Revenge Of A Kabuki Actor

Overview

In this renowned and classic Japanese film directed by Kon Ichikawa, the great Kabuki onnagata Kasuo Hasegawa celebrates his 300th film appearance in a role designed especially for him. One of the classic theater styles of Japan, Kabuki does not use women in female roles. Highly trained male actors, called "onnagata," perform in them, and are often more convincing as women than many women might be. In the story, set in 1836, Yukinojo Kasuo Hasegawa is an onnagata, travelling to Edo in feminine disguise. On his ...
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Overview

In this renowned and classic Japanese film directed by Kon Ichikawa, the great Kabuki onnagata Kasuo Hasegawa celebrates his 300th film appearance in a role designed especially for him. One of the classic theater styles of Japan, Kabuki does not use women in female roles. Highly trained male actors, called "onnagata," perform in them, and are often more convincing as women than many women might be. In the story, set in 1836, Yukinojo Kasuo Hasegawa is an onnagata, travelling to Edo in feminine disguise. On his journey, he recognizes three ruthless merchants who ruined his father's business, driving him to suicide. Pledged to revenge his father's death, he follows them, and with the help of a mysterious bandit martial artist named Yamitaro also Hasegawa, fulfills his pledge, even though this means the destruction of one of the merchant's innocent daughters, who has fallen in love with him. Actor Hasegawa performed these same roles in a 1935 film version of this same story, directed by Teinosuke Kinugasa, who consulted on this film.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
A visual stunner and a flat-out masterpiece, Kon Ichikawa's 1963 film is considered by many critics to be one of the greatest films to come out of Japan. A remake of a 1935 film by Teinosuke Kinugasa, An Actor's Revenge tells the story of a Kabuki actor who, years after his father's death, finds the culprits and seeks his revenge. With an actor as its protagonist, an unapologetically stagebound story, and a deliberately affected visual scheme, the movie's preoccupation with performance and theater -- and how the latter's vocabulary can be used to expand film language -- is evident. Asides, soliloquies, and expository dialogue abound; the convoluted melodrama, underscored by gender-bending, crudely comical minor characters and identity switches, recalls Shakespeare. Visually, the movie's debt to theater is even more apparent. Renowned as a visual stylist and perfectionist, Ichikawa sets out to divorce film from its obligation to verisimilitude, conceiving the widescreen frame as a proscenium arch and arranging most of his compositions against a backdrop of darkness. The expressionistic use of light, shadow, and color is constantly inventive and masterful: characters emerge from complete darkness lit by lone spotlights; pronounced lighting shifts signal emotional fluctuations; and swordfights are seen only as dances of swirling, reflected light. Pushing the limits of film language, Ichikawa reimagines mise-en-scène as a conduit for pure expression rather than a means to represent reality. Brandishing Ichikawa's trademark irony, the movie never seeps under the skin -- it always stands at a distance. Still, An Actor's Revenge is never less than aesthetically brilliant, a beautiful and aloof object of contemplation.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/14/2008
  • UPC: 737187012006
  • Original Release: 1963
  • Rating:

  • Source: Animeigo
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / Colorized
  • Language: Japanese
  • Time: 1:53:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 46,719

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Kazuo Hasegawa Yukinojo Nakamura/Yamitaro the Thief
Fujiko Yamamoto Ohatsu
Ayako Wakao Namiji
Raizo Ichikawa Hirutaro
Shintaro Katsu Hojin
Ganjiro Nakamura Sansai Dobe
Eiji Funakoshi Heima Kadokura
Jun Hamamura Isshosai
Narutoshi Hayashi
Chusha Ichikawa
Chitose Maki Townswoman
Kikue Mori Cruel Old Woman
Eijiro Yanagi Hiromi-ya
Technical Credits
Kon Ichikawa Director
Yasushi Akutagawa Score Composer
Daisuke Ito Screenwriter
Teinosuke Kinugasa Screenwriter
Setsuo Kobayashi Cinematographer
Otokichi Mikami Original Story
Tamekichi Mochizuki Score Composer
Masaichi Nagata Producer
Yoshinobu Nishioka Production Designer
Yoshio Ueno Costumes/Costume Designer
Natto Wada Screenwriter
Masako Yagi Score Composer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Revenge of a Kabuki Actor
1. Chapter 1 [4:49]
2. Chapter 2 [3:01]
3. Chapter 3 [3:00]
4. Chapter 4 [8:23]
5. Chapter 5 [4:46]
6. Chapter 6 [2:08]
7. Chapter 7 [3:40]
8. Chapter 8 [4:01]
9. Chapter 9 [4:06]
10. Chapter 10 [6:53]
11. Chapter 11 [5:46]
12. Chapter 12 [6:34]
13. Chapter 13 [2:31]
14. Chapter 14 [1:07]
15. Chapter 15 [2:41]
16. Chapter 16 [4:17]
17. Chapter 17 [:53]
18. Chapter 18 [5:24]
19. Chapter 19 [2:34]
20. Chapter 20 [2:35]
21. Chapter 21 [3:24]
22. Chapter 22 [5:07]
23. Chapter 23 [3:10]
24. Chapter 24 [3:56]
25. Chapter 25 [4:00]
26. Chapter 26 [2:27]
27. Chapter 27 [4:26]
28. Chapter 28 [2:51]
29. Chapter 29 [2:54]
30. Chapter 30 [1:28]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Revenge of a Kabuki Actor
   Play
   Chapters
   Subtitles
      Yellow Subtitles: All Subtitles
      Yellow Subtitles: Dialogue Only
      Yellow Subtitles: Captions Only
      White Subtitles: All Subtitles
      White Subtitles: Dialogue Only
      White Subtitles: Captions Only
      White Subtitles: No Subtitles
   Audio
      Restored Audio
      Original Audio
   Extras
      Trailer
      Program Notes
      Image Gallery
      DVD Credits
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