Sir Michael Caine has told us that good screen acting is all about the eyes. The Criterion Collection announced its new releases for December 2020, including Alejandro Iñárritu's Amores perros, and David Cronenberg's Crash. Capturing the tense mood of a new millennium, Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s debut feature explores the hidden spaces of Mexico City at a moment of political turbulence and extreme social stratification. Some Criterion Action. Unofficial confirmation (Criterion exec, filmmaker, studio) ----a. Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai Image via Criterion Collection Jim Jarmusch combines his love for the ice-cool crime dramas of Jean-Pierre … His books include Flyboy in the Buttermilk, Flyboy 2: The Greg Tate Reader, Midnight Lightning: Jimi Hendrix and the Black Experience, and Everything but the Burden: What White People Are Taking from Black Culture. ... Ok, Ghost Dog is not a Japanese samurai movie. Ghost Dog has the usual laconic Jarmusch feel, despite scenes of incredibly precise action. Cult director Jim Jarmusch has dabbled in numerous genres … 48 minutes | 25 days ago This month, the Criterion Channel celebrates this wild, weird, and far-out era of genre filmmaking with their ‘70s Horror series. The presentations, covers, and features are always beautifully done. Right Action Someone to Watch Over Me Cancel Culture TALES FROM THE FOREST RIGHT SPEECH DEATH IN … 1 Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999) Jim Jarmusch is the absolute definition of cool and five of his films are already featured in The Criterion Collection but Ghost Dog is a special film. Welcome to CriterionForum.org, one of the premier destinations on the web to discuss DVD releases from The Criterion Collection, Masters of Cinema, and other DVD production companies from around the world. Ghost Dog is getting a new Criterion special edition release in the U.S., and its score, which was originally exclusively released in Japan, is finally coming stateside as well. A surreal crime drama told as only Jim Jarmusch could, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai stars Forest Whitaker as Ghost Dog, a hit man living in an unidentified but run-down city in what license plates call The Industrialized State. For fans of Jean-Pierre Melville, you will see his influence all over this, from the snippets of philosophy taken from the Hagakure warrior’s code to the calculated assassinations Ghost Dog performs. Favorites: Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999), Magnolia (1999), Memories of Murder (2003), Being John Malkovich (1999). The release will be sourced from a 4K restoration of the film. Ghost Dog’s urban exterior locations, mostly shot in Jersey City, New Jersey, are also redolent of Jarmusch’s clear eighties romance with the boondocks parts of Brooklyn and Queens that few Manhattanites were privy to in 1999—desolate and depopulating areas that were fast on their way to becoming postindustrial, pregentrification ghost towns. The Criterion Collection is important. Each month, the programmers at the Criterion Channel produce incredible line-ups for their subscribers. Connect with High Def Movie Source on LinkedIn. Every year Criterion knocks the latest additions to their library out of the park. In one of the most controversial films of his career, David Cronenberg adapts a scandalous J. G. Ballard novel, radically overhauling its story to address a society paralyzed in the headlights of a new millennium. Being that the samurai way is “the way of death,” the film’s plotting quickly sets up Ghost Dog as a doomed figure through no fault of his own—well, aside from his adherence to an ancient code that has made him a loyal subject to a Mafia underboss who has employed him for several years to commit hits on, we imagine, other mafiosi. Not even Whitaker’s revelatory peepers seem able to make sense of it all for Ghost Dog in the troubling end. Greg Tate is a Village Voice staff alum, musician, and cultural provocateur who lives high atop Harlem’s Sugar Hill. That is the beauty of the Criterion Channel. With these two movies, Jarmusch affirmed his fascination with the alienated and self-distancing American male way of death. J im Jarmusch’s Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai is informed by an eccentric mélange of cultural touchstones and film genres, blending together allusions to everything from samurai and mafia codes to ‘90s hip-hop culture and mid-century TV cartoons. In one of the few nods to a Hollywood cliché, let alone a Hollywood racial cliché, you’ll find in any Jarmusch film, Ghost Dog’s denouement shows a noble Black man sacrificing himself for a white man. Price Match Guarantee. I remember seeing Ghost Dog on opening weekend at a Times Square theater where some of the audience seemed old enough to have been regulars in the area during its B-movie heyday, when RZA saw every martial-arts extravaganza produced by Hong Kong’s Shaw Brothers that he could on the Deuce. But Ghost Dog in particular is also a film that, despite its rigid codes of honor, courses with life, thanks largely to Jarmusch and Whitaker’s collaboration, a controlled and riveting merger of star power, craft, and vision that extends our appreciation of the performative prowess and range of both of these Zen masters of contemporary American cinema. Consider Jim Jarmusch’s Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999) as a very promiscuous romance picture above anything else—even if not all of its many objects of affection are what you might call properly human and there is no love interest on the scene. This flashpoint in time that was Ghost Dog has retained all of the cool, the quirk, the profundity it captured in a bottle in 1999 and has perhaps even grown in my estimation in the decades since. As every samurai needs a leader to whom he swears loyalty, Ghost Dog has devoted himself the service of Louie (John Tormey), a low-level crime boss who once saved his life. Make Ya Last Stand. Jarmusch also borrows noticeably from Jean-Pierre Melville’s Le samouraï and Seijun Suzuki’s Branded to Kill (both 1967). Whitaker’s Ghost Dog, seen in electrifying motion on his rooftop practicing his whirling katana moves and punching exercises, embodies the elegant metaphysical scriptures and strictures found in the book. 12 new Jim Jarmusch combined his love for the ice-cool crime dramas of Jean-Pierre Melville and Seijun Suzuki with the philosophical dimensions of samurai mythology for an eccentrically postmodern take on the hit-man thriller. The ill-fated mafiosi are also the film’s grand comic relief—reaching an apex in Cliff Gorman’s smooth criminal Sonny Valerio pantomiming Public Enemy’s “Cold Lampin’ with Flavor.” This not long after a scene in which Sonny professes his love for that group, and the colorful monikers of rappers and Native Americans are also admired, then mocked, by openly racist, tone-deaf mob cretins whose own confederates’ handles include Sammy the Snake and Joe Rags. One gets the sense that never before Ghost Dog could this film have been possible, and, never since. Sir Laurence Olivier, when asked what was the most important quality for an actor to have, replied, “Physical strength.”. Ghost Dog lives by the precepts of the 18th century warrior text, Hagakure: The Way of the Samurai, practicing the ancient disciplines of the samurai and applying them to his work as a contract killer. There is first and foremost among the director’s most treasured love objects the shape-shifting face of Forest Whitaker. When Louie’s superiors decide he must be executed, Ghost Dog leaps into action, methodically wiping out his many enemies. Get info about new releases, essays and interviews on the Current, Top 10 lists, and sales. The mobsters’ homes, nestled in Queens-like neighborhoods, represent the last stand of New York’s federal-prosecutorial-wiretap-decimated mob culture. Ghost Dog was screened in competition at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival. Available on the Criterion Channel or Amazon Prime. In their words: “This tour through the 1970s nightmare realm is a veritable blood feast of perverse pleasures from a time when … ’s debut feature represented a quantum leap in the audiovisual grammar of Mexican cinema. Sprawling across more than half a century of American history, Martin Scorsese’s crime saga combines epic ambition with a mood of isolation and dissolution. Each of these, in modern revivals, requires a certain reverence for the internal, hypermasculine drives that cinematically energize the form while displaying a level of invention and play that can embrace slapstick and minimalist cool. The character’s lines of scripted dialogue barely add up in word count to two passages from Hagakure, meaning that Whitaker has to deploy those bewitching eyes to sell us on Ghost Dog’s deep poetic fancy for such oblique passages as this: “There is something to be learned from a rainstorm. This year, Criterion released Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman (get a double dose of Pacino! With Jim Jarmusch’s Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai newly released by Criterion Collection today, Filmmaker is publishing online for the first time Peter Bowen’s interview with Jarmusch and actor Forest Whitaker from our Winter, 2000 print issue. The ending also nods to Le samouraï, in which Alain Delon’s hit man, like Ghost Dog, carries an unloaded gun into a circumstance he knows will prove fatal. Criterion Channel Surfing, Episode 35: December 2020 New and Expiring Titles ... We talk at length about some new releases, especially Ghost Dog and Girlfriends, and we round out the show by talking about some of the changes with Arrow Video. Greg Tate is a Village Voice staff alum, musician, and cultural provocateur who lives high atop Harlem’s Sugar Hill. Jarmusch uses Ghost Dog to up his game and rifle through three genres of which he’s enamored at once: samurai, Italian American gangster, and blaxploitation. There was a smattering of boos when the lights came up; to this day I don’t know whether that was a rejection of the film as a whole or of the disturbing aspects of the ending scene. Ghost Dog is Jarmusch’s eighth feature, following the Neil Young documentary Year of the Horse (1997) and Dead Man, his vision quest into the wilds of the nineteenth-century Pacific Northwest. Ghost Dog’s urban exterior locations, mostly shot in Jersey City, New Jersey, are also redolent of Jarmusch’s clear eighties romance with the boondocks parts of Brooklyn and Queens that few Manhattanites were privy to in 1999—desolate and depopulating areas that were fast on their way to becoming postindustrial, pregentrification ghost towns. Featuring moody cinematography by the great Robby Müller, a mesmerizing score by the Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA, and a host of colorful character actors (including a memorably stone-faced Henry Silva), Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai plays like a pop-culture-sampling cinematic mixtape built around a … Official confirmation on the Criterion Website 2. Only this time the act occurs in front of two people—Raymond and Pearline—who not only don’t know how to react but also are depicted as verklempt and uncertain of how to feel about his vicious and ponderous killing while it’s happening right before their eyes. The origin story of Ghost Dog is a classic trope. Ghost Dog allows Jarmusch the classic cineaste and consummate postmodernist to expand upon the genre sampling and remixing begun with his prison-break film, Down by Law (1986), and his Cormac McCarthy–esque take on the western, Dead Man (1995). Quiet, patient, and deadly. In the moment, this Black spectator was reminded of Toni Morrison’s groundbreaking critical work Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination (1992), which interrogates the artistic cost to various white authors’ fictions that contain underimagined and simplistic-to-an-incredulous-fault Black characters. “Jarmusch uses Ghost Dog to up his game and rifle through three genres of which he’s enamored at once: samurai, Italian American gangster, and blaxploitation.”. Streaming: Criterion Channel. But doing such things as passing under the eaves of houses, you still get wet. Ghost Dog is seen to have made two neighborhood friends in the story—Isaach De Bankolé’s monolingual (French-only) ice-cream-truck owner, Raymond, and Pearline (Camille Winbush), a curious and wise-beyond-her-childhood-years moppet who shares Ghost Dog’s love for books, including Frankenstein, which they both like better than the movie, and Rashomon and Other Stories, which Ghost Dog lends to her, requesting to hear her opinion when she’s done. But you can’t fault Jarmusch the scenarist for being true to the film’s foundational conceit: Ghost Dog’s adherence to the samurai way of suicidal death for his retainer. Become a Criterion Channel Subscriber! This understanding extends to all things.” This recitation serves as a premonition for the resolve Ghost Dog will soon display in rushing headlong and gun-strong into wetting up his opponents. Home / Criterion Collection / Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (Blu-ray) $ 39.99 $ 27.99 A surreal crime drama told as only Jim Jarmusch could, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai stars Forest Whitaker as Ghost Dog, a hit man living in an unidentified but run-down city in what license plates call The Industrialized State. For January, the Channel will feature films from Zeinabu irene Davis, Raj Kapoor, Julien Temple, and more! When meeting with a sudden shower, you try not to get wet and run quickly along the road. ), David Cronenberg’s Crash (get your freak on! Criterion is asking for fan-submitted questions to be answered by Jim Jarmusch on an upcoming release of Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai. Dustin Chang is a freelance writer. Many first saw this in Martin Scorsese’s The Color of Money (1986); in retrospect, Whitaker’s mesmerizing four-minute Cheshire-cat hustle of Paul Newman’s Fast Eddie dims the memory of what happens afterward in that film. Recent Posts: Ghost Dog. Jarmusch’s selection of RZA to compose the score has a musical logic and a metadimensional aspect as well; the Wu-Tang Clan leader’s ardor for Asian action films was itself mythical by the late nineties, as was his integration of Shaolin-monk Zen and philosophies more familiar to his community via the Nation of Islam breakaway sect known as the Five Percent Nation. Jim Jarmusch combined his love for the ice-cool crime dramas of Jean-Pierre Melville and Seijun Suzuki with the philosophical dimensions of samurai mythology for an … Criterion adds another excellent title to its collection of Jim Jarmusch films this week with the Blu-ray and DVD releases of Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, a 1999 feature that stands alongside Dead Man as one of Jarmusch’s richest and most fascinating movies. And most especially for the director of Ghost Dog, whose script requires his leading man to convincingly deliver stoic savant, vulnerable puppy dog, self-possessed everyman, effortless charmer of precocious but wary hood children, shark-eyed triple-tap professional assassin. The Package. from $22.99, 3 used from $28.58, Last updated on December 28, 2020 2:38 pm, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray], Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai (Blu-ray)(2020), Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai [Criterion Collection] [Blu-ray] , Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai Jim Jarmusch Director. Like High Def Movie Source on Blogger. There are also the swaggerful gait and deceptive bulk of Whitaker on deck to draw out Jarmusch’s and the audience’s warmest and tenderest feelings toward the trickster-actor (who has made a career out of seducing us with his open woundedness and surprising us with his hidden volatility), but let’s begin with that face. Whitaker is the type of artful dodger who can hit all of those notes in rapid-eye-movement succession without blinking twice. ... As much as I love Criterion Channel for its selection, it sure buffers a lot for me. Subscribe to High Def Movie Source's YouTube Channel. In the latter film, as in Ghost Dog, the spirit of the protagonist, the accountant turned cop killer William Blake (Johnny Depp), exits his flesh well before the credits roll. Whitaker’s man-strong eyes are a Technicolor dream machine for any director whose protagonist is a mercurial, silent hulk of an antihero. As Ghost Dog, Whitaker authoritatively voice-over-reads from Jarmusch’s literary crush for the film, Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai—a volume compiled from eighteenth-century commentaries on Bushido (the warrior’s code) by a samurai-nostalgic clerk turned monk, Yamamoto Tsunetomo, as told to a fellow clerk, Tashiro Tsuramoto, and translated in 1979 by William Scott Wilson, a well-respected interpreter of Japanese literature. Find low everyday prices and buy online for delivery or in-store pick-up. I can’t believe I have never seen this film noir classic until now. 11/17 Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999, Jim Jarmusch) 11/24 The Irishman (2019, Martin Scorsese) [currently streaming on Netflix] There will also be a new box set, Essential Fellini, on 11/24. Tower Records is back online, and they have a limited edition vinyl of the Ghost Dog soundtrack available for preorder. Overview - Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai is a fantastic early film from director Jim Jarmusch that focuses on a peaceful samurai warrior in New Jersey who moonlights as a hitman for the Italian mafia complete with original music from RZA. The Criterion Collection Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai. When you are resolved from the beginning, you will not be perplexed, though you will still get the same soaking. Jarmusch and Whitaker imbue Ghost Dog’s deadly pursuit of crime bosses and underlings with cunning and gravitas—the protagonist stealthily but seethingly and single-bloody-mindedly conducts acts of methodical murder. Ghost Dog, a man of few words who shares his rooftop home with dozens of pigeons. ), Jim Jarmusch’s Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (amazing! Certain Women is now streaming on The Criterion Channel. Most blaxploitation thrillers brought the Black seventies filmgoing community the screen ecstasy of “brothers sticking it to the Man.” With his genre-jump-starting masterpiece Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (1971), Melvin Van Peebles seemed to take his cues from the Black Panthers and the Black Liberation Army, identifying the anti-Black activist police as the villains the revolution needs to neutralize. You'll also find in-depth discussions on world cinema. tarussell uses Letterboxd to share film reviews and lists. for fans of quality theatrical and home video releases. Criterion brings this film to a new 1080p HD transfer and a DTS-HD 5.1 audio mix, along with several great bonus features, both new and old. . Along with a dizzying series of stylized shoot-outs, Ghost Dog also features carrier pigeons, characters who read Rashomon, a French-speaking ice cream man, and a score by RZA from the top-selling hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan, who have their own well-documented obsession with Asian culture. A long with Dead Man (1995), his previous narrative feature, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai marks a quantum leap in the Jim Jarmusch universe—a discovery of history (both antiquity and tradition) that carries with it a sense of gravity and even tragedy that is missing from his first five features. Since 1999, Tate has also co-led the conducted-improvisation ensemble Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber, which tours internationally and has released umpteen albums on its own Avant Groidd imprint. Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai is almost certainly going to be announced in July, since that's when the deadline for the Jim Jarmusch Q&A is. Below you’ll find the programming schedule for the month, along with a … GHOST DOG: THE WAY OF THE SAMURAI (1999) is now on Blu-ray and DVD! Criterion Channel, Criterion Collection, Forest Whitaker, Ghost Dog, Jim Jarmusch With Jim Jarmusch’s Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai newly released by Criterion Collection today, Filmmaker is publishing online for the first time Peter Bowen’s interview with Jarmusch and actor Forest Whitaker from our Winter, 2000 print issue. ... Coming Soon on Criterion: THE IRISHMAN Cometh, GHOST DOG… With its thought-provoking structure, interweaving story lines, and saturated colors, Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s debut feature represented a quantum leap in the audiovisual grammar of Mexican cinema. Ghost Dog is the director's most explicit examination of this vision, its central character born into one culture, expressing a strong elective affinity toward another, and indentured to yet a third. As a young man, Ghost Dog (played with a calm forcefulness by Forest Whitaker) is rescued from a beating by gangster Louie (John Tormey). A podcast network and website 1. The dark, trance-inducing funk of RZA’s signature sound lines up evocatively with the scenes where an introspective but homicidally guided Ghost Dog is portrayed driving in a nocturnal, outer-borough-esque world of ominous, somnambulistic stillness and overarching dread. The Lady from Shanghai (1947), directed by Orson Welles, starring Orson Welles, screenplay by Orson Welles, also starring the beautiful Rita Hayworth.Wow! In many of the blaxploitation films that followed, “the Man” meant the Mafia, as it does in Ghost Dog. Bio: world's number 1 vhs collector Movie Blurb. July 23, 2020 July 23, 2020 / Benn Bell / 9 Comments. These are included in the order of the likelihood of a release/upgrade. With my copies of Parasite and Ghost Dog coming in, I found something really fortunate, but I’m not sure if it fits in here. A movie lover’s dream, the Criterion Channel offers classics and discoveries from around the world, thematically programmed with special features, on a streaming service brought to you by the Criterion Collection. All fourteen of the movies in it have already been issued individually in the Collection. Shop Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai [Criterion Collection] [Blu-ray]  at Best Buy. Jarmusch's 1999 classic Ghost Dog , now in a Criterion edition, freely mixes and matches Bushido philosophy, Mafia and samurai flicks, Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, and lo … 714 films watched. Known for his gift of being able to come and go without people noticing him, Ghost Dog is a self-taught samurai who is obsessed with order and his strict personal moral code, drawn from the philosophies of the Japanese warriors. You’re also given to wonder how the murder happens in the same hood where we discover Ghost Dog is known and respected by a roughneck, Wu Tang–ish cipher of rappers who hang out near the scene. Like Ghost Dog, the mafiosi are fading relics of old ways headed for history’s dustbin, regardless of the assassin’s intervention accelerating the inexorable outcome of their destiny charts.
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