480 The Human Condition

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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knives
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Re: 480 The Human Condition

#126 Post by knives » Fri Dec 11, 2009 3:16 pm

Michael Kerpan wrote:> it is obviously the work of a youth.

Human Condition 1 was (at least) Kobayashi's 10th film -- he was 33 years old -- and had been directing films for 7 or so years.

Slow bloomer, maybe? ;~}
As much as I like him, Kobayashi was a slower bloomer than Eastwood. That's not to say the earlier films are bad, just that it wasn't until after this experience he could do, in my opinion, great.

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: 480 The Human Condition

#127 Post by Michael Kerpan » Fri Dec 11, 2009 4:05 pm

As noted above, 43 (I miscounted). I'm sorry -- I can't say that I feel he ever "bloomed".

Giulio
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Re: 480 The Human Condition

#128 Post by Giulio » Fri Dec 11, 2009 4:55 pm

The parallel with Saving Private Ryan seems a little inappropriate to me, I still consider HC a film about individual/moral values/authority, many critics
found the film as a precursor to the Japanese Nouvelle Vague and the youth rebellion against the old japanese values of blind nationalism and militarism, in over 9 hours the battle scenes are very very few
knives wrote:I find the more to be more interesting as a work of artistic growth. The film itself, except maybe the last part, doesn't lift itself above Saving Private Ryan too often, but the changes of quality as a director is very dramatic and noticable. You can actually believe the last part is by the same guy who did Seppuku. That's not to say the Human Condition is bad, but at least in its beginnings it is obviously the work of a youth.

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knives
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Re: 480 The Human Condition

#129 Post by knives » Fri Dec 11, 2009 5:36 pm

When I made that comparison, I wasn't referring to the story so much as the sentimentality (wrong word, but you get the point) present.

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: 480 The Human Condition

#130 Post by Michael Kerpan » Fri Dec 11, 2009 5:53 pm

Giulio wrote:many critics found the film as a precursor to the Japanese Nouvelle Vague and the youth rebellion against the old japanese values of blind nationalism and militarism
I see no connection in terms of style, tone or structure.

And post-war attacks on blind nationalism and militarism were old news by the time this set of films was started.

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Ben Cheshire
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Re: 480 The Human Condition

#131 Post by Ben Cheshire » Fri Dec 11, 2009 9:04 pm

Giulio wrote:The parallel with Saving Private Ryan seems a little inappropriate to me
Me too, mainly because Saving Private Ryan is really good.

Giulio
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Re: 480 The Human Condition

#132 Post by Giulio » Sat Dec 12, 2009 8:49 pm

knives wrote:When I made that comparison, I wasn't referring to the story so much as the sentimentality (wrong word, but you get the point) present.
alright then

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Re: 480 The Human Condition

#133 Post by Giulio » Sat Dec 12, 2009 8:51 pm

knives wrote:When I made that comparison, I wasn't referring to the story so much as the sentimentality (wrong word, but you get the point) present.
alright then
Ben Cheshire wrote:
Giulio wrote:The parallel with Saving Private Ryan seems a little inappropriate to me
Me too, mainly because Saving Private Ryan is really good.
that's your opinion, it's kinda like comparing pinocchio to dumbo considering both of them animation genre
honestly I see no connection between those two films, human condition it is not strictly to be considered as a war film

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zedz
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Re: 480 The Human Condition

#134 Post by zedz » Sun Dec 13, 2009 3:23 pm

Giulio wrote:
Ben Cheshire wrote:
Giulio wrote:The parallel with Saving Private Ryan seems a little inappropriate to me
Me too, mainly because Saving Private Ryan is really good.
that's your opinion, it's kinda like comparing pinocchio to dumbo considering both of them animation genre
honestly I see no connection between those two films, human condition it is not strictly to be considered as a war film
These analogies (and the rules around them) are becoming more and more bizarre. Since when were comparisons between two films made by the same company and many of the same people within a few years of one another out of bounds? Shouldn't your prohibition be on comparisons between, say, Pinocchio and Particles In Space?

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"membrillo"
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Re: 480 The Human Condition

#135 Post by "membrillo" » Sun Dec 13, 2009 6:58 pm

Ben Cheshire wrote:
Giulio wrote:The parallel with Saving Private Ryan seems a little inappropriate to me
Me too, mainly because Saving Private Ryan is really good.
Wow, that was a great laugh.

Uhm, you are kidding...right?

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: 480 The Human Condition

#136 Post by Michael Kerpan » Sun Dec 13, 2009 7:02 pm

I've never been much of a Spielberg fan -- yet I prefer him to Kobayashi (though feel they have a number of similarities).

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Ben Cheshire
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Re: 480 The Human Condition

#137 Post by Ben Cheshire » Sun Dec 13, 2009 7:58 pm

[quote=""membrillo""]
Ben Cheshire wrote:
Giulio wrote:The parallel with Saving Private Ryan seems a little inappropriate to me
Me too, mainly because Saving Private Ryan is really good.
Wow, that was a great laugh.

Uhm, you are kidding...right?[/quote] I was being facetious, it was hardly a reasoned criticism. However, I love Saving Private Ryan, except for the corny bookends at the graveyard.

Giulio
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Re: 480 The Human Condition

#138 Post by Giulio » Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:32 am

zedz wrote:
Giulio wrote:
Ben Cheshire wrote: Me too, mainly because Saving Private Ryan is really good.
that's your opinion, it's kinda like comparing pinocchio to dumbo considering both of them animation genre
honestly I see no connection between those two films, human condition it is not strictly to be considered as a war film
These analogies (and the rules around them) are becoming more and more bizarre. Since when were comparisons between two films made by the same company and many of the same people within a few years of one another out of bounds? Shouldn't your prohibition be on comparisons between, say, Pinocchio and Particles In Space?
this is not the point, you can even compare my toilet with rossellini (a ready made against a neoralist director, what a laugh) or an existentialist philosopher with your beloved dog, can compare everything, it is not forbidden but I see no connection between (you can always find one) those two films (human condition and SPR for Pinocchio and Dumbo maybe you're right but don't want to start another boring discussion).

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HerrSchreck
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Re: 480 The Human Condition

#139 Post by HerrSchreck » Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:21 pm

Michael Kerpan wrote:I've never been much of a Spielberg fan -- yet I prefer him to Kobayashi (though feel they have a number of similarities).
O my goodness.

When Spielberg is capable of coming close to the aesthetics of the quiet burps from the head chef in the studio canteen retreated to during breaks on Kwaidan, or Seppuku, or Rebellion, or Black River, or Inn of Evil, the world will have indeed flopped upside down.

Seriously, what are their similarities, aside from the fact that they both make movies? In spirit, I actually see more similarity between Spielberg and Ozu-- although Ozu's middle-class/bourgoise orientation, and use of gentle, heartwarming pathos is stylistically, and in terms of maturity, galaxies beyond Spielberg-- rather than the ferociously rebellious Kobayashi.

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aox
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Re: 480 The Human Condition

#140 Post by aox » Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:26 pm

Has Spielberg ever once been 'subtle'? Ozu and he might approach the same sentimentality, but I don't see much similarity.

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HerrSchreck
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Re: 480 The Human Condition

#141 Post by HerrSchreck » Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:33 pm

aox wrote:Has Spielberg ever once been 'subtle'?
Who said he was? You put subtle in quotes like I used the word.

And didn't I just say they were galaxies apart? I thinking mixing Spielberg in with either man is utterly incongruous... only a touch less so with Ozu. Clearly, this is my point.

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: 480 The Human Condition

#142 Post by Michael Kerpan » Mon Dec 14, 2009 3:06 pm

I don't see Kobayashi as particularly "rebellious". He's rebellious in a very "safe" fashion (when the stakes are really pretty low). I do see him as overwrought, unsubtle and manipulative. I can't imagine why those characteristics would remind me of Spielberg (but Spielberg at least can display a sense of humor -- which is a quality larging missing from Kobayashi's work). Kinoshita is, to my mind, a much closer analogue to Spielberg (in both good and bad aspects).

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HerrSchreck
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Re: 480 The Human Condition

#143 Post by HerrSchreck » Mon Dec 14, 2009 5:23 pm

Michael Kerpan wrote:I do see him as overwrought, unsubtle and manipulative.
SOunds like Floating Clouds nyuk nyuk.

Seriously, I'm not going to try and change such deeply felt feelings, as you're perfectly entitled to your opinion and we've been over the Why Mike Hates Kobayashi ground many times before over the years. It was the Spielberg statement that made my kidneys giggle... of course I don't agree... and we've been over the Why Schreck Loves Kobayashi ground many times over the years.

A good example of Kobayashi's use of subtle, grim humor, btw, is Black River. Ballsy film, too.

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Tommaso
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Re: 480 The Human Condition

#144 Post by Tommaso » Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:00 pm

Michael Kerpan wrote:I don't see Kobayashi as particularly "rebellious". He's rebellious in a very "safe" fashion (when the stakes are really pretty low). I do see him as overwrought, unsubtle and manipulative.
Indeed Kobayashi's rebellion is far less pronounced - both in terms of content and of cinematic experimentalism - than Oshima's in the early 60s. But I don't even consider that an important point (you don't have to be rebellious to make great films). And if you had written that they applied only to "The Human Condition", I'd whole-heartedly agree with your other points, too. I still haven't made it beyond the first part, but the more I think of that viewing experience from a few days ago, the less I seem to like the film. I have nothing against manipulative movies (and "Floating Clouds" is indeed an excellent example of someone beautifully playing on the weakest heart strings), but it's indeed the unsubtlety of the means that Kobayashi often employs here which makes me almost a little angry in retrospect. We're pushed steadily to empathize with Kaji's feelings and with the inhumanity that those POWs suffer, but still the film doesn't 'hurt' as much as it should do (in the way "Fires on the Plain" does). It's far too moralistic, too clever, not abrasive enough to achieve that effect. It's not a feel-good movie, of course, but it becomes slightly boring simply because we have understood the message after 30 minutes, and there is little that is soul-shattering or intellectually challenging coming afterwards. Totally different from "Samurai Rebellion", for instance.

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Ben Cheshire
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Re: 480 The Human Condition

#145 Post by Ben Cheshire » Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:59 pm

HerrSchreck wrote:... and we've been over the Why Schreck Loves Kobayashi ground many times over the years.
Yes but, in a thread about The Human Condition, you haven't mentioned if you thought it was good Kobayashi or not. Since most people who've seen it have found it quite corny and Hollywood-esque, absolutely nothing like Kwaidan, it would be interesting to hear you opinion on it.

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knives
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Re: 480 The Human Condition

#146 Post by knives » Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:45 pm

HerrSchreck wrote: It was the Spielberg statement that made my kidneys giggle... of course I don't agree... and we've been over the Why Schreck Loves Kobayashi ground many times over the years.
That, at least partially, is my fault.

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HerrSchreck
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Re: 480 The Human Condition

#147 Post by HerrSchreck » Tue Dec 29, 2009 3:26 pm

Ben Cheshire wrote:
HerrSchreck wrote:... and we've been over the Why Schreck Loves Kobayashi ground many times over the years.
Yes but, in a thread about The Human Condition, you haven't mentioned if you thought it was good Kobayashi or not..
I've received my copy of this for Xmas so I can provide a completely up to date assessment of the epic in sum.
Ben Cheshire wrote:Since most people who've seen it have found it quite corny and Hollywood-esque, absolutely nothing like Kwaidan, it would be interesting to hear you opinion on it.
Most people? Six pages of roaring accolades vs you, Kerpan, Nothing, (and Matango?)... hardly qualifies as "Most People". SOunds more like a healthy dialog over any film. There is always going to be a variety of responses vs any title on this forum.

And absolutely nothing is like Kwaidan but Kwaidan. Visually HC's in a ground between something like Black River, and the more self-conscious geometry of, say, Rebellion or Seppu Ku.

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Tommaso
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Re: 480 The Human Condition

#148 Post by Tommaso » Tue Dec 29, 2009 3:31 pm

HerrSchreck wrote:Most people? Six pages of roaring accolades vs you, Kerpan, and Matango... hardly qualifies as "Most People".
Don't exclude me, Schrecko, please, though my criticisms only pertain to Part 1 so far. But my reluctance to go on with the trilogy speaks volumes and is not only due to the enormous size my kevyip has reached in the last few weeks. Still, I'd really like to hear your opinion on the films, too!

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HerrSchreck
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Re: 480 The Human Condition

#149 Post by HerrSchreck » Tue Dec 29, 2009 4:18 pm

I considered including you Tommy, but this summation after pointing out what bugged you in the film
blunders in a film that, after all, is well worth seeing. But it's certainly not a great masterwork either. However, this will not deter me from seeing Pts. 2 and 3, especially as I hope that these will in fact be better.
sounds like a classic mixed view, and a tentative one.. not a firmly rooted thumbs down. Nittering over an opinion or two is irrelevant to the point of the unanimity alleged by Ben C. I may wind up hating it after this go round myself... I finished the first hour of it and would give it around 2 & 3/4 stars out of 4, so far.

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Tommaso
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Re: 480 The Human Condition

#150 Post by Tommaso » Tue Dec 29, 2009 4:54 pm

Yeah, it was just the weird fact that I didn't seem to dislike the film so much immediately after first watching it, but then getting that stale taste in my mouth thinking about it a few days later...hmm... perhaps I should give Pt.2 a try this night. I'm somehow in the mood.

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