An actor's revenge

An actor's revenge

DVD - 2018 | Japanese
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"A uniquely prolific and chameleonic figure of world cinema, Kon Ichikawa delivered a burst of stylistic bravado with this intricate tale of betrayal and retribution. Set in the cloistered world of nineteenth-century kabuki theater, the film charts a female impersonator's attempts to avenge the deaths of his parents, who were driven to insanity and suicide by a trio of corrupt men. Ichikawa takes the conventions of melodrama and turns them on their head, bringing the hero's fractured psyche to life in boldly experimental widescreen compositions infused with kaleidoscopic color, pop-art influences, and meticulous choreography. Anchored by a magnificently androgynous performance by Kazuo Hasegawa, reprising a role he had played on-screen three decades earlier, An Actor's Revenge is an eye-popping examination of how the illusions of art intersect with life."--Container.
Publisher: [Irvington, N.Y.] : Criterion Collection, 2018
Branch Call Number: DVD ACT Wor
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (113 min.) : Dolby digital mono. sd., col. ; 12 cm. + 1 booklet


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Jul 20, 2019

a stylized, shadowy story of revenge in the world of a Kabuki actor
death moves from one generation to the next

Dec 20, 2018

Three bad guys conpired to ruin a wealthy merchant family.
This caused the suicide of seven-year-old Yukinojo’s mother and father.
Kikunojo Nakamura, the actor-manager of an Osaka kabuki troupe, adopted Yukinojo, who grows up a male actor who plays female roles and revenges those three bud guys.
This film is a remake of the 1935 film of the same title, which also starred Kazuo Hasegawa.
The 1963 remake was Hasegawa's 300th role as a film actor.
Yukinojo brings about their deaths.
Having achieved his goal and apparently overcome by the death of an innocent beautiful woman, Yukinojo retires from the stage and disappears.
The events are coolly observed and sardonically commented on by the Robin-Hood-like thief Yamitaro, also played by Hasegawa.
All the incidents happened during the mid 1830s in Edo---the present-day Tokyo.
It appears quite interesting that Yukinojo uses his stage-craft to terrify his enemies by creating the illusion of a ghost, though he uses no supernatural power.

Dec 14, 2018

Watched its blu-ray version and the ~13 minutes of video interview with film critic Tony Rayns in Special features. Enjoyed other films by director Kon Ichikawa and this arcane 1963 Japanese melodrama is most unusual that it is the remake of the 1935 silent film of the same title which also starred Kazuo Hasegawa (1908-1984) who played both the onnagata Yukinojō Nakamura and a "Robin Hood" outlaw Yamitarō.

An insightful review by critic Michael Sragow
On Film / Essays — Feb 20, 2018

Oct 08, 2018

In the opinion of Junichiro Tanizaki, from his work In Praise of Shadows, ‘the authentic Japanese sensibility rests on an appreciation of darkness:
The mysteries of shadows
Magic of shadows
The delight in shadows’.

kongjunior Jun 07, 2016

An Oyama (a male actor who plays female roles in Kabuki) works out an intricate plot of.....REVENGE.
Meanwhile, since it is set in the Edo period our hero, played by Kazuo Hasegawa, lives as a female even off stage. As you can imagine, there's a lot of subtle humour since seemingly *everybody* is more or less enchanted with "Yuki." It's more a thriller than an action film, but the stylized sets, choreography, and acting won me over. It also had me taking a little Wiki-walk to find out more about Kabuki, and the Oyama.

Aug 06, 2015

A stylized psychodrama which reveals itself slowly. Not for those who want constant action, but deeper character & motivation than Crouching Tiger type films. 4/5 stars

Apr 10, 2012

This bland and slow story may not appeal to everyone. I found myself looking at the clock a lot and not caring for any of the characters.


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Dec 14, 2018

Produced by Masaichi Nagata
The 300th film of the actor Kazuo Hasegawa
Based on the novel by Otokichi Mikami
Do you see them, father? They drove you to your death. ... Your enemies, and mother's ...I have thought of them for twenty years. Now I see them for the first time. Now I shall always recognize those faces, even in darkness. No matter how difficult it may be... I will avenge you both.
That Yukinojo is creepy - he's neither man nor woman.
He thinks an actor is some sort of prostitute. He thinks he can purchase me
to beguile a lady for him. He is the embodiment of vulgarity.
My illness began when first I saw you.
-Your words sound very sweet to me. I am a simple man and apt to believe
what you say.
I beg you not to mock me. I have cast aside modesty, reputation, pride.
-Dreams are superficial. I know now that there is a daytime love deeper than the love of night.

Dec 14, 2018

I left my fate to your sword, but the gods saved me.
You know I won't allow any females in my house... Not even cats.
She's done something beyond her comprehension. Her mind has suffered, it is like a string about to snap.
Life was unkind to you. You were born to be betrayed. A victim of your father's greed. A victim of my own revenge. You have died without having known true love. Not truly loved by anyone. If there is a next world, I will try to make good my false promises. My vow may yet become true and I will marry you.. I will never leave you. I will always serve you. We will be together. Lady Namiji, please do not hate me. Please go in peace.
I believe it must be my fate to be alone. I was born under a lonely moon.
In time, rumours ceased and people forgot about Yukinojo. Had he really disappeared beyond the windswept plain? Who was it who remembered the story of Yukinojo? Was it Yamitaro? Or Kukinojo?Or was it Ohatsu?

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Jun 12, 2018

SF_READER thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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