'Rashomon', 1950 'Ran', 1985

TLW's Japanese Cinemascope™) (Japanese Cinema Historyscope)

By T.L. Winslow (TLW), the Historyscoper™

© Copyright by T.L. Winslow. All Rights Reserved.

Original Pub. Date: Nov. 19, 2016. Last Update: Dec. 1, 2016.

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What Is A Historyscope?

Westerners are not only known as history ignoramuses, but double dumbass history ignoramuses when it comes to Japanese cinema history. Since I'm the one-and-only Historyscoper (tm), let me quickly bring you up to speed before you dive into my Master Historyscope.

'Rashomon', 1950

On Aug. 25, 1950 Akira Kurosawa's Rashomon (The Outrage) debuts, based on the short story "In a Grove" by Ryunosuke Akutagawa about four witnesses to the rape of a woman (Machiko Kyo) and murder of her samurai husband (Masayuki Mori), incl. the rapist and the dead man through a medium (Fumiko Honma), who tell four different stories; gains the slant-eyed Japs, er, Japanese an internat. following despite WWII?

'Carmen Comes Home', 1951

On Mar. 21, 1951 Keisuke Kinoshita's Carmen Comes Home (Karumen Kokyo ni Kaeru) debuts, about country girl Lily Carmen (Hideko Takamine), who goes to the big city, becomes a stripper, then returns home and causes a scandal; Japan's first color film; budget: 6.8B yen.

'Godzilla', 1954 Raymond Burr (1917-93) in 'Godzilla', 1956

On Nov. 3, 1954 Ishiro Honda's Godzilla, King of the Monsters featuring campy 164-ft. not-a-T-Rex Godzilla (Gojira) (Jap. "gorilla + whale") (an obvious man in a suit on a sound stage, played by Haruo Nakajima) is released by the Japanese to work out their mental problems over the A-bomb; Hollywood mogul Joseph Edward Levine (1905-87) gets a U.S. vers. made by intercutting Canadian actor Raymond William Stacy Burr (1917-93), which is shown in 1956; "This is it, George. Steve Martin signing off from Tokyo, Japan"; the sequels introduce monsters Barugon (lizard), Biollante (giant rose), Doroga (jellyfish), Ebirah (shrimp), Gamera (turtle), Gappa (lizard), Ghidorah (3-headed monster), Gigantis (fire monster), Goke (vampire), Gorath (reptile), Gyaos (fox), Hedorah (smog monster), Mantanga (fungus), Mothra (moth), Rodan (pterodactyl), Varan (bat), Viras (squid), and Zigra (shark).

'Ran', 1985

On May 31, 1985 Akira Kurosawa's Ran (Jap. "uprising") debuts, based on Shakespeare's "King Lear", starring Tatsuya Nakadai as aging warlord Hidetora Ichimonji becomes the most expensive Japanese film produced to date ($12M), winning kudos from critics; musical score by Toru Takemitsu, inspired by Gustav Mahler; does $12M box office in Japan, and $2M-$3M in the U.S.

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