Fukuro no shiro (1999)
Pssst, want to check out Fukuro no shiro in our new look?
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In my quest to be the most hipster of my friends, this was one of the best blind buys at a second hand store I have ever had. At the time of this writing, I am only the 11th person to have seen this small little gem on this site. As others have hinted, this movie is uneven and the parts don't quite add up to a satisfying whole. Perhaps the most interesting review could be the only long-form English found on the back of the DVD case by a 'Ross Anthony':
"Owl's Castle" saturates the white screen with rich color. The hues so intense, you can almost taste them. The feel of the motion across the screen suggests some medium other than film. Though, I have no inside information on this, I suspect many of the sequences where partially or entirely filmed on high quality digital tape. This is not at all a criticism. Digital cinema is more or less inevitable, film stock being so expensive to purchase, duplicate and distribute.
Unfortunately, the feel color and texture of the picture, where perhaps it's most redeeming qualities. The plot...a group of Ninja watch their town get destroyed and ten years later seek revenge, is complicated a bit by politics.
Interestingly, Shinoda brings a kind of 1970's American-Western feel to the film with it's staleness and Japanese traditional music punctuated with a 20th century classical score. The beginning is enticing and the climax nearly wonderful. I enjoyed the idea of the heartless Ninja, so committed mission that he's lost a sense of himself and cannot even love.
Like I said, this is the movie for film hipsters to love and discover now before the rest of masses proclaim its brilliance.
to see which of your friends have seen this movie!