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    ssj

    hey, there. i’ve been lurking here a few weeks, and i’ve enjoyed reading the discussions and insights here; there are many more interesting threads i have yet to explore.

    i hail from a fanediting community (fanedit.org), and i thought members of akirakurosawa.info might be interested in a project i’m working on, which i hope to complete a few months from now: THE SUKAIWAKA FORTRESS.

    for those who’ve never heard of fanedits, they’re modifications of movies and television shows. sometimes they’re straightforward “fixes,” which remove unnecessary characters and subplots or fix continuity errors; others are “mixes” that take the source material in rather different, sometimes funky directions. . . kind of like remixing songs, but instead of music, we’re remixing movies.

    my editing goals for THE SUKAIWAKA FORTRESS:
    โ€ข to rescore the hidden fortress with music from star wars.
    โ€ข to rename major characters and places with starwarsian names: princess reia, general kenobi, atu, situri, and a few others best left as surprises
    โ€ข to improve the pacing (the original was 139 minutes; the current cut is 127 minutes, including additional credits)
    โ€ข and to make the edit family-friendly by removing a couple questionable scenes, all curse words, and by lightly rewriting some of the dialogue.

    thank you for hosting the kurosawa fan community. cheers to the convos held here!

    ssj

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    Ugetsu

    It sounds an interesting project! Where will you post it when its done?

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    ssj

    thanks, ugetsu! it should be a fun, alternate way to enjoy the hidden fortress. and for those who prefer the movie the way it is, this fanedit isn’t meant to displace the original, which will always be there, as long as civilization doesn’t collapse. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    once completed, the edit description will be listed at fanedit.org’s IFDB subsection. but to get the actual edit, one will have to private message me–the fanedit.org ethic is that we won’t publicly display any download links, so as not to encourage piracy. speaking of which, to view this edit, one should own a studio-released copy of the original, which shouldn’t be much of an issue for AK.info’s denizens. ๐Ÿ™‚

    if this site has a private messaging system, then you can message me once i finish the project. otherwise, one can sign up for a free account at fanedit.org and PM me there.

    for a taste, here are a couple bits.
    (password = fanedit.org)

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    ssj

    and here’s the cover:

    planning on a 720p mp4 release, with a target file size just under 4 GB. i’ll also have a 1080p version available.

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    Vili Maunula

    I’m surprised how well the Star Wars music actually works with Kurosawa’s images in those two clips. I never realised it before, but there is something Japanese in that score. This looks pretty interesting, good luck with the task at hand!

    From a legal point of view (I’m mainly thinking about this website), it is indeed better if the final film is not embedded here. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I would also be really curious to hear what your thoughts are when you write that the following is one of your primary goals:

    to improve the pacing (the original was 139 minutes; the current cut is 127 minutes, including additional credits)

    Which parts do you see as superfluous? I don’t mean to imply that the original is flawless but you are, after all, working from a cut that was completed by someone who is generally considered one of the greatest editors in the history of film. No pressure!

    Also, on a less serious but obviously very important note, any chance for edits like these? ๐Ÿ˜‰

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    ssj

    ha! you’ve got some pictorial lucas chocolate in your kurosawa peanut butter.

    re: pacing, there are a few places that could use a trim. off the top o’ me head:
    * hyoe’s & rokurota’s & yuki’s lengthy ride from the yamana fort (we don’t need to see each individual horseback arrival. . . or do we? ๐Ÿ˜€ )
    * the nearly-six-minute spear fight between hyoe & rokurota. now the fight has been edited down to 4 min 13 seconds to precisely match the duration of a certain john williams piece.

    other trims are very slight. for example, when yuki learns of rokurota’s sister’s death, she says “i hate it” three times, which is overly dramatic. by cutting the second “i hate it,” her acting comes across as a bit more natural.

    all of my cuts, if done well, should be invisible.

    agree re: not embedding the full edit. the fanedit will be available at no cost to those who own a studio-released copy of the movie (honor system at play here) and who contact me. possessing a derivative work is acceptable under fair use laws.

    the cool thing about JW music atop a kurosawa film is that many scenes gain a different energy or emotion, or the emotion that is there is further accentuated. sato’s mostly-noh-style score is still left in some places, especially where it’s admixed with dialogue, but JW’s music elsewhere greatly supplements sato’s.


    title screen from the edit

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    ssj

    slapped together a trailer. enjoy!

    still working on the featurette; haven’t yet started the commentary track. also awaiting feedback on a draft from a handful of fellow editors, after which i can fix any problems that my eyes & ears missed.

    if all goes well, i should have this baby released by september 2016.

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    Ugetsu

    That looks really good, the music goes brilliantly with those images. I’m looking forward to seeing the full feature.

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    ssj

    thanks, ugetsu! throughout the remixing process, i tried to match the music with the mood. the final output should be fun.

    what’s interesting about JW music is that it’s so dramatic that within a minute or two, there are often several tonal shifts, so it’s very likely that a musical shift will correspond with a change in the story or visuals.

    here’s version 2. (i would have just replaced the prior video, but i can’t seem to edit my prior post.)

    โ€ข exit volume bumped. very nice being able to hear the french horn.
    โ€ข stray vocal noise at 0:36 has been liquidated.
    โ€ข the trailer unwakens.

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    Vili Maunula

    This trailer is absolutely brilliant. ๐Ÿ™‚ Well done! I’m quite looking forward to the full edit. The music works really well. My brain though still does a full 360 degree spin whenever the Japanese dialogue and the English subtitles don’t match, as with the names. ๐Ÿ˜†

    I’ll schedule a news post about this for tomorrow to spread the word.

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    ssj

    thanks, vili! the secret sauce is the music.

    sorry, I forgot to warn those who can communicate in both japanese and english about potential cognitive dissonance. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    very cool of you re: a news post. arigato!

    in a way, this is my gift and love letter to kurosawa, mifune, the rest of kurosawa’s cast and crew, JW, and star wars.

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    ssj

    hi, all. a brief update: i’ve recorded about 1/3 of the commentary track. when i have the final edit uploaded, i’ll provide another update here.

    here’s the primary cover, made by a fellow faneditor and friend ThrowgnCpr. i love the criterion vibe!

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    Vili Maunula

    Wow, those are some beautiful covers! Although if I’m allowed to nitpick: that’s Criterion’s Yojimbo/Sanjuro cover, not The Hidden Fortress. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Then again, come to think of it, I never really liked either of Criterion’s covers for The Hidden Fortress.

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    ssj

    true, they were done in the vein of the yojimbo & sanjuro covers.

    because who wants to see these again? ๐Ÿ˜ฎ


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    Vili Maunula

    Indeed.

    The one with the orange background could actually work for an S&M adult film release, I think. “What happens in The Hidden Fortress, stays in The Hidden Fortress… until now!”

    What they were thinking when they made that green cover, I really don’t know. “Hidden”, I suppose. And “beam eyes”.

    Considering its popularity, it is actually interesting that The Hidden Fortress has never really had iconic posters or covers. BFI’s cover may actually well be my favourite in its simplicity.

    Although, as so often is the case, there is definitely something to be said about the original Polish poster for the film.

    If you ask me, one of the biggest casualties of modern globalised film marketing was the end of Polish film posters. Some of them are really creative. I don’t quite know what this one is depicting, though.

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    Ugetsu

    I love those, especially the pen and ink one. But the green one always baffled me.

    That Polish one is great, but I wonder if the artist knew anything about the film. It looks like he really wanted to make cover art for Jefferson Airplane.

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    ssj

    > โ€œWhat happens in The Hidden Fortress, stays in The Hidden Fortressโ€ฆ until now!โ€
    haha!

    the green cover. . . I dunno. seems like a cover for the hidden medical MJ fortress. :mrgreen:

    and the interesting polish cover seems to represent a herniating brain (ymmv). this might also be drug-influenced.

    the ink drawing is ok, though I’m not sure the graphic best represents the movie. at least the sukaiwaka, I mean, akizuki crescent is present. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    agree, the BFI cover is the most reasonable/least embarrassing.

    and the latest: more than halfway done with the commentary track. hope to release this baby before the month is outโ€”just in time as an appetizer before rogue one! and as an everlasting tribute to the master, of course.

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    ssj

    i wonder if the studio noticed they (you know, “them”) misspelled the master’s name. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

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    Vili Maunula

    I think they did: my copy has the right spelling. But this may explain why I sometimes see it spelled as “Kurasawa”, especially among people discussing The Hidden Fortress. Almost as infuriating as Rasho-man. ๐Ÿ˜›

    I still haven’t found the time for Sukaiwaka — I’ve hardly been home these past months — but I’m hoping to get to it soon!

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    ssj

    no worries, vili! real life takes priority.

    earlier this month, i had a screening with my wife and keedz. judging by their chuckles, i think they liked it. ๐Ÿ˜€

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