Jūzō Itami’s The Funeral

Jūzō Itami’s directorial debut The Funeral

I was trying to do a Saul Bass in Japan kinda thing.  The pattern was meant to be a shōji.

Here’s a little factoid that may or may not be true: Itami supposedly designed the ATG logo.

The more I think about Itami, the more I realize that his work needs to be promoted in the West.  I just naturally assume that Itami is already well known.  All of his films deal with some aspect of Japanese culture that he found ridiculous, like ceremonies, food, and the yakuza.  The latter subject matter is most likely what got him killed.  Most of his early films were released on DVD (with shitty transfers), but I think they’ve all gone OOP.  There was an English friendly boxset of all 10 of his films released in Japan, but I’m not sure if they were released individually.  I’m going to be working on a Three Reasons for Criterion Consideration piece for this title, me thinks. But first I need to get a silent film installment out of my system first.

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