Criterion Corner: High and Low (#24)

I’ve seen seven or eight films by Akira Kurosawa, but other than Ikiru and Dreams, the latter of which I saw about twenty years ago and don’t remember particularly well, it’s all been the Jidaigeki films, i.e. period dramas set during the Edo period (more or less) and featuring samurai, ronin and the like. Even Ikiru, which isn’t clearly set in the past, feels like it is about the past to some extent, as it is the story of an old man looking back at his life.

High and Low immediately makes for a striking contrast: it is set in the present day in a big city, its protagonists are businessmen and police detectives. More than that, while the film was released in 1963, there are many elements that would easily translate into our present day, and while High and Low comments on class in specifically Japanese contexts, much of its commentary could work equally well outside Japan. All of this comes together to make High and Low feel modern, in terms of the story, characters and the filmmaking itself – even almost sixty years after its release.

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I’ll be in my trailer… watching trailers: Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Join us every week for a trip into the weird and wonderful world of trailers. Whether it’s the first teaser for the latest instalment in your favourite franchise, an obscure preview for a strange indie darling, whether it’s good, bad, ugly or just plain weird – your favourite pop culture baristas are there to tell you what they think.

On Friday, Alan did a fascinating post on the Shirelles song “Boys” that was later covered by this small indie band, The Beatles – and how having Ringo Starr sing a song about “boys, now (yeah, yeah, boys)” made the lyrics take on a very different meaning. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to find trailers that directly relate to songs… but since another hit by The Shirelles was “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow”, YouTube revealed that there’s a 2013 Taiwanese rom-com of the same title, so that will serve as the first trailer for this week’s post.

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I’ll be in my trailer… watching trailers: I heard a Fly buzz –

Join us every week for a trip into the weird and wonderful world of trailers. Whether it’s the first teaser for the latest instalment in your favourite franchise, an obscure preview for a strange indie darling, whether it’s good, bad, ugly or just plain weird – your favourite pop culture baristas are there to tell you what they think.

There are a number of companies that still deliver great physical media for films – Arrow Films and Kino Lorber come to mind, for instance, companies that care about curation and quality. Here at A Damn Fine Cup of Culture, we’ve obviously entered the 21st century and we stream films and TV series, but we nonetheless like a good Blu-ray edition or boxset, and few do this as nicely as Criterion. Late this week, Matt announced a new feature that will have him working off his Criterion backlog – which should start next week with a Kubrick classic. So, while it’s not quite a trailer, here goes…

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Introducing the Criterion Corner

Over the last few years, I’ve stopped buying as many DVDs and Blu-rays as I did in previous years. In part, that’s simply for practical reasons: my wife and I live in a flat that, while it’s absolutely fine in terms of space, is close to reaching the Billy Singularity. There are only so many bookshelves, IKEA or not, that I can conceivably put up in this place and stack with films, books and the like. There’s also the fact that we have subscribed to a number of streaming services, but we’re also still subscribed to regular TV, which includes a number of channels that have a pretty good selection of films. Lastly, I’ve come to realise that I had been buying so many films that, while they were well-reviewed and sounded good, ended up being the kind of films that I’d happily watch once – but I would just as happily leave it at that. No need to buy something that I’m fairly certain to begin with I would watch the one time only.

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I’ll be in my trailer… watching trailers: I’ll show you the windmills of my mind!

Join us every week for a trip into the weird and wonderful world of trailers. Whether it’s the first teaser for the latest instalment in your favourite franchise, an obscure preview for a strange indie darling, whether it’s good, bad, ugly or just plain weird – your favourite pop culture baristas are there to tell you what they think.

2021 has done funny things to time – sometimes it feels like it’s both speeded up and come to a complete standstill. Well, at least that’s our excuse for the longish break between the previous instalment of The Compleat Ingmar (on The Seventh Seal) and the most recent one, on the small but sweet The Devil’s Eye. Unfortunately it seems that YouTube doesn’t have any useable trailers for that one, just for some little-known horror film called Devil’s Eye – so instead here’s Criterion’s trailer for its wonderful box set Ingmar Bergman’s Cinema. Did we mention that we like Criterion here at A Damn Fine Cup of Culture?

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I’ll be in my trailer… watching trailers: Not that Tom Jones!

Join us every week for a trip into the weird and wonderful world of trailers. Whether it’s the first teaser for the latest instalment in your favourite franchise, an obscure preview for a strange indie darling, whether it’s good, bad, ugly or just plain weird – your favourite pop culture baristas are there to tell you what they think.

How better to celebrate a Sunday than with an acting legend? We already featured Albert Finney last week, in the trailer for Two for the Road – but seeing how the first post of the week was Sam’s Six Damn Fine Degrees entry on Mr Finney, we can’t really end the week without another treat for all the Finney fans out there, can we? So here’s a trailer for his breakout hit, Tony Richardson’s 1963 adaptation of Henry Fielding’s classic novel, Tom Jones.

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I’ll be in my trailer… watching trailers: What’s ‘femme fatale’ in Japanese?

Join us every week for a trip into the weird and wonderful world of trailers. Whether it’s the first teaser for the latest instalment in your favourite franchise, an obscure preview for a strange indie darling, whether it’s good, bad, ugly or just plain weird – your favourite pop culture baristas are there to tell you what they think.

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I’ll be in my trailer… watching trailers: Silence on set, please!

Join us every week for a trip into the weird and wonderful world of trailers. Whether it’s the first teaser for the latest instalment in your favourite franchise, an obscure preview for a strange indie darling, whether it’s good, bad, ugly or just plain weird – your favourite pop culture baristas are there to tell you what they think.

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I’ll be in my trailer… watching trailers: Ho^3

Join us every week for a trip into the weird and wonderful world of trailers. Whether it’s the first teaser for the latest instalment in your favourite franchise, an obscure preview for a strange indie darling, whether it’s good, bad, ugly or just plain weird – your favourite pop culture baristas are there to tell you what they think.

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I’ll be in my trailer… watching trailers: Into the Woods

Join us every week for a trip into the weird and wonderful world of trailers. Whether it’s the first teaser for the latest instalment in your favourite franchise, an obscure preview for a strange indie darling, whether it’s good, bad, ugly or just plain weird – your favourite pop culture baristas are there to tell you what they think.

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