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Criterion Collection: Eclipse Series 28 - Warped [DVD] [1967] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars 5 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolutely amazing collection ~ 13 Oct. 2012
By Christopher Barrett - Published on
Buy this collection for one film: Thirst for Love. This is a film which I believe could stand on its own as a full fledged Criterion release. But all of the films are of great quality and very enjoyable. This is another release in a strong lineup of collections under the Eclipse label, and another solid collection of Japanese films. Some of the other Eclipse sets I have purchased include: Postwar Kurosawa, Late Ozu, and Nikkatsu Noir. I am looking forward to the upcoming 'When Horror Came to Shochiku' release.

Intimidation (1960) - a film about a mid level banker who is constantly abused by his boss (who, incidentally, was his childhood friend). His wife is even having an affair with the boss man. So when the boss becomes the target of an extortion plot, the employee is caught in the middle of a botched burglary of the bank by the boss. A witty story, with some great acting. This film shows a lot of influence by earlier French heist masters such as Dassin (Rififi), among others. The night shots are particularly enjoyable, as is the entire heist sequence. It's a short film coming in at 67 minutes.

The Warped Ones (1960) - this film could almost be mistaken for a Japanese Godard film. But the influence of the French New Wave master is apparent in this gem. A young man is released from prison, and along with this two friends (a male and female companion) he goes on a rampage of violence. Frenetically shot in glorious black and white detail. Some have described this as the first true Japanese New Wave film. I disagree with this being the first (there were many mid to late 1950s Japanese films which could be considered), but it is among the early films considered in that genre. 75 minutes.

I Hate But I Love (1962) - a film based partly on a film based partly on a novel. The film was 1941 American movie Sullivan's Travels written and directed by Preston Sturges based loosely on the self discovery novel Gulliver's Travels. In this fun and quirky film we see a local celebrity become fed up with the spotlight. He leaves on a journey to deliver a Jeep to a remote village. His girlfriend comes along and he ends up finding himself while also attempting reconciliation with his girlfriend. You'll be hooked within 10 minutes of the start of this enjoyable romp (which reminds me a bit of Scandal by Kurosawa). 105 minutes.

Black Sun (1964) - an odd film, but a good one. This is a jazz inspired film about a black GI on the lam. He appeared briefly in several other Japanese films of the era (he also has a small role in 'The Warped Ones'). The film draws the viewer into their unusual budding friendship where love of jazz creates a bond despite their cultural differences. 95 minutes

Thirst for Love (1967) - this is the reason one should really consider this collection. The other films are good in their own way (I think 'The Warped Ones' is the second best of this collection), but this film really takes Kurahara into another level of directorial mastery. Everything in this film, down to the most mundane shots are expertly set and designed. The downward shots while people are eating are great, especially when seen through the chandeliers. Other obstructions bar the viewer from getting too close in various scenes, whether it be a window or a bamboo grove. This film was based on a Yukio Mishima novel (one of my favorite authors). Mishima's style is well brought to life with the amazing and almost stage like cinematic touches. I recognize influence by many great directors including Bergman and Truffaut. A simply amazing film about the descent into madness of one woman and her warped relationships with two men.

As a fan of New Wave film, I highly recommend this to other New Wave fans, especially those who enjoy Japanese classic films. You will probably watch these films more than once. Each person will have their own personal favorites of course, but I think they are all great films in their own regard. Bravo Criterion for putting together a great collection of interesting films by a talented director.

Note: Also, if you enjoy Kurahara, he has one film (his debut - I Am Waiting) in the collection: Eclipse Series 17: Nikkatsu Noir (The Criterion Collection). Along with several other great Japanese Noir / New Wave films.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars well done 3 Jan. 2012
By republic of letters - Published on
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I hadn't the faintest clue who Kurahara was. Now I think that "Black Sun" is one of the best films ever. And "Thirst for Love" is almost in the same league. If you like film noir, you'll enjoy "Intimidation." "The Warped Ones," with its anti-hero - reemerging in "Black Sun" - can certainly hold its own against any nouvellevagueish souffle. Maybe I'm a sucker for jazz movies - check also Basil Dearden's "All Night Long," with a devilish Patrick McGoohan (, and Danska's "Sweet Love Bitter" ( - but "The Warped Ones" and "Black Sun" really work as be-bop cinema. But this was easy! What must have been difficult was to do something with the material of "I Hate But I Love," and Kurahara manages to create the most bizarre "romcom" ever.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jazz-infused 1960's Japan 29 Dec. 2014
By transargonaut - Published on
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This collection--which by the way is practically impossible to find in Japan--consists of five intense, 1960's jazz-infused movies. Think beatniks in Tokyo. Loved every film.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hey, speak for yourself! 19 Aug. 2013
By being_and_time - Published on
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What kind of person would want to view someone's "warped world"? I suppose that's one reason we have movies...and we actually watch them, too. While these films are not so warped as one thinks, they can be revealing of some fascinating but very strange behaviors and dynamics within Japanese society.

Cinematography is a pleasure to watch and the stories are, well, unusual. These movies are definitely dated, but that adds to their quirkiness without diminishing their impact. Thanks to Criterion for keeping these in print. Only drawbacks are that there are no extras and the paper slipcase housing the individual cases has no bottom, allowing all five films to drop out when taking the set out from a shelf.
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can trust. 1 Nov. 2015
By David - Published on
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Great acceptance speech.
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