
Location: Japan
Contact:

Re: Takashi Ishii thread (A Night in Nude: Salvation etc.)

Post by HungFist »

Agreed! I've been hoping for an Arrow release, too. Ishii's early / mid 90s neo noir films really deserve to be discovered outside of Japan!
Lou Bloom
Jackie Chan's BIG toe
Posts: 48
Joined: 08 Apr 2023, 12:29

Re: Takashi Ishii thread (A Night in Nude: Salvation etc.)

Post by Lou Bloom »

Absolutely. For whatever reason he faded into obscurity, but his stuff from the 90's deserve a proper release on blu ray. Gonin is an absolute banger. It's somewhat similar to Across 110th Street, but really there's nothing like it out there. One of a kind movie thanks to some incredible individual scenes like the one where the company man gets home to his family.

It was hard to find information about his movies, but luckily I stumbled upon this page and found some good reviews of his stuff. There are zero reviews of Alone in the Night on imdb which is strange. It should have a cult following. I only found one decent article in a magazine. I'll post my thoughts on Ishii's flicks in the Asian movies thread. Hopefully more people will catch on. I'm watching Orchids Under the Moon tonight. Hopefully it's a lot better than Wild Orchid.
10vodkaredbull
Jackie Chan's Little Toe
Posts: 5
Joined: 25 Dec 2021, 16:51

Re: Takashi Ishii thread (A Night in Nude: Salvation etc.)

Post by 10vodkaredbull »

Lou Bloom wrote: 08 Apr 2023, 20:20 There are zero reviews of Alone in the Night on imdb which is strange. It should have a cult following.
It does in my house. That flamenco track + the ending, high art. Red Vertigo is good too, got a Sato vibe.
Lou Bloom
Jackie Chan's BIG toe
Posts: 48
Joined: 08 Apr 2023, 12:29

Re: Takashi Ishii thread (A Night in Nude: Salvation etc.)

Post by Lou Bloom »

10vodkaredbull wrote: 30 Apr 2023, 20:33 It does in my house. That flamenco track + the ending, high art. Red Vertigo is good too, got a Sato vibe.
Awesome. The flamenco track is either the same or similar to the one in Gonin. I found it on youtube for anyone who's interested. From around 33:50
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n27haP2tyS8
User avatar
HungFist
Bruce Lee's Fist
Posts: 11759
Joined: 14 Dec 2005, 15:50
Location: Japan
Contact:

Re: Takashi Ishii thread (A Night in Nude: Salvation etc.)

Post by HungFist »

Good news! Happinet will be releasing four Takashi Ishii films on BD.

May: Original Sin (死んでもいい) (1992) BD debut
Image
with English subs even!
- https://happinet-p.com/jp3/releases/HPXR-2516

June: A Night in Nude (ヌードの夜) 1993) BD
Image
Unclear is this is a new master or not, but I think it is. It says supervised by the DoP.
- https://happinet-p.com/jp3/releases/HPXR-2517

July: Alone in the Night (夜がまた来る) (1994) BD debut
- Link and artwork not available yet

August: Angel Guts: Red Flash (天使のはらわた 赤い閃光) (1994) BD and Disc debut
This was never even released on DVD.
- Link and artwork not available yet
Guro Taku
King of Beggars
Posts: 674
Joined: 29 Apr 2014, 16:37

Re: Takashi Ishii thread (A Night in Nude: Salvation etc.)

Post by Guro Taku »

Great news indeed, especially regarding the BD debuts. Original Sin also came with English subtitles on the Japanese DVD release, for some reason. I went into that film with totally wrong expectations and should probably reevaluate it eventually. Now let's just hope Happinet doesn't drop the ball on the transfers, like they've occasionally done in the past. With so many of Ishii's films now having HD transfers, I'm also rooting for some boutique label getting on bringing them to a wider, international audience.
Guro Taku
King of Beggars
Posts: 674
Joined: 29 Apr 2014, 16:37

Re: Takashi Ishii thread (A Night in Nude: Salvation etc.)

Post by Guro Taku »

You can get a tiny glimpse at the artworks for the other two BDs from the flyer that comes with ORIGINAL SIN:

Image

The text here states something along the lines of "Tale(s) of 4 Namis"

Written and Directed by Takashi Ishii

Takashi Ishii REVIVE Early Masterpiece Collection

Image

On the back it gives you the artwork, specs, release dates and the names of the respective actress who played Nami in the various films. On the side it states that Ishii passed away unexpectedly on May 22nd 2022 and that the films were remastered from the original negatives under the supervision of the "cameraman".

I no longer have the DVD release of ORIGINAL SIN, so I can't comment on how much overlap there is but they really went all out here in terms of extras, especially for a Japanese BD release. In addition to the flyer there is even a substantial booklet with various interviews, Ishii's production diary and behind the scenes photos. Then on the disc you get the complete storyboard (!) as drawn by Ishii, more interviews (some vintage, like the one with Ishii, some new) and a trailer.
Guro Taku
King of Beggars
Posts: 674
Joined: 29 Apr 2014, 16:37

Re: Takashi Ishii thread (A Night in Nude: Salvation etc.)

Post by Guro Taku »

Screenshots from the new A NIGHT IN NUDE BD:

Image
Image
Image
Image

Not sure if this is a new transfer. They clearly fixed the awful color-grading from the old Kadokawa BD (see screenshot #3, which is now back to looking like it did on the Geneon DVD) but the compression is absolutely horrendous with artifacts all over the place. Wouldn't surprise me to learn they just tinkered with the same old scan and made it look a bit different. But I'll leave that to folks more technically versed than myself to conclude. So long as they don't just slap an upscaled VHS transfer on their BD of RED FLASH, I guess...

And here's a bigger preview of the artwork for ALONE IN THE NIGHT:

Image
Lou Bloom
Jackie Chan's BIG toe
Posts: 48
Joined: 08 Apr 2023, 12:29

Re: Takashi Ishii thread (A Night in Nude: Salvation etc.)

Post by Lou Bloom »

Love Hotel is being released by Arrow so there's reason to believe that other Ishii films are on their radar.
logboy
Jackie Chan's BIG toe
Posts: 38
Joined: 10 Aug 2011, 07:57

Re: Takashi Ishii thread (A Night in Nude: Salvation etc.)

Post by logboy »

Lou Bloom wrote: 10 Jun 2024, 18:36 Love Hotel is being released by Arrow so there's reason to believe that other Ishii films are on their radar.
third window, not arrow.
User avatar
HungFist
Bruce Lee's Fist
Posts: 11759
Joined: 14 Dec 2005, 15:50
Location: Japan
Contact:

Re: Takashi Ishii thread (A Night in Nude: Salvation etc.)

Post by HungFist »

logboy wrote: 10 Jun 2024, 20:25
Lou Bloom wrote: 10 Jun 2024, 18:36 Love Hotel is being released by Arrow so there's reason to believe that other Ishii films are on their radar.
third window, not arrow.
Yes, and as a part of The Director's Company catalogue, which doesn't contain any films directed by Ishii.

Ishii releases would be most welcome, partly because as noted above by Guro Taku these new Japanese BDs suffer from poor encode (haven't had time to properly examine them, but that caught my eye immediately when I spot checked the discs), but there's no reason to assume that more will be on the way because of the Love Hotel release.

Speaking of which, I'm quite sure Third Window will be using the same new master that is on the Japanese BD, but I wish they wouldn't. The old HD scan, which was originally created at the time of the Japanese DVD release and has been streaming in HD on Amazon, has a more appealing and natural look. The new HD master is more detailed, but it's been super-charged for MTV generation like many recent Nikkatsu masters (it's really odd... half of the new Roman Porno masters coming from Nikkatsu have been given this revisionist treatment with boosted contrasts and weird-looking colours, while the other half have been saved from this treatment and look gorgeous).
Lou Bloom
Jackie Chan's BIG toe
Posts: 48
Joined: 08 Apr 2023, 12:29

Re: Takashi Ishii thread (A Night in Nude: Salvation etc.)

Post by Lou Bloom »

logboy wrote: 10 Jun 2024, 20:25
Lou Bloom wrote: 10 Jun 2024, 18:36 Love Hotel is being released by Arrow so there's reason to believe that other Ishii films are on their radar.
third window, not arrow.
You're right. They're also selling the blu ray at the Arrow store. Hopefully that means they will look into the other films. I'd put my money on Arrow to deliver a solid Gonin release.
Guro Taku
King of Beggars
Posts: 674
Joined: 29 Apr 2014, 16:37

Re: Takashi Ishii thread (A Night in Nude: Salvation etc.)

Post by Guro Taku »

My guess is that Third Window Films are into Shinji Somai as director and don't care about Takashi Ishii. I'd love to be wrong, though.
Lou Bloom
Jackie Chan's BIG toe
Posts: 48
Joined: 08 Apr 2023, 12:29

Re: Takashi Ishii thread (A Night in Nude: Salvation etc.)

Post by Lou Bloom »

Guro Taku wrote: 11 Jun 2024, 19:29 My guess is that Third Window Films are into Shinji Somai as director and don't care about Takashi Ishii. I'd love to be wrong, though.
"After mainstream success, Shinji Somai (Typhoon Club) returned to his Nikkatsu roots for this mournful Roman Porno scripted by Takashi Ishii (writer of Evil Dead Trap and director of Gonin)"

At least he's mentioned in the description. We'll see.
logboy
Jackie Chan's BIG toe
Posts: 38
Joined: 10 Aug 2011, 07:57

Re: Takashi Ishii thread (A Night in Nude: Salvation etc.)

Post by logboy »

Lou Bloom wrote: 11 Jun 2024, 14:31
logboy wrote: 10 Jun 2024, 20:25
Lou Bloom wrote: 10 Jun 2024, 18:36 Love Hotel is being released by Arrow so there's reason to believe that other Ishii films are on their radar.
third window, not arrow.
You're right. They're also selling the blu ray at the Arrow store. Hopefully that means they will look into the other films. I'd put my money on Arrow to deliver a solid Gonin release.
i don't believe arrow is the label you remember any more. it's changed hands, and is firmly in the territory of american films from the last forty years.

the labels for oddities, especially foreign ones, are elsewhere now. i've long accepted this, but notice many resistant to the idea, or in denial. they'd be label collectors, not watchers of films that go wherever they are released.

TWF seem to have an interest in the director's company films; 'mermaid legend' is soon, based on a takashi ishii manga, and a far better toshiharu ikeda film than the dreadful 'evil dead trap' that has a bafflingly-positive reputation.
User avatar
HungFist
Bruce Lee's Fist
Posts: 11759
Joined: 14 Dec 2005, 15:50
Location: Japan
Contact:

Re: Takashi Ishii thread (A Night in Nude: Salvation etc.)

Post by HungFist »

logboy wrote: 12 Jun 2024, 09:08 i don't believe arrow is the label you remember any more. it's changed hands, and is firmly in the territory of american films from the last forty years.
It's been a long dry spell for Arrow, but considering they just announced Shawscope Vol. 3 with 13 new scans & restorations done by Arrow themselves (+ one 4K restoration from Hong Kong), I'd say it's a bit early to write them completely off. Also, Cliff MacMillan, who did all those Sonny Chiba sets for Shout (and for Addness 20 years ago) left Shout and started working for Arrow just recently, so let's see what he'll manage to do there. Hopefully pick something from my Toei list.
logboy wrote: 12 Jun 2024, 09:08 TWF seem to have an interest in the director's company films; 'mermaid legend' is soon, based on a takashi ishii manga, and a far better toshiharu ikeda film than the dreadful 'evil dead trap' that has a bafflingly-positive reputation.
Adam said he gained access to a whole bunch of original negatives to Director's Company films, hence these new releases. He actually wanted to release Evil Dead Trap with a brand new scan, but sadly 88 had already licensed it and will release it using the old master.

I'm not a huge fan of Ikeda. I do love Evil Dead Trap which I've seen twice in 35mm (at Film Archive and Laputa Asagaya, a total blast both times), but Mermaid Legend doesn't work too well for me. My last viewing was at Laputa where, very unusually for Japanese audiences, the viewers were laughing at the film.
Lou Bloom
Jackie Chan's BIG toe
Posts: 48
Joined: 08 Apr 2023, 12:29

Re: Takashi Ishii thread (A Night in Nude: Salvation etc.)

Post by Lou Bloom »

logboy wrote: 12 Jun 2024, 09:08
Lou Bloom wrote: 11 Jun 2024, 14:31
logboy wrote: 10 Jun 2024, 20:25
Lou Bloom wrote: 10 Jun 2024, 18:36 Love Hotel is being released by Arrow so there's reason to believe that other Ishii films are on their radar.
third window, not arrow.
You're right. They're also selling the blu ray at the Arrow store. Hopefully that means they will look into the other films. I'd put my money on Arrow to deliver a solid Gonin release.
i don't believe arrow is the label you remember any more. it's changed hands, and is firmly in the territory of american films from the last forty years.

the labels for oddities, especially foreign ones, are elsewhere now. i've long accepted this, but notice many resistant to the idea, or in denial. they'd be label collectors, not watchers of films that go wherever they are released.

TWF seem to have an interest in the director's company films; 'mermaid legend' is soon, based on a takashi ishii manga, and a far better toshiharu ikeda film than the dreadful 'evil dead trap' that has a bafflingly-positive reputation.
Game trilogy is fairly recent isn't it. I've only seen the first and it's pretty bad. If they released that then anything is possible. I agree with HungFist, I wouldn't write them off.

Radiance has shown a lot of promise. I never thought I'd see Tony Arzenta on blu ray, but here we are. There was also the obscure Bounty Hunter trilogy. I heard somewhere the owner of Radiance used to work for Arrow. Maybe that's the horse to back going into the future.
Post Reply