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Princess Raccoon
     

Princess Raccoon

Director: Seijun Suzuki

Cast: Ziyi Zhang, Jô Odagiri, Hiroko Yakushimaru

 

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Veteran director Seijun Suzuki (Branded to Kill) takes a new direction with the colorful operetta-fairy tale, Princess Raccoon. When Azuchi Momoyama (Mikijiro Hira), the master of Grace Castle, is told by his soothsayer, Virgen the Old Maid (Saori Yuki) that his son, Amechiyo (Joe Odagiri), will soon usurp his place as "the fairest of them all," the king

Overview

Veteran director Seijun Suzuki (Branded to Kill) takes a new direction with the colorful operetta-fairy tale, Princess Raccoon. When Azuchi Momoyama (Mikijiro Hira), the master of Grace Castle, is told by his soothsayer, Virgen the Old Maid (Saori Yuki) that his son, Amechiyo (Joe Odagiri), will soon usurp his place as "the fairest of them all," the king decides to banish the young man to Karasu Mountain, where the shape-shifting tanuki demons (raccoon-like canines native to Japan) live. Dropped at the mountain, Amechiyo is greeted by the beautiful Tanukihime (Zhang Ziyi), who speaks a strange language (Mandarin), and whom he soon learns is the ruler of Tanuki Palace. Amid colorful painted backdrops, lavish costumes, and eclectic musical numbers, the two fall into a forbidden and dangerous romance. After they frolic in the woods, Amechiyo is taken prisoner by tanuki, but Tanukihime's hand maidens, recognizing the princess' love for him, arrange for his escape. Azuchi is determined to end his son's life, however, and even Hagi (Hiroko Yakushimaru), Tanukihime's loyal henchwoman, is determined to separate the lovers, presumably to ensure the princess' safety. Princess Raccoon was shown at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival before having its North American Premiere at the 2005 New York Asian Film Festival, presented by Subway Cinema.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Josh Ralske
Fans of Seijun Suzuki's stylized gangster films who felt the director got a bit too surreal in the final moments of Pistol Opera had best prepare themselves for the onslaught of enchanting fairy tale weirdness that is Princess Raccoon. This is the only film in recent memory to include the brief but memorable image of a guy in a raccoon mask doing the Robot, not to mention a vengeful Zhang Ziyi (luminous as always as the eponymous princess) flying into a scene on a cardboard cloud, or an action sequence in which forbidden lovers are caught in a whirlpool which has been painted onto the stage under their rowboat. Once one has become acclimated to the film's wonderful stagy strangeness, it's not such a shock late in the film when two powerful adversaries are engaged in a magical battle that has reached a stalemate, and decide to go "hand-to-hand," and that turns out to mean they'll determine the outcome with a game of "Rock, Paper, Scissors." Like Lars von Trier's post-Dogme 95 work, Princess Raccoon is, to some degree, a filmed stage production, but with its exuberantly colorful, eclectic musical numbers, it's as joyously funny as Dogville is dour. For those prepared to engage the movie's playfulness, it's a unique treat.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/10/2007
UPC:
0013023292697
Original Release:
2005
Rating:
NR
Source:
Geneon [Pioneer]
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby Digital Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time:
2:05:00

Special Features

A 45 min. "Behind the Scenes" Documentary with English Subtitle

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ziyi Zhang Tanuki-hime, "Princess Raccoon"
Jô Odagiri Prince Amechiyo
Hiroko Yakushimaru Hagi
Mikijiro Hira Azuchi Momoyama
Saori Yuki Biruzen Baba
Hibari Misora Actor
Gentarou Takahashi Actor
Taro Yamamoto Actor
Eisuke Sasai Actor
Miwako Ichikawa Actor
Papaya Suzuki Actor

Technical Credits
Seijun Suzuki Director
Norifumi Ataka Art Director
Sachiko Ito Costumes/Costume Designer
Noboyuki Ito Editor
Ikki Katashima Producer
Takeo Kimura Production Designer
Yonezo Maeda Cinematographer
Satoru Ogura Producer
Michiru Oshima Score Composer
Sawako Ozu Casting
Ryomei Shirai Score Composer
Ken Suenaga Asst. Director
Mitsuko Takizawa Choreography
Nobuyuki Tohya Executive Producer
Isao Tsuge Makeup
Yoshio Urasawa Screenwriter

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Princess Raccoon
1. Opening [1:50]
2. The Lord of Garasa Castle [5:16]
3. Amechiyo [2:10]
4. Romantic Encounter [3:37]
5. Princess Raccoon and Amechiyo [8:01]
6. Wicked Lord Azuchi [4:55]
7. True Love of Princess Raccoon [7:50]
8. Escape of Amechiyo [6:10]
9. The Lover's Pond [6:36]
10. Ostrich Monk [6:08]
11. Murderous Father of Amechiyo [7:57]
12. Deeply Wounded Princess [5:59]
13. Save the Princess [4:58]
14. The Woman With Halo [6:27]
15. Frog of Paradise [4:05]
16. Where is Amechiyo? [6:08]
17. The End of Garasa Castle [3:14]
18. Grievous Funeral of the Couple [10:07]
19. Full of Joy in the Raccoon Palace [3:40]
20. Epilogue- End Credits [5:06]
1. Opening - Sejun's World [:14]
2. Ziyi and Seijun's First Meeting [3:09]
3. Ziyi Becomes Princess Raccoon [5:19]
4. Joe Odagiri Becomes the Prince [5:37]
5. Lavish Cast [9:26]
6. Various A-Listeners Gather in Iwate [3:47]
7. Seijun's Directing Style [6:26]
8. Lovely Members of "Raccoon Band" [1:34]
9. Ziyi's Challenge to Speak Japanese [3:40]
10. Actor's Struggle to Dance! [2:32]
11. Ziyi Cries At Wrap-Up [3:06]
12. Ending [1:56]

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