GEMINI 双生児 -GEMINI- (1999) Dir: Shinya Tsukamoto

This year’s Halloween movie review is back and I am returning to a familiar name for this year’s chosen film, Shinya Tsukamoto. There are slight spoilers in here.

Gemini   

双生児 -GEMINI- そうせいじ ジェミニ

Release Date: September 15th, 1999

Duration: 83 mins.

Director: Shinya Tsukamoto

Writer: Shinya Tsukamoto (Script), Edogawa Rampo (Original Story – Souseiji: Aru Shikeiin ga Kyoukaishi ni Uchiaketa Hanashi)

Starring: Masahiro Motoki, Ryo, Yasutaka Tsutsui, Shiho Fujimura, Akaji Maro, Masako Motai, Renji Ishibashi, Tomorowo Taguchi, Tadanobu Asano, Naoto Takenaka, Yuriko Hirooka,

IMDB

Gemini (1999) is an adaptation of the Edogawa Rampo story ‘The Twins’ by Shinya Tsukamoto. Now, tone down any expectations of hyper-stylised violence and prepare yourself for psychological horror as a doppelganger forces a doctor to confront class issues in Tsukamoto’s first period film.

It is Meiji-era Japan and as the country goes through growth pains Yukio (Masahiro Motoki) has been blessed with good fortune. Following his unscathed return from being a military surgeon on the bloody frontlines of an unspecified war, he has followed in his father’s footsteps and taken over the practice in his family’s beautiful home. He is handsome, highly educated and refined, a naturally talented doctor, and well-respected by those who can afford him. To cap things off, he has a beautiful wife, Rin (Ryo). The only wrinkle in his picture-perfect life is that Rin has no past for she has amnesia and nobody knows a thing about her and her social status, something which rankles his parents. Despite this, Yukio is happy.

Gemini 1

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Third Window Films Release Europe’s first Blu-ray and the UK’s first release of Shinya Tsukamoto’s “GEMINI” on November 02nd

Third Window Films are going to bolster their stable of  Shinya Tsukamoto films by issuing a (Region B) blu-ray release of Gemini, his 1999 horror title, on November 02nd.

It has a sparkling transfer that is pin-sharp and accentuates the colours and the extras, which the disc is packed full of, do a brilliant job of going into the background of the film. Here are the details:

 

 

Extra features
New HD transfer
Audio commentary by Tom Mes, author of Iron Man: The Cinema of Shinya Tsukamoto
Making of Gemini” featurette directed by Takashi Miike
Behind the Scenes
Make-up demonstration featurette
Venice Film Festival featurette
Original Trailer
First 1000 units come with slipcase featuring new artwork illustrated by Ian McEwan

Here’s the trailer and synopsis and a little extra info:

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The Taste of Tea 茶の味 Dir: Katsuhito Ishii (2004)

The Taste of Tea    The Taste of Tea Film Poster

茶の味  Cha no Aji

Release Date: July 17th, 2004

Duration: 143 mins.

Director: Katsuhito Ishii

Writer: Katsuhito Ishii (Screenplay),

Starring: Tadanobu Asano, Takahiro Sato, Maya Banno, Satomi Tezuka, Tatsuya Gashuin, Tomokazu Miura, Anna Tsuchiya, Ikki Todoroki, Hideaki Anno,

IMDB

Katsuhito Ishii is probably best known for making weird films and while The Taste of Tea is one of his most restrained, it is probably his most popular work. At its simplest, The Taste of Tea is a cross between Yasujiro Ozu’s gentle comedy Good Morning (1959) and the playfully bizarre Survive Style 5+ (2004). Try to imagine the styles of the two melding with and diluting each other and you come close. The result is a film where everyday characters and their small dramas are given the odd flights of fancy that burst out from beneath the surface of normality.

Like in a typical Ozu film, we follow multiple generations of a family. Here, we are spending time with the Haruno family who live in an old-fashioned house in a small mountain town just north of Tokyo. They consist of the mother, Yoshiko (Satomi Tezuka), Nobuo (Tomokazu Miura), the father, their son Hajime (Takahiro Sato), Sachiko (Maya Banno), their daughter, and eccentric grandfather Akira (Tatsuya Gashuin). They will soon be joined by uncle Ayano (Tadanobu Asano) who is taking a break from his job as a music producer to visit for a few days.

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Third Window Films Release World’s First Blu-ray Edition of Gentle Warped Comedy “The Taste of Tea” on October 05th, 2020

Third Window Films are going to issue the world’s first blu-ray release of the offbeat comedy The Taste of Tea on October 05th. Here are the details on the extras on the disc.

The Taste of Tea Bluray Cover 1

Extra features:    

Extra features (*in standard definition):
90 minute Making Of
‘Super Big’ – Animation
Reversible sleeve art

Here’s the trailer and synopsis and a little extra info:

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Third Window Films Release dual-edition DVD/Blu-ray of hitman black comedy “Melancholic” on September 07th, 2020

Third Window Films are going to issue a dual-edition DVD/blu-ray release of the Melancholic Blu-Rayindie film Melancholic on September 07th with a selection of great extras typical for TWF.

Extra features:

Dual Format (Both DVD and Blu-ray included)
Behind the Scenes
Q&A with director and cast
Melancholic Short Film
Trailer

Here’s the trailer and synopsis and a little extra info:

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Fish Story フィッシュストーリー Dir: Yoshihiro Nakamura (2009)

Fish Story    Fish Story Film Poster

フィッシュストーリー Fisshu Suto-ri-

Release Date: March 20th, 2009

Duration: 112 mins.

Director: Yoshihiro Nakamura

Writer: Tamio Hayashi (Script), Kotaro Isaka (Original Manga)

Starring: Kengo Kora, Atsushi Ito, Kiyohiko Shibukawa, Noriko Eguchi, Gaku Hamada, Mikako Tabe, Mirai Moriyama, Nao Omori, Hidekazu Mashima, Toshimitsu Okawauchi (of the band Drive Far),

 IMDB   Third Window Films

If I were to tell you just some of the many different things going on in Fish Story, you would say that the title must be a perfect fit for such an outrageous yarn and that it cannot possibly work in a movie. But the film’s story gracefully ties a huge range of things together to make an unconventional and warmhearted tale that shows how no struggle is fruitless and everything in life can go on to have great meaning.

Fish Story is based on Kotaro Isaka’s same-named novel and consists of many distinctly different and seemingly unconnected storylines taking place at different points over 77 years to explain how a punk rock song nobody bought saves the world from an asteroid on a collision course with the Earth.

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Third Window Films Release the First Blu-ray Edition of “Fish Story” on August 10th, 2020

Third Window Films are going to release the world’s first ever blu-ray edition of the much-loved music-fantasy FISH STORY on August 10th.

This is going to be released to mark 10 years since Third Window Films first released it on DVD.

Extra features (*all in standard definition):
Making Of
‘Gekirin’ various Live Performances
‘Gekirin’ Talk Show
Director & Cast Q&A
Deleted Scenes

It has a 15 certificate and has an RRP. of £19.99. As well as this release, it is on DVD and video on demand platforms.

Here’s the trailer and synopsis and a little extra info:

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Third Window Films will release Takeshi Kitano’s “A Scene at the Sea” on September 12th on Blu-ray

Third Window Films are releasing a series of films by Takeshi Kitano on Blu-ray since Office Kitano are updating their titles with 2K masters. Regular readers will know that I have reviewed Hana-bi and Kikujiro and Dolls, and the latest release is A Scene at the Sea which comes out on September 12th.

A Scene at the Sea Two Leads

I saw this one for the first time around five or six years ago and was bowled over by it. The story is simple but profound as it looks at the love and problems of a unique set of characters, especially the two leads. It has some of that comedy and tragedy present in all of Kitano’s films minus the director himself who usually takes a star role. This one features another great score by Joe Hisaishi.

Here’s some info from a press release!

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Third Window Films Release Takeshi Kitano’s Dolls on Blu-ray on March 14th

Third Window Films are releasing a series of films by Takeshi Kitano on Blu-ray as Office Kitano updates the titles with 2K masters. Regular readers will know that I have reviewed Hana-bi and Kikujiro and next Monday I hope to review the latest film to get a release in the series, Dolls.

I was in high school when this was released and I must admit to being turned off by the obvious artiness of it, which isn’t to say that it’s bad so much as my taste ran more to his more violent gangster films. When I was in university I came to love his more sedate films like A Scene at the Sea and Kids Return. Like those two films, Dolls doesn’t feature Kitano acting on screen and it features a score by Joe Hisaishi (his last collaboration with Kitano). I suppose now is a great time to see how far my views have changed since it’s getting a release on March 14th!

Here’s some info from a press release!

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Third Window Films Release Love Exposure on Blu-Ray!

A Blu-Ray re-release of Love Exposure had to happen. At four hours the film has to be split up on to two discs when it is transferred onto DVD which means breaking the magic of a viewing experience by getting up and changing discs. Love Exposure is now on Blu-Ray (its release coincides with the DVD/Blu-ray release of Sion Sono’s newest film Himizu). You can hear what Goregirl and I thought about the film in our next Sono podcast next week. By the way, four hours was not the total running time of the film and a lot of it was cut but thanks to the storage capacity of Blu-Ray you get all of that cut footage amidst an awesome set of extras.

Here are the details!

Love Exposure

 Love Exposure Blu-Ray Case

(CERT 18)

 A film by Sono Sion
(Himizu, Noriko’s Dinner Table, Suicide Circle)

One of the most talked-about Japanese cult films of the last decade finally makes its way onto blu-ray featuring a new high definition transfer supervised by director Sion Sono along with brand new extra features!

Love Exposure's Interesting Ride Starring

Hikari Mitsushima (Hara-Kiri, Sawako Decides, Villain)

Sakura Ando (Crime or Punishment?!?, Our Homeland)

Atsuro Watabe (Black Dawn, Three…Extremes, Zebraman)

Japan / 2008 / 237 Mins / In Japanese with English subtitles / Colour / HD

 

DVD/BLU-RAY RELEASE DATE:  6th August 2012

Extra Features:

1 hour long ‘Making Of’

Additional 30 minute ‘Making Of’ featuring interview with Sion Sono

Sakura Ando Deleted & Extended Scenes

Hikari Mitsushima Deleted & Extended Scenes

Zero Church Deleted Scene

Theatrical Trailer

Yoko (Mitsushima) in Love Exposure

Yu (Nishijima) lives the life of a devout Christian. After his mother dies his father Tetsu (Watabe) becomes a priest but is soon seduced by an emotionally volatile woman named Kaori (Watanabe) who then proceeds to leave him. A heart-broken Tetsu begins to torment the spiritually and morally innocent Yu by forcing him to confess sins on a daily basis.  To appease his father Yu begins to sin and on the advice of delinquent friends he trains to become an expert in up-skirt photography and becomes a master at getting panty shots. One day, while dressed as a woman, he witnesses a beautiful man-hating girl named Yoko (Mitsushima) get into a street brawl. He instantly falls in love with her and decides to intervene. Little does he know that a cult leader in the Zero Church named Aya (Ando) is manipulating them for her own purposes.