DH Publishing are specialists in high quality books from the East...Japanese Movie Posters *NEW*
Yakuza, Monster, Pink and Horror
When it comes to highly collectible items, film posters will always be at the top of the food chain. As we all know, they work for both the art collector and the film buff. Then you have the people that collect by certain actors. As time passes, posters will always have a place.
But then add in to the factor of foreign films, and you have a whole new can of worms for the collectors market. If you have a rare film poster in Japan, how likely do you think it will be in the U.S.? Whereas you can possibly go into an antique store in the U.S. and find a poster for The Creature From The Black Lagoon, the chances of you finding an original poster for any of the original 26 Zatochi films in the U.S. is highly unlikely! So, what is one to do to sample the wonders of Japanese film posters?
Well, you lucky lot, DH Publishing has helped you out! With the release of their new book Japanese Movie Posters, you now have a way to view sample posters from almost every genre of film! The book is a tad pricey at US $30, but with it you get some glorious pictures, all in a fine thick glossy stock! It is a beautiful book for the poster fan, and for the fan of Japanese cinema.
The book itself is broken up into 7 sections for films, and then three index sections, and then an area on how to order the posters in the book. I guess this is just a REALLY fancy and expensive catalogue. The sections for film are: Yakuza, Sci-Fi and Monster, Samurai, Pink, Horror, Animation, and finally New Cinema. Each section gives you one poster per page, with a small synopsis of the film on the bottom with a fact and a price. Plus there is the English title with the original Japanese title, along with actors in the film, release date, and director.
The three index sections are one of the things that shows a little care went into this thing! For here you will find an index with the Japanese titles, then another with the Japanese titles in English, and finally you get the English titles! It is this type of thing that shows that they also want you to track down the films if at all possible. Something more books on film should do!
One of the complaints I do have with the book however is that in the beginning of the book we are given an introduction by Chuck Stephens and he tells us how he found the beauty of Japanese posters through a book he picked up years ago. He has a strong love for the posters themselves, and not always the films that accompany the posters. I was hoping to find out what it was the drove him to publish these posters. What were all the fine details that drove him to use these? But as it is, it does feel like more of a catalogue than an art book, an amazing catalogue, but still a bit on the catalogue side.
Before each section though, we do get introductions by Tetsuya Masuda and Kairakutei Black. According to the book, Tetsuya "runs the cinema section at the antiquarian bookstore @ wonder" and handles tons of items of film. You get his info if you ever need something! Kairakutei is a writer for numerous newspapers and magazines. Both of these men do a fine job with the intros, and do give a little reason for why some of the posters appear in the book. Chuck Stephens, by the way, is a contributing editor to Film Comment. Incase you were wondering.
The One other complaint I do have. Minor one, I suppose. But you see, this is such a lovely book that I would love to keep it out. People of all sorts would find something of interest in here to look at. But unfortunately by giving the Pink genre a section, I can't leave it sitting on the table like I would want to. I have kids, and they just probably shouldn't see some of it. You know? Maybe it is an American thing. I have heard that. But if you are fine with the visuals of the Pink films (soft-core to the non-informed), then this is still a beautiful book.
With those minor complaints aside, this is a wonderful book, and one that I do flip through quite often. I have a list of films that I must track down now, thanks to the book, and a few posters that I would LOVE own! So if you like film posters, or Japanese posters, or posters of any of the genre that I mention above, drop some money for this thing, it is a beautiful book! Even a non-movie fan friend of mine took to it and was flipping through commenting on the posters!
Review by Carl Isonhart
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