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Blogged: Detailed transcriptions of Kurosawa’s movies

Kurosawa continues to inspire people in many interesting ways. One of the most fascinating examples of this that I have seen in the recent past I stumbled upon this morning at a Blogspot blog by Lewis Saul. For, in the past decade, Saul has watched Kurosawa’s films with a keen eye, and written very detailed transcriptions of the director’s movies with also some commentary included.

Saul has now posted these transcriptions on his website for everyone to enjoy. While I have not yet had the time to do any detailed study of the texts, they seem to be very well written. It must have been quite an amount of work to write these, for which I certainly tip my virtual hat in awe.

The transcriptions can be accessed from this page. Currently, it appears that texts are available for the first ten movies, i.e. up to Scandal.


Discussion

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Lewis Saul

First of all — THANK YOU!

Second, I am very pleased to find this place. I look for Kurosawa sites all the time, but never came across this one. Bookmarked.

I would certainly appreciate any feedback any of you care to make on my site.

I am by no means an “expert” — I am learning along with the rest of you, by reading source material and re-watching the films many times.

**

Why does the above post not have a name attached to it? I believe it is VIN, correct?

Vin, thanks for the info about the “Oscar” given to Kurosawa which is mentioned in The Most Beautiful.

I was aware of the honorary Oscar, but I thought that he had received one specifically for The Most Beautiful.

That definitely seemed a little weird!

~~~~

Yes, I’ve done all 30 films! And yes, eventually, they’ll all end up on my blog.

But for now, I’m going to try and plug in pertinent commentary from Richie, Yoshimoto, Galbraith, Prince, et al in the first ten films. These guys have a LOT to say!

~~~~

I’m THRILLED that someone finally discovered my work. My only goal is to share my passion for my favorite filmmaker.

[Ozu, Mizoguchi, Kitano, et al will follow at some point. I’m so excited about the new Eclipse Ozu — the 2nd Ozu set on Eclipse!]

Please keep in touch.

Lewis Saul
http://www.lewissaul.blogspot.com

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lsaul

[I left a previous comment, but it didn’t seem to stick.]

Thanks for your kind words on my work.

Yes, I’ve transcribed all 30 films, but for now, I’ll be concentrating on adding more professional criticism (Prince, Galbraith, Yoshimoto, Richie) to the first ten films.

I definitely look forward to any comments anyone might have to make.

Do you think someday we might get a useful translation for TMB and Sugata II??? That would certainly be awesome.

I notice your DVD page doesn’t include the recent Eclipse release, or Drunken Angel, which wonderfully supplant old VHS versions, or crappy DVD rips. But then again, you’re apparently a very busy man!

I look forward to participating in this group. There’s certainly a lot to talk about.

Lewis Saul

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Vili Maunula

Great to hear back from you, Lewis! And sorry about the delay — I use comment moderation here for first-time posters, as I get around a hundred spam comments a day. I wasn’t on the computer since the morning, so it’s only now that I had the chance to approve your comments.

It’s Vili, actually, but don’t worry about that. 🙂

I don’t think any of us really claims to be an “expert” in Kurosawa, but we are all eager to learn and discuss, discuss and learn. The active group on this site is not hugely numerous, but there are a handful of us exchanging opinions and the amount I have learnt from the other guys has been well worth the work I have put into this website.

Sugata Sanshiro II was released by the Australian Madman company about a year ago with proper subtitles. More information can be found from the Kurosawa DVD list, which indeed is currently a little bit out of date due to some technical problems, but I’ll be trying to solve those issues sometime soon. Unfortunately, time isn’t my greatest asset these days.

As for The Most Beautiful, I suppose it will be among the last films to be made available on any English language market.

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Jeremy Quintanilla

Speak for yourself Vili,
I am with no doubt a Kurosawa expert, any thoughts that differ from mine, should be declared invalid. How dare you insult me!

Okay that was a very lame joke, and based on that, you will no doubt understand why I will never attempt to write a comedic script. 🙂

Lewis, what you done is very impressive, I have only managed to browse, but I will soon read with great interest what you done. Great Job!

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lsaul

Thanks, Jeremy…

All the work seems worthwhile when I discover that ONE human being out there has checked it out and found it useful and/or interesting…

I’d certainly appreciate your comments when you get around to digging into the details…

Lewis Saul
http://www.lewissaul.blogspot.com

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Vili Maunula

Of course we all want to claim to be experts, Jeremy, but at least I quickly lose any such notions every time I watch a Kurosawa film — there is always so much more that I notice that I hadn’t noticed before!

I have for a while been thinking about setting up something like a “Kurosawa film club” section at the forums. The idea would be that those who want to participate would all watch the same Kurosawa film, and then discuss it. In order to facilitate the discussion, I thought it would be good to put forward some assertions and interpretations from the standard Kurosawa literature, as well as invite everyone to bring to the table their own suggestions and questions.

If we ever get to that (and I’ve been postponing this because of personally lacking the time to administer it, but this may change soon), Lewis’s transcripts would come in very handy.

What do you guys think?

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Master Thief

Good to have you here Lewis and thanks for the extensive work you have done on the scripts.

I have the Australian Sugata Sanshiro II and I can rip the subtitles for you as a text file if you want.

I have already done this for the Australian Sugata Sanshiro (Part 1) and it is quite different from what you have in your translation. What version was it from?

I have an extensive collection of films so if there are any others you want sub-titles from, please let me know. Of course I can’t rip the subtitles from the laser discs though.

My collection list is at: http://kurosawa.jokerman.net

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Master Thief

Actually I have many of the sub-title files on my website at:

http://kurosawa.jokerman.net/scripts.html

I haven’t updated it for a while so the Australian SS II version is not there. I must update this page when I get the time.

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lsaul

Actually, that would be awesome if you could provide with me with the Sugata II subtitles!

I really hate to buy the film again [although I suppose I should … I keep thinking Criterion will get the “completist” bug and put EVERYTHING out (I know, they don’t have rights to stuff like Dersu, etc.)]

But good subtitles would be a pleasure. I’m sure a lot of things will clear up…

Are there any Japanese here who might be as crazy as me and be willing to “transcribe” TMB into “correct” English? I know … wishful thinking…

**

Vili, I *love* the idea of a group discussion on a film we all watch!

I’ve turned my wife onto Kurosawa — we started with #1 and have just finished Kagemusha — just 5 more to go! She is *amazed* by his art! I got such a kick out of listening to her gasp at the stuff that continues to thrill me, too! [example: when we watched Ikiru, the scene when Shimura is walking along the street and Kurosawa has completely turned the sound off. A truck suddenly nearly hits him and at that point the sound returns. Loved the effect!

I could go on for way too long. As you probably guessed, AK is a thrilling, major part of my life. His films inspire me so much (I’m a composer, I talk about how AK affects my composing on my blog…

Love being here. See you soon.

Lewis Saul
http://www.lewissaul.blogspot.com

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Jeremy Quintanilla

Yes, film club-good

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Master Thief

I have uploaded the Eastern Eye subtitles here:

http://kurosawa.jokerman.net/03_Sugata_Sanshiro_II-Eastern_Eye.srt

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Master Thief

Please note that the sub-title ripping OCR program I use mistakes most of the “l’s” (small L’s) as i’s (capital “eyes”), but you can generally understand it. Sorry the default arial font of this forum doesn’t allow me to show what I mean very well.

If I get time I will go through and correct these errors. I have checked a few passages of both SS2 translations and they are very different.

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Master Thief

UPDATE: I have fixed the typo errors in the Australian Sugata Sanshiro II script: http://kurosawa.jokerman.net/03_Sugata_Sanshiro_II-Eastern_Eye.srt

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lsaul

Thanks so much! I think I’ll keep the “Chinese” version — simply because they’re so hilarious at times!

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Vili Maunula

Thanks so much! I think I’ll keep the “Chinese” version — simply because they’re so hilarious at times!

My favourite is still the scene in Drunken Angel where Mifune’s character starts to shout (according to the subtitles) “I am a tuberculosis, I am a tuberculosis!” It introduces a whole new existentialist perspective into the work. 😛

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Master Thief

I recently bought a copy of Ikiru in the 1968 Modern Film Scripts series. It is edited and has an introduction by Richie. It also a lot of stills from the film.

The translation is pretty different from the Criterion sub-titles.

I’ll see if I can copy it using the OCR in my scanner.

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