Yajikita Dochu Teresuko (DVD) (Standard Edition) (English Subtitled) (Japan Version) DVD Region 2
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YesAsia Editorial Description
After bringing rakugo to the big screen in Shaberedomo Shaberedomo, director Hirayama Hideyuki continues to celebrate the gently raucous humor of traditional comedy with his latest Three for the Road (a.k.a. Yajikita Dochu Teresuko). Set in feudal Japan, this warm, witty, and downright charming period comedy feels like a closer cousin to the road films of Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, and Dorothy Lamour than the hardboiled samurai flicks one may expect from the era. The whimsical film inspires hearty laughter with a mixture of universal slapstick and classic comedy drawn from folk tales and kabuki. Though there are no samurai, viewers can anticipate visits from raccoon spirits and sea monsters. Koizumi Kyoko (Kuchi Teien), veteran Emoto Akira, and kabuki star Nakamura Kanzaburo in his screen debut make up the core threesome in this delightful journey through feudal, fanciful Japan.
Getting too old for the job, courtesan Okino (Koizumi Kyoko) wants to make money fast and buy her freedom. After a hack get-rich-quick scheme falls flat, she decides to make a run for it with the help of her admirer, kindhearted widower Yaji (Nakamura Kanzaburo). Yaji's buddy, failed alcoholic actor Kita (Emoto Akira), also joins the escape party after botching his suicide. The three traveling companions joyfully hightail it through the countryside with Okino's boss on their trail and hapless misadventures waiting from every inn.
|Product Title:||Yajikita Dochu Teresuko (DVD) (Standard Edition) (English Subtitled) (Japan Version) Yajikita Dochu Teresuko (DVD) (通常版) (英文字幕) (日本版) Yajikita Dochu Teresuko (DVD) (通常版) (英文字幕) (日本版) やじきた道中 てれすこ （通常版） Yajikita Dochu Teresuko (DVD) (Standard Edition) (English Subtitled) (Japan Version)|
|Artist Name(s):||Emoto Akira | Nakamura Kanzaburo | Koizumi Kyoko | Ishi Rasa-ru | Awaji Keiko | Shofukutei Matsunosuke | Hano Kuriko | Hazama Kanpei | Akaji Maro | Hiroshi Yamamoto | Suzuki Ranran | Kikkawa Koji | Musaka Naomasa | Bengal | Matsushige Yutaka | Hoshino Aki | Fujiyama Naomi | Kunimura Jun | Sasano Takashi 柄本明 | 中村勘三郎 | 小泉今日子 | Ishi Rasa-ru | 淡路惠子 | 笑福亭松之助 | 波乃久里子 | 間寬平 | 麿赤兒 | 山本浩司 | 鈴木蘭蘭 | 吉川晃司 | 六平直政 | Bengal | 松重豐 | 星野亞希 | 藤山直美 | 國村準 | 笹野高史 柄本明 | Nakamura Kanzaburo | 小泉今日子 | Ishi Rasa-ru | 淡路惠子 | 笑福亭松之助 | 波乃久里子 | 间宽平 | 麿赤儿 | 山本浩司 | 铃木兰兰 | 吉川晃司 | 六平直政 | Bengal | 松重庆 | 星野亚希 | 藤山直美 | 国村准 | 笹野高史 エモトアキラ | 中村勘三郎 | 小泉今日子 | ラサール石井 | 淡路恵子 | 笑福亭松之助 | 波乃久里子 | 間寛平 | 麿赤兒 | 山本浩司 | 鈴木蘭々 | 吉川晃司 | 六平直政 | ベンガル | 松重豊 | ほしのあき | 藤山直美 | 國村隼 | 笹野高史 Emoto Akira | Nakamura Kanzaburo | Koizumi Kyoko | Ishi Rasa-ru | Awaji Keiko | Shofukutei Matsunosuke | Hano Kuriko | Hazama Kanpei | Akaji Maro | Hiroshi Yamamoto | Suzuki Ranran | Kikkawa Koji | Musaka Naomasa | Bengal | Matsushige Yutaka | Hoshino Aki | Fujiyama Naomi | Kunimura Jun | Sasano Takashi|
|Director:||Hirayama Hideyuki 平山秀幸 平山秀幸 平山秀幸 Hirayama Hideyuki|
|Publisher Product Code:||BCBJ-3261|
|Country of Origin:||Japan|
|Picture Format:||NTSC What is it?|
|Region Code:||2 - Japan, Europe, South Africa, Greenland and the Middle East (including Egypt) What is it?|
|Shipment Unit:||1 What is it?|
|YesAsia Catalog No.:||1010719388|
中村勘三郎［十八代目］ / 柄本明 / 小泉今日子 / 平山秀幸 (監督) / 安川午朗 (音楽)
製作国 : 日本 (Japan)
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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features
Professional Review of "Yajikita Dochu Teresuko (DVD) (Standard Edition) (English Subtitled) (Japan Version)"
Most Asian film fans are at least partially aware of the wandering "vagabond of love" Kuruma "Tora san" Torajiro and his 48 films that make up one of the nation's most beloved dramatic franchises. But he's not the only iconic wanderer in the pantheon of Japanese literature, not least of whom are the characters of Yaji and Kita, a pair of crude misadventurers from Edo who travel along the Tokaido highway on a pilgrimage to Ise shrine in the famous early 19th century serial novel Tokai Dochu Hizakurige. Written by Juppensha Ikku as a both a comedy and a traveller's guide to the Tokaido, Hizakurige made Ikku's cult heroes Yaji and Kita a household name and spawned both a spin off novel (Zoku Hizakurige) and numerous stage adaptations, covering many forms of Japanese theatre for decades to follow. It took until 1958 for a filmmaker (Yasuki Chiba) to try his hand at adapting Ikku's tome in Yajikita Dochu Sugoroku, but there were no follow ups put into production. Then in 2005, the hippest screenwriter in Japan, Kankuro Kudo, re-invented the characters for his directorial debut, Yaji and Kita: The Midnight Pilgrims, and in a radical contemporary twist, made them gay lovers in a surreal madcap musical that saw the duo travel not only across Japan, but time and space itself. It was very well received, and just two years later another filmmaker has returned to Ikku's literary legacy in Yajikita Dochu Teresuko, this time returning the characters to their traditional roots as older, not so bright, friends on a simple journey across Edo-era Japan.
Yajikita Dochu Teresuko follows Yaji, a widower who lost his wife and son 5 years ago and now pines for popular Shinagawa courtesan, Okino, who takes advantage of his services to swindle cash out of her clients. As her status within her brothel declines, Okino finally decides to make a break for freedom and tricks Yaji into helping by feeding him a story about needing to visit her dying father. Into this misadventure stumbles Kita, a disgraced actor and old friend of Yaji's who has recently botched a famous play in front of a live audience and has become the laugh of the town. Sneaking past the brothel's guards, the trio embark on a journey across Japan in search of Okino's father, stumbling across a succession of colourful characters and unlikely scenarios.
If Kankuro Kudo's take on Yaji and Kita is like a brash, wild youth who roams around doing as it pleases, then Hideyuki Hirayama's Yajikita Dochu Teresuko is its old unpretentious father, dealing with a much older Yaji and Kita and bringing them back to their literary roots. Hirayama's film certainly lacks the flamboyance of Yaji and Kita: The Midnight Pilgrims, but it is a consistently amusing comedy-drama. The main reason for this is the central three characters. Okino is self-centred and devious, but she also brazenly keeps pointing out that this quality is in her job description as a courtesan, in doing so you cannot help but warm to her. As such, she's a great counter-balance to the much simpler Yaji and Kita - who are a loveable a pair of hapless dreamers. Yaji is in lust with Okino, but as the journey progresses we see his feelings run far deeper and conflict with his memories of his wife in the most bittersweet of ways. Kita is for the most the comedy sidekick, disgraced, wallowing in self pity and surrounded by news of his failure, he is an observant and loyal companion for Yaji. His mood swings form the basis of many of the film's funniest scenes and his reaction to alcohol is hilarious. Most importantly, you really feel the old, deep bonds between Yaji and Kita and the growing attachment both men develop towards Okino and vice versa, which lends the film tremendous heart. Like all good road movies, the actual events of the journey are not the driving force behind the film, but the development of the protagonists.
This isn't to say that the incidental meetings and unwitting comic scenarios the trio find themselves in aren't worthwhile, they're very entertaining, but the episodic nature of these scenarios means some are more engaging than others - with the standout being the adventure with a young shape-shifting Tanuki that evokes the traditional myths about the creature to great comic effect. The episodic nature of the narrative ensures the pace of the film is fairly brisk, but when the team arrive in Okino's hometown in the build up to the final act, there's a certain level of contrivance and a rather clichéd diversion into melodrama that reduces the comedy and slows the pace down a bit. In spite of this Yajikita Dochu Teresuko manages to finish strongly and leave hope for a sequel.
The central performances are all excellent. Kyoko Koizumi subtly traverses the different facets (both private and personal) of Okino. Her pride and tricky nature masks the sincerity of her friendship with Yaji and Kita and Koizumi conveys this very effectively with a charming performance. Kanzaburo Nakamura doesn't have many film roles to his credit, but this belies an extremely successful career as a kabuki actor that has made him a household name in his native country. With this in mind, his excellent performance is par the course, imbuing Yaji with tremendous heart and naivete with a nuanced performance. It is Akira Emoto, the veteran character actor and prolific scene-stealer who adds another notch to his belt and steals the film, giving a performance that is both endearingly meek and wildly animated, his face contorting into a series of hilarious grotesqueries when drink turns Kita into a demon. It is an impressively controlled physical performance.
Backing up the cast, director Hideyuki Hirayama takes a restrained approach to the adventure. He dabbles with fantastical elements, but otherwise keeps the story grounded and focussed on simple character interaction and development. This is just as well, given the heritage the characters of Yaji and Kita have in the traditional arts of Japan. Indeed Hirayama embraces this heritage, peppering the film with numerous forms of Japanese theatre and song and dance, as well as a rakugo-esque prologue - all combining to give Yajikita Dochu Teresuko a rich, cultural feel, evoking the vibe of Edo-era entertainment.
And Yajikita Dochu Teresuko is very entertaining, it's a complete change of pace from Yaji and Kita: The Midnight Pilgrims and has no link with that production beyond the use of the same protagonists. It most likely will not garner as much interest from Western fans; who tend to overlook gentle, traditional period comedy films. What a shame that is!
Presented anamorphically at 1.82:1, Yajikita Dochu Teresuko has been lauded with a very strong transfer that features rich, vivid colours that are free from bleeding and barely feature any chroma noise, which combined with the lack of any mosquito noise, is indicative of excellent compression. Likewise contrast and brightness levels are very satisfying, offering a natural, bright image with good shadow detail. The print used is pristine bar the rare tiny black spot, and detail is good but not great, with Edge Enhancement present. The transfer is progressive, but a couple of interlaced frames have snuck in, probably down to incorrect flagging.
On the audio front we have a Japanese DD5.1 track, which sounds rich and pristine. Dialogue is very clear and the bass is resounding, imbuing the track with a very solid sound. Yajikita Dochu Teresuko is mostly dialogue based, with the front stereos and rears used or environmental sound and music, but when needed they kick in with a strong presence and provide a pleasing soundstage with strong dynamics – particularly when it comes to the film's score.
Optional English subtitles are present, with no spelling or grammatical errors that I can recall.
There is no narration on the Making Of feature; instead we get the occasional text title floating on the screen, so the lack of subtitles isn't quite so badly missed. Obviously the nature of watching un-translated footage does mean some episodes are more interesting than others, but you certainly get a good feel for how the film was made, and the episodes can be played individually from the extras menu, so you can break the full diary down into more palatable viewings.
by Matt Shingleton - DVD Times
Customer Review of "Yajikita Dochu Teresuko (DVD) (Standard Edition) (English Subtitled) (Japan Version)"
See all my reviews
June 12, 2008
"Yajikita Dochu Teresuko" (a.k.a. "Three for the Road") is a thoroughly charming and hilarious work of magical realism. The lovely Koizumi Kyoko stars as Okino, who for years has been the most popular and favored courtesan in her brothel. Now, however, a younger woman is taking her best customers and she is being berated by the brothel's madam. Okino wants out, but she must pay a huge amount for her freedom.
To gain her release, she enlists Yaji (Nakamura Kanzaburo), a man secretly besotted with her, to make pastry replicas of her little finger. She sends them to several of her customers, claiming that they actually are her little finger, which she has severed as a sign of her undying devotion to them. The fake pinkie finger is accompanied by a request for money. The scam proves to be less fruitful than Okino had hoped, so she persuades Yaji to help her flee the brothel without paying for her freedom.
Yaji's friend Kita (Emoto Akira) is an incompetent, alcoholic kabuki actor. He ruins a performance of "47 Ronin" by inadvertently stabbing the lead actor. Humiliated and hounded off the stage, Kita decides to take his own life. Can attempted suicide ever be funny? Believe me, you will be guffawing at this inept attempt. Unable to kill himself, Kita decides to join Yaji and Okino to seek a better life elsewhere.
The three misfits set out on the road, with thugs from the brothel in pursuit, and encounter a series of adventures that will have your jaw dropping at the surprises they encounter and your sides hurting from the belly laughs caused by their antics. They inhabit a world in which everyone is scheming against everyone else and the everyday world can turn magical unexpectedly.
I noticed that director Hirayama Hideyuki, early in his career, worked as a second unit director on Itami Juzo's "The Funeral". Hirayama clearly has inherited some of Itami's comic genius. "Three for the Road" is a beautifully made film that tells its delightful story with a rare sweetness of spirit. Your humble reviewer can recommend this film wholeheartedly.