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CompleteMartialArts.com - The Midnight Eye Guide to New Japanese Film

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Manufacturer: Stone Bridge Press
Average Customer Rating: Average rating of 5.0/5Average rating of 5.0/5Average rating of 5.0/5Average rating of 5.0/5Average rating of 5.0/5

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Binding: Paperback
Dewey Decimal Number: 791.430952
EAN: 9781880656891
ISBN: 1880656892
Label: Stone Bridge Press
Manufacturer: Stone Bridge Press
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 376
Publication Date: 2004-10-01
Publisher: Stone Bridge Press
Studio: Stone Bridge Press

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Editorial Reviews:

An eye-opening portrait of a vibrant film culture, The Midnight Eye Guide to New Japanese Film is the most comprehensive study of the Japanese filmmaking scene yet written. Tom Mes and Jasper Sharp explore the astounding resurgence of Japanese cinema, both live action and animated, profiling 19 contemporary Japanese filmmakers, from the well-known (Kitano, Miike, Miyazaki) to the up-and-coming (Naomi Kawase, Satoshi Kon, Shinya Tsukamoto) and reviewing 97 of their recent films. With 100+ images from behind and in front of the camera, this is a book any film lover will savor. Foreword by Hideo Nakata, director of Ring.

Tom Mes (in Paris) and Jasper Sharp (in Tokyo) co-edit Midnighteye.com, the premier English-language website on Japanese cinema.

Spotlight customer reviews:

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: The best book available on modern Japanese film
Comment: For modern Japanese film, Midnight Eye is the definitive information source. Tom Mes and Jaspar Sharp's website covers film reviews, interviews, DVD releases, feature articles, a calendar of events and film festivals, and absolutely anything an interested person would want to know. With such a pedigree, there are no more qualified people to write a guide of this kind.

"The Midnight Eye Guide to New Japanese Film" is as excellent as one would expect, an essential book for those interested in modern Japanese film. The layout is well-balanced, covering director profiles and film reviews, using both original material and previously featured articles. The writing is crisp and clear, and each chapter provides insight even on topics where one is knowledgeable. Over 100 photos show some of the visual highlights of this visual media.

Each chapter focuses on a director, from history to motivation to style, with a review of that director's top five or six films. Being new Japanese film, the profiles begin in 1956 with Seijin Suzuki ("Elegy to Fighting," "Tokyo Drifter"), a complicated and controversial director. With the Criterion Collection currently making a push of Suzuki's catalog on DVD, this makes a great starting point and leaves me looking forward to each new release. All of the major directors are profiled, such as Shohei Imamura ("The Eel"), Kinji Fukasaku ("Battles without Honor and Humanity" "Battle Royale") Masato Harada ("Bounce KoGals"), Kiyoshi Kurosawa ("Cure"), Studio Ghibli luminaries Isao Takahata ("Grave of the Fireflies") and Hayao Miyazaki ("Spirited Away"), Takeshi Kitano ("Hanabi"), Takashi Miike ("Ichi the Killer," "Audition"), Hirokazu Kore-eda ("After Life"), and Hideo Nakata ("The Ring"). Other, lesser-known directors are also given their due, such as Nara-based naturalist Naomi Kawase ("Suzaku.")

The final section covers what they call "The Other Players," those who have put out a film or two of exceptional quality but hadn't yet established a solid career in the same rank. Animator Satoshi Kon's "Perfect Blue," Masayuki Suo's "Shall We Dance?," Mamoru Oshii's "Avalon," Juzo Itami's "Tampopo" and Mitsuo Yanagimachi's "Fire Festival" are all given their due. More than just simple film-reviews, the authors pack each spotlight with as much interest and insight as their director profiles.

With Donald Richie's seminal "100 Years of Japanese Film" covering the past, it is great to see such a qualified inheritor of the future. Anyone interested in Japanese film will be pleased with "The Midnight Eye Guide to New Japanese Film," both for its insights into current favorites as well as the host of new favorites that they will undoubtedly discovered.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Move over Ozu
Comment: If you are a fan of modern Japanese Film and have the Internet, it is most likely that you are familiar with the website Midhight Eye opperated by Tom Mes and Jasper Sharp. The website is a treasure trove of not only movie and book reviews, but interviews with numerous directors and actors, including the likes of Suzuki Seijun and Asano Tadanobu.

The book covers around 50 years of film, beginning with older, but still popular, directors Imamura Shohei and the above mentioned Suzuki Seijun to younger directors such as Tsukamoto Shinya and Ishii Sogo. The book portrays well known directors such as Kitano Takeshi and Miike Takashi as well as lesser known directors such as Kawase Naomi, also the only female director in the book, whose base of opperation is the ancient capital of Nara rather than Tokyo or Osaka.

The book covers a wide variety of films from yakuza numbers such as Fukasaku's fierce _Battles without Honor and Humanity_ to the Kore-eda's pseudo-documentary _After Life_. horror films, pink films, science fiction, and documentaries are also covered.

The writing is quite clear and informative, and one learns interesting tidbits of information about their favorite directors. this book would be a good guide for fans of Japanese films as well as newcomers.

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