Saturday, March 28, 2015

We Will Fight Until Hell Freezes Over... (Part 2)

The Poster for "Until the Day of Victory (1945)"
(via. NFC/MOMAT)
Another film of 1945, "Until the Day of Victory (勝利の日まで, 1945)" is directed by Mikio Naruse, the film was released in January of that year. Judging from the synopsis, it seems quite an odd ball for Naruse. It was about a "mad" scientist who invented a new bomb, which delivers entertainment to soldiers in the fronts, rather than deaths to enemies. It seems 15-minute fragment survives in the NFC archive. I have never seen this fragment, but the productions stills from the movie are quite tantalizing. I have no idea how this film did in terms of box office. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

We Will Fight Until Hell Freezes Over... (Part 1)

"Eiga Gijutu (Cinema Technology)" Cover, March 1943

According to Japanese Movie Database, total of 23 movies were released between January 1st and August 15th of 1945. That is the last seven and half months of Great Japanese Empire and its militaristic endeavor. In the same seven and half month in 1935, the ten years prior, the total of 289 movies were released. Thus, the leaders of the Empire miraculously reduced its cultural output by the factor of twelve within a decade, it seems. 

The filmmaking during the last days of the war faced serious setbacks. The materials, such as film stocks, various building materials for the sets, and lighting equipments were seriously in shortage. Blackouts were too often. Even cameras were not readily available, since the Interior Ministry had been adamantly advocating the need for propaganda newsreels and documentaries shot in the combat zones, and the cameramen had been sent off to China and Southeast Asia only to be perished along with the other soldiers. And their cameras had perished with them.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

A Few Odd Facts About Universal's Frankenstein

Probably one of the most discussed topics about popular Hollywood cinema is that of horror genre. Horror fans are the most loyal and devoted group of cinema aficionados, who spend enormous time and efforts on digging up the most arcane facts of their favorite films. Above all, Universal horror films are the most researched and discussed topics of all and, of course, "Frankenstein" and its sequels fascinate all of us to this day.

As I was preparing for the Japanese magazine article (in preparation), I read many of these treatises, writings and publications of extensive research and discussions. They are excellent and just interesting to read. Plus I did my own research myself, and some of my findings don't seem to have appeared in any of recent discussions on the topic, as far as I know. So I will share some of them. They are nothing ground-breaking or anything, just a few bits of trivia you might find interesting if you are familiar with Universal's Frankenstein series.
 
 
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