Film of the Day: YOJIMBO (1961)

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Yojimbo (1961), directed by Akira Kurosawa.

Another film that stumped nearly everyone at our film quiz last Monday was the samurai classic, Yojimbo. The question was in relation to the fact that Sergio Leone’s classic spaghetti western is an unofficial remake of this film – a fact that no-one seemed to know.

A-fistful-of-yojimboWide and low-angle shots showing just the head and torso of the protagonist – the famous Man With No Name – is just the beginning of all the possible points of comparison, not least of all being the plot. The Man With No Name (so-called, not necessarily because he remains nameless, so much as because he enters the site of action as an outsider, unrecognised and mistrusted; his past and origins a mystery; his intentions unknown), a ronin called Sanjuro (in Dollars called Joe) enters a town divided by, and in the clutches of, two rival gangs.

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He quickly assesses the situation and decides the town would be better off if both gangs were wiped out.

yojimTo this end he hires himself out as a master swordsman, first to the leader of one gang and then, later, to the other, all the while manipulating both and causing fatalities on both sides until, ultimately, he is the last one standing, leaving the town free.

zatoichi-meets-yojimbo_05pBeautiful cinematography, music and mise-en-scene mark this as one of Kurosawa’s finest achievements and amongst his most influential films. But it is also not surprising that it led to the fantastic homage that is A Fistful of Dollars. In fact, Kurosawa himself was much influenced by American cinema and was particularly taken with westerns as a genre, a fact that is obvious in Yojimbo. So really, Sergio Leone just brings the whole thing full circle from western gunslinger to Japanese ronin to western gunslinger: Hamburger western to udon western to spaghetti western.

Slurp!

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posted by Dixie Turner

RE Quiz Night

I hope you have all recovered from last night’s dizzying triumphs and dashing defeats – and pints. I feel alive-ish and I only had 2, which is sad in so many ways…

ANYWAY. A huge thank you to everyone who came along to our first ever quiz night. It was really special to see so many of you outside of the context of the shop, which was really one of the main reasons for doing it. After so many years of standing on opposite sides of the counter it seemed obvious to reach out a little more – to show ourselves, but also to show you to each other and pull some of those invisible walls down a little. This seems especially important in the digital age where increasingly we all have so many remote interactions – looking each other in the eye, saying your name and sharing a few ideas about something is something to be cherished more and more, and something worth fighting to preserve and therefore something worth SHOUTING ABOUT… even if it is only in the form of random questions about Jayne Mansfield’s love life.

WHICH BRINGS ME (ceremoniously) BACK TO THE QUIZ.

Thank you also to all those of you who aren’t members/customers of ours who came along and chanced your luck. And obviously, a huge thank you to everyone at The Uxbridge Arms for being such fantastic hosts.

SO, ON TO THE ANSWERS:

VC (young Actors)

1) Jean Reno

2) Anthony Hopkins

3) Sean Connery

4) Marilyn Monroe

5) Sharon Stone

6) Christopher Walken

7) Renee Zellweger

8) George Clooney

9) Richard Gere

10) Woody Allen

***

ROUND 2.

YOU AGAIN? Remakes Round:

1) In 1962’s Cape Fear, Gregory Peck and Robert Mitchum played opposite each other as a lawyer and a convicted rapist respectively. The film was remade in 1991 starring which two actors in these same roles? THIS QUESTION IS WORTH TWO POINTS, ONE FOR EACH CORRECT NAME

A: NICK NOLTE & ROBERT DE NIRO

2) Spaghetti western classic, A Fistful of Dollars, is an unofficial remake of which 1961 Kurosawa film?

A: YOJIMBO

3) Freaky Friday from 2003 was a family comedy about a mother and daughter who switch bodies. Which Oscar-winning actress played Lindsay Lohan’s character in the 1976 original?

A: JODIE FOSTER

4) The remake of Carrie has just opened in the cinemas with Julianne Moore playing Carrie’s mother. Who played this role in the original 1976 film and who directed it? THIS QUESTION IS WORTH TWO POINTS, ONE FOR EACH CORRECT NAME

A: PIPER LAURIE & BRIAN DE PALMA

5) The Talented Mr Ripley starred Matt Damon as Tom Ripley, but who played this part in the original French film from 1960?

A: ALAIN DELON

6) 2004’s Manchurian Candidate starred Denzel Washington as Ben Marco. Which blue-eyed star  played this role in the 1962 version?

A: FRANK SINATRA

7) Let Me In is an American film about two children – one of which is a vampire – who befriend one another. What was the name of the original 2008 Swedish version?

A: LET THE RIGHT ONE IN

8) Ocean’s 11 from 2001 starred Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Matt Damon. The 1960 version features Sammy Davis Jr, Frank Sinatra, Joey Bishop, Dean Martin and Peter Lawford who together were known as the what?

A: RAT PACK

9) City of Angels starring Nicholas Cage as an angel who falls in love with the mortal Meg Ryan, is a remake of which 1987 Wim Wenders film?

A: WINGS OF DESIRE

10) Michael Haneke directed the Austrian film, Funny Games in 1997. Who directed the English language remake from 2007?

A: MICHAEL HANEKE

***

Round 3.

Drowning by Numbers

For each question we’re looking for the film title that includes the question number
e.g. The answer to question one could be 101 Dalmatians

1) What One was an Oscar-winning documentary about the Munich Olympics
directed by Kevin MacDonald?

A: ONE DAY IN SEPTEMBER

2) What Two is a cockney gangster flick featuring an early appearance by the man
now known as ‘The Stath’?

A: LOCK STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS

3) What Three suggests a modern child-rearing method involving a single infant
and multiple dads?

A: THREE MEN AND A BABY

4) What Four is the first appearance of Antoine Doinel, a young tearaway frozen
in time by François Truffaut?

A: 400 BLOWS (Les quatre cents coups)

5) What Five is a story of romance in reverse directed by François Ozon?

A: 5X2

6) What Six featured Will Smith, who apparently refused to kiss a man despite
playing a gay character?

A: SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION

7) What Seven has Toshiro Mifune wielding a sword in a Kurosawa classic?

A: SEVEN SAMURAI

8) What Eight chronicled a zombie attack in London?

A: 28 DAYS LATER

9) What Nine is a classic British Hitchcock thriller later adapted into a stage
show?

A: 39 STEPS

10) What Ten is the Palme d’Or nominated film by Abbas Kiarostami?

A: TEN

***

VC poster round

1) Apocalypse Now

2) Vertigo

3) Cabaret

4) Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark

5) Rosemary’s Baby

6) Sherlock Jr.

7) Tootsie

8) Harold and Maude

9) Bicycle Thieves

10) Sunset Boulevard

***

Round 3.

Taglines.

1) Which road movie, starring Bridget Fonda’s dad, has the tagline: “A man went looking for America and couldn’t find it anywhere.” ?

A: EASY RIDER

2) Which film, by the director of Knocked Up, has the tagline: “The longer you wait, the harder it gets”?

A: 40 YEAR-OLD VIRGIN

3) Before the ‘bitch came back’, she featured in which 1979 film with the tagline: “In space, no-one can hear you scream”?

A: ALIEN

4) Which film, directed by Tim Burton, has the tagline: “His story will touch you, even though he can’t.”?

A: EDWARD SCISSORHANDS

5) Which transformative ’80s sci-fi has the tagline: “Be afraid. Be very afraid”?

A: THE FLY

6) Which unfortunate buddy movie, starring Angelina Jolie’s dad, has the tagline: “This is the weekend they didn’t play golf.”?

A: DELIVERANCE

7) Which Spielberg film, co-starring Francois Truffaut, has the tagline: “We are not alone.”?

A:  CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND

8) Which classic comedy with the tagline “Does for rock and roll what ‘The Sound of Music’ did for hills” taught us to ‘go to 11’?

A: THIS IS SPINAL TAP

9) Diane Keaton’s real surname features in the title of which film with the tagline “A nervous romance.”?

A: ANNIE HALL

10) Which Coen Brothers film has the tagline “Her life was in their hands. Now her toe is in the mail.”?

A: BIG LEBOWSKI

***

Round 6.

Some questions about on-set romance…

1) Brangelina became forever fused during the making of which forgettable action
comedy?

A: MR AND MRS SMITH

2) Tim Burton has a thing for monkeys, which on-set monkey became his off-screen
love?

A: HELENA BONHAM CARTER

3) On the set of which of their movies did Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton’s epic
affair begin?

A: CLEOPATRA

4) Emma Stone fell for which spandex clad leading man?

A: ANDREW GARFIELD

5) Shortly after filming which picture did Paul Newman divorce his wife Jackie Witte
to go on to marry his co-star Joanne Woodward?

A: THE LONG HOT SUMMER

6) John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands met whilst studying at the American Academy
of Dramatic Arts in New York, but which was the first film they made together?

A: FACES

7) Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall’s love blossomed on the set of which Howard
Hawks film?

A: TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT

8) Jayne Mansfield met her fella Mickey Hargitay when he was working as an on stage
muscle man for which wise cracking Hollywood comedienne?

A: MAE WEST

9) Luc Besson and Milla Jovovich had an intergalactic romance during the making of
which movie?

A: THE FIFTH ELEMENT

10) What did Johnny Depp have his “Winona Forever” tattoo amended to read
following his break up from Winona Ryder?

A: WINO FOREVER

***

So concludes the quiz. Hope you all had a good time!

x

VCFLYER

posted by Dixie Turner

VC Quiz Flyer image by Dixie Turner

QUIZ NIGHT IS UPON US! TONIGHT!

For one night only, staff at Video City are being let out into the big wide world..! Will our eyes comprehend the world beyond the shop door? After years of sleepless nights, counting cards and filing them alphabetically (endless, endless cards!) what will we make of… THE PUB? What will the pub make of us?? Come and revel in this spectacle, come and behold VIDEO CITY QUIZ NIGHT! Point and laugh at us, test your knowledge, have a drink, warm yourself by the roaring fire and maybe even win a prize!

TONIGHT!!!!

VC Film quiz

posted by Dixie Turner

FIRST EVER VIDEO CITY FILM QUIZ – Coming really quite soon…

VC Film quiz

We’re hosting our first ever film quiz!

Come to the pub, bring some friends, have a drink, have a laugh, answer a few questions, maybe even win a prize!

As we love films and suspect you quite like them too, then what better way to pass a couple of hours on a winters eve than a FILM QUIZ in the beautiful Uxbridge Arms?

Plus, we thought since we’ve gotten to know you over the years – your names, addresses, the films you like, what you do, the names of your kids, your pets, which books you read, the arguments you have and what you’re having for dinner – then you might like to get to know us AND maybe even each other… Or just come and share a drink – or a warm fire – AND TEST YOUR FILM KNOWLEDGE!

Just turn up – teams (if you have them) will be registered at the time.

HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE

x

ANNOUNCEMENT: VIDEO CITY FILM QUIZ

COMING SOON TO A PUB NEAR US…

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YES, THE FIRST EVER ROYAL VIDEO CITY GALA MARATHON AWARDS AKA

YE OLDE PUB FILM QUIZ

MONDAY 2ND DECEMBER 2013 AT THE UXBRIDGE ARMS,

13 Uxbridge St, London W8 7TQ (BEHIND THE SHOP).

TIME AND DETAILS TO FOLLOW.

WATCH THIS SPACE

CLOSELY.