meta: Tragedy


2021


'The Sea And Poison': The Cure That Kills 
Kei Kumai's chilling film version of Shūsaku Endō's equally grim novel remains all but unseen outside of Japan, but deserves a wider audience despite its queasy subject of wartime culpability
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'No Longer Human' (2019): Dead Man Writing 
A splashy but unmoving look at the last years of Osamu Dazai's dissolute life, with much screen time sensibly devoted to the women he manipulated on the way down
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'ID': Beastly Flesh 
Kei Fujiwara's sequel to 'Organ' ends up being more merely unpleasant than unsettling
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2020


'HUMAN LOST': The Death Wishers 
Why transmute Ozamu Dazai's 'No Longer Human' into medico-punk science fiction? Good question
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'Lament In The Night': The Voice Of The Issei 
Unknown to English-speaking audiences until now, Shōson Nagahara wrote for fellow Japanese-Americans of their own displaced world and their own broken hearts
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2019


Junji Ito's 'No Longer Human': No Longer Dazai 
A manga horror icon takes on a classic of modern Japanese literature, and makes it his own in ways both fascinating and baleful
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2018


Sōseki Natsume's 'Kokoro': One Classic, Three Translations 
The great masterwork of modern Japanese fiction, by one of its all-time luminaries, has been translated multiple times, each version its own testament to the complexities of translation as an art
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'A Shameful Life': Osamu Dazai's 'No Longer Human', All Over Again 
An all-new translation of Osamu Dazai's bleak masterwork brings fresh clarity and immediacy to a staple of modern Japanese literature
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'An Actor's Revenge': Improvised, And Served Cold 
It's normally bad to call a movie 'stagy', but Kon Ichikawa's kabuki tragedy revels in it to great effect
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Kon Ichikawa's 'Kokoro': The Wretched Hearts Of Men 
Kon Ichikawa's 1955 film version of Sōseki Natsume's classic novel adapts it with fidelity, intelligence, and just enough changes to be stimulating
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2016


'Belladonna of Sadness': Satan Met A Lady 
Restored to its original psychedelic glory, this mad masterwork from Osamu Tezuka's studio goes from chic porn to feminist parable and everything in between
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'Aoi Bungaku: No Longer Human': The Man Without Qualities 
The first of the 'Aoi Bungaku' animated adaptations of classical Japanese literature is a keen, well-devised adaptation of Osamu Dazai's novel of downfall and decadence
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2015


'The King of Pigs': Man Is The Animal 
One of the few original animated productions in recent years from South Korea demonstrates just how much nascent raw emotional energy there is waiting to be unleashed from that country's animation scene
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'The Tale of the Princess Kaguya': Her Life To Live 
So much more than just a lavish Classics Illustrated story, Isao Takahata's brush-painted picture scroll of a movie asks where the real meaning of any of our lives lies
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'Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade': I Therefore Am No Beast 
The best Mamoru Oshii film that Oshii never directed remains affecting and relevant fifteen years later
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Usamaru Furuya's 'No Longer Human': The Downward Spiral 
Osamu Dazai's despairing novel galvanized postwar Japan; Usamaru Furuya's modernized manga adaptation does justice to all its hearts of darkness
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See more Tragedy posts from 2015