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October 1996, Week 4


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Ono Seiko and Aaron Gerow <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 27 Oct 1996 04:03:02 +0900
text/plain (45 lines)
At 12:20 10/24/96 -0400, Lionel Hutz wrote:
>The film _The Mystery of Rampo_ has one moment of cel animation during
>its opening to render one of Edogawa Rampo's short stories.  If all
>Japanese cel animation is termed "anime" then this segment would be too, I
>suppose, but it's a five minute piece within a 100 min or so live action
>feature film.  Is this along the lines of what you're looking for?
>                                 Curtis Tsui
>                  "Ah, rum!  Darkest of the dark liquors!"
>                              [log in to unmask]
To Curtis, Lionel, or anyone else out there,
Did anyone see _The Mystery of Rampo_?  What did people think of it?
Personally I didn't like it at all, but part of it was all the hubbub in
Japan about Okuyama Kazuyoshi (the producer) objecting to the director,
Mayuzumi  Rintaro's version so much that he shot scenes on his own and
released his own version.  (In settling the dispute with Mayuzumi, Shochiku
decided to release both versions simultaneously, which also probably worked
as a publicity ploy).  Okuyama's additions were mostly sensationalistic:
the ending section with computer graphics and the "subliminal" effects.
Shochiku has, however, been pushing it abroad, but only the Okuyama version
(I think).  The matter gets even more confusing given the fact that Okuyama
releasedin Japan a year later what he called "the international version."
Perhaps that is what people have seen abroad.
I am curious about the foreign reaction to this film, especially given
Okuyama's efforts to internationalize (i.e. teaming up with DeNiro's
Tribeca Pictures).  Any comments, or do people not see recent Japanese
films anymore?
If you can't comment on _Rampo_, I would like to hear comments on any
recent (i.e. 1990s) Japanese film you have seen and liked/disliked.
Aaron Gerow
Yamagata Film Festival/Meiji Gakuin University
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