Wednesday, October 14, 2020

The Lost World of Rashomon!

Signage outside the National Film Archive of Japan. Photo by Brett Homenick.

Today, I took in a screening of the Toho fantasy actioner The Lost World of Sinbad (1963) at the National Film Archive of Japan, which was shown as part of its current "Toshiro Mifune Retrospective at His Centenary" film program. I hadn't seen the film since the early 2000s, which is when I wrote a fanzine article on it. The Lost World of Sinbad has never been my favorite tokusatsu film, and I think writing that article made me permanently sick of it. Familiarity breeds contempt, as they say.

A replica of the flag from Seven Samurai. Photo by Brett Homenick.

I give the movie credit for its lavish production values and all-star cast, but it otherwise feels flat and uninspired. Still, it looked glorious in 35mm, and hearing Masaru Sato's masterful score was a treat.

 After watching the film, I visited the NFAJ's "Rashomon at the 70th Anniversary" exhibit, which had  a lot of interesting memorabilia from the film, including the scripts used by Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura, and script supervisor Teruyo Nogami on display. I found this exhibit much more interesting than the Shochiku one I visited a couple of months ago. It was certainly a fascinating morning and afternoon spent with the works of Toshiro Mifune.

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