11 October 2007
I’ll just briefly list a few things that I’ve manage to find out. Sadly I bare bad news
As Vili, mentioned on the front page awhile back, regarding the copyright issues brought against Cosmo Contents by Toho.
Well after a bit of effort, I was able to get a hold of some legal documents behind that case. Luckily I found someone to translate the 15page document to something usable.
As you may recall, I’ve mention the possibility of being able to freely distribute Kurosawa films as the laws, left open interruptions, loopholes and where not specific.
The bad news, is that this is no longer possible, the documents cover beyond that of what Cosmo was doing and extends to every possibility of freely/cheaply distributing Kurosawa’s Japanese made content.
In short, unless you got the money for the rights, its not going to happen.
As for Dersu Uzla, info is limited, but it appears the agency that owns the right is actually run by the Russian government. They are not known to be dealing with or plan to be dealing with anything regarding archival and preservation of Russian films.
I made a few trips to Japan in that last few months for unrelated reason, but took advantage, to do a bit of Kurosawa seeking. Keep in mind as a tourist with poor Japanese speaking abilities, I had some limitations, and relay a lot on hear say.
I planned a trip to Imari,Saga to find out some stuff on the planned Kurosawa Museum and the current tiny make shift museum that is there. Sadly a emergency called me back early and I never got further then Hiroshima.
However I was able to dig up some stuff regarding the museum. It basically appears dead, there has been no development since is conceptualization around 2000. Plans where to have it completed in 2003, of course that never happened. The website states 2007 on the English version and 2008 on the Japanese version, none of those dates can possibly be meet.
I was unable to find out if the small satellite museum is still open, the website has nothing regarding it since the early summer of 2006. I haven’t been able to find Saga area resident to ask for help, I meet a few film enthusiasts from Fukuoka city, Fukuoka, a large city about 45 mins away, but all of them where unaware of it.
While in Tokyo I found out to my surprise there was a Kurosawa film school opened up in Tokyo around 2005 with over 100 enrolled. It sounded really neat, as many of Kurosawa’s associates where to help teach from time to time.
From what I can find out, it was poorly financed and organized and fail apart rather quickly. I’ve been told it shut down late 2006 or early 2007. I tried to get more details and even located the school but it all came to a dead end.
I did receive this letter regarding the school,via email from someone I meet. I have not been able to translate it, and have no idea what it says. Perhaps someone could help with it.
I will again go to Japan in mid November for a vacation of sorts, I will again snoop around. If anyone has any info regarding the museum in Imari,Saga, please let me know. Its too far from where I plan to spend my time, to make a trip for nothing. I am still debating if I should make the effort.
15 October 2007
Wow Jeremy a lot to take in… I feel the copyright issues regarding AK’s Japanese films are probably a good thing all around. I’d rather not see poorly transfered and subtitled or butchered versions of the films floating around, although releases of his earlier or “hard to come by outside of Japan” films handled by fans such as yourself, Jeremy, would have been most welcome.
Sad news regarding the Russian company and Dersu Uzala. I suppose unless the film is rescued by a cinephile of sorts it will only deteriorate further, like so many other wonderful films under Russia’s copyright.
Frustrating news regarding the film school and museum too. Sadly I don’t know of anyone who could translate Japanese. I have a few friends who speak a bit but that is all.
22 October 2007
I do agree, perhaps it is better to prevent poorly transfered and translated films from being populated.
Still looking for someone to translated the letter, I am quite interested in what it says.
27 October 2007
The Kurosawa film academy actually closed before it ever even opened.
Here’s about the opening:
And here’s about it closing:
There were also rumours that things aren’t possibly quite as well as they should at the top:
I’ll see if I can either find someone to translate the document, or will personally try a hand with it.
Good work digging up all this, Jeremy!
Wow Vili, I really thought I discovered something, and all along you already had the info. LOL must of been before I started watching this site closely. Oh well, should of know you would of been on top of things. 🙂
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