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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Show Business > Japan > A Tale Of Sorrow (1977/Cinema Epoch DVD)

A Tale Of Sorrow (1977/Cinema Epoch DVD)


Picture: D†††† Sound: C+†††† Extras: C†††† Film: B-



A magazine company needing a new star for their cover takes a beautiful model and trains her to be the next champion golfer in Seijun Suzukiís A Tale Of Sorrow. After much grueling and training, her hard work pays off and she becomes an instant overnight star, but that is when the tragedy starts. Even with fame, money and power it replaces the life she had before, to remain a star she gives her life to showbiz and has no control over her life.Even with greater success she is hounded by those who envy her and uses her for their own benefits, especially when she is stalked by her new 'neighbor'.


This is a film made in the late 1970s; it shows the rise and fall of a tragic young woman.It shows how a corporation uses stardom in a competitive world. A beautiful model is offered the chance become a new star, tempted by fame, fortune, money and sex she sets on the path to success. But upon succeeding even with all her fortunes, she becomes more a slave to them instead; she becomes what others want and is forced to do what others ask. This becomes a dangerous game when an obsessed female fan blackmails her to become her so called 'friend', not able to even decide or choose she soon heads down a path of ruin...


The costuming, style and drama is very reflective of the 1970s time period and inadvertently gives a very retro feel the entire film. This film is a reflective of the Japanese drama of how stardom doesn't always lead to happiness. It shows how money isn't everything and can't buy everything, and how innocence is lost as one matures. The main character even with fame and fortune is considered tragic because her hard won fame and fortune attracted those who would leech off her and eventually see her more as 'tool' than a person.


I was not happy with the transfer of the image, but it turns out even the Seijun Suzuki DVDs from Criterion (Tokyo Drifter and Branded To Kill) have transfer and print issues, so this is a much larger problem than anything to do with Cinema Epoch, who must be happy to get any Suzuki film out on DVD like any company in their right mind would.Oddly, the Dolby Digital 2.0 sound here is better than the Criterion films and not just because it is newer.Instead, the Criterions are Dolby 1.0 Mono and two of their earliest DVDs, so fans will be happy about that.The only extras are a Michael Den Boer essay and the original theatrical trailer.



-†† Ricky Chiang


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