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drunken angel analysis

Drunken Angel was made in Occupied Japan and shows it. Until the end of the occupation in 1952, Americans were not to be portrayed in a bad light, if at all: exposing the presence of the occupying army was not allowed. The story of Matsunaga and Dr. Sanada is local but also, like all good stories—especially those like Rashomon (1950) and Seven Samurai (1954), which would soon make Kurosawa an international sensation—universal. He also can give some historical context, talking about the Yakuza at the time and the thriving black market, as well as the transitional period after the war. 2. Filmed in 1994 but not given a wide North American release until now, it is considered by those who have seen most of Chan's 70-plus films to be one of his two or three best. In matters of style, he was influenced by such directors as John Ford. Okada talks about codes of honor but only as a way to exploit the likes of Matsunaga, who really believe in them. The image is primarily limited by the source materials, which do show considerable wear and tear, despite the best efforts of those that worked on the transfer. But a good chunk of it gets into detail about how Kurosawa discovered actor Toshiro Mifune, the two first working together during this film. But when Jackie Chan falls into a pit of burning coals in this movie, that is really Jackie Chan, and the coals are really burning, and Chan insisted on doing the stunt three times until he got it right (the third time was when he burned himself and got those nasty scars you can still see on his arm).

His books include Behind the Mask, God’s Dust, Playing the Game, The Wages of Guilt, The Missionary and the Libertine, Anglomania, Murder in Amsterdam, and Taming the Gods. Drunken Angel has also been referred to as the first post-war Japanese film to feature a yakuza character. Made at a time when the Mexican film industry was searching for its own identity, this boldly stylized melodrama anticipated an experimental cinema that was never given adequate room to develop. Yes, there are certain special effects, and camera angles, and editing makes it appear that things happen in a way they perhaps did not. Sanada says: “Human sacrifice has gone out of style.” Again the implication of this would have been clear. Money and power are what he wants. The yakuza are a Japanese phenomenon. The film revolves around a doctor and gang member who live in a run-down Japanese town.

But the two main characters in Drunken Angel are in fact complex: Dr. Sanada (Takashi Shimura), an alcoholic doctor who boozes from his own medical supplies, is redeemed by his desire to cure even the most unredeemable patients; Matsunaga is a violent hoodlum humanized by his fear of death, which lies just underneath the swaggering surface. Hosted by Danish film scholar Lars-Martin Sorensen and running 25-minutes, he covers Kurosawa’s early work and his problems with Japanese censors, and then having to deal with American and British censors after the war. He teaches at Bard College. This portion of the documentary also shows photos of a very young Mifune, including baby photos, and we also see some photos of Mifune in the Army Flying Corps. The picture has been window boxed with a black border around the image.

This was the culture that Japanese liberals and Americans working for the Allied occupation of Japan sought to eradicate from the Japanese psyche. It’s a great read and an excellent inclusion on Criterion’s part. Analysis: A major part of the town, and an important element to the film, is the swamp at the center of the town. There is a subplot about another gangster, named Okada (Reizaburo Yamamoto), who is tougher and more unscrupulous than Matsunaga. The set for Akira Kurosawa’s Drunken Angel (1948) consisted of a filthy sump surrounded by ruined buildings, shabby wooden houses, and the facade of a sleazy nightclub. He made films about the Japanese for the Japanese. It’s been cleaned up as well as one could expect (maybe even more so) and the digital transfer is at least not problematic. Most of Jackie Chan's plots exist only as clotheslines on which to hang the action scenes. The digital transfer itself looks good, presenting no digital problems of note.

To either read or join in on our discussions visit our forums. When Okada threatens to use violence to reclaim his mistress from the doctor’s care, Sanada protests that men and women now have equal rights. Sword-fight movies, and even some Kabuki plays that extolled samurai virtues, were banned for a time. Akira Kurosawa’s classic film, Drunken Angel, is presented in the aspect ratio of 1.33:1 on this dual-layer disc. Criterion then includes an excerpt from Kurosawa’s book Something Like an Autobiography. It is all rather academic, sadly, because computerized special effects have made the authenticity of his physical skills sort of obsolete. Though he talks a bit about a few of Kurosawa’s post war films, he spends most of the time talking about the issues Kurosawa had with Drunken Angel. It becomes a point of honor for Matsunaga to stop him. Jackie Chan became a worldwide star because of word of mouth. Matsunaga needs the doctor to cure him, but the doctor needs the gangster to feel that not all is in vain, that some battles are worth winning, that even a bad man’s life ought to be saved.

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