The choice isn’t hard on which version of Gekidan Shinkansen’s Fortress of Skulls is worth watching. The one now playing across Canada at select cinemas is shorter.
In select theatres Jan 26 and Jan 28 across Canada (ticket link)
Anyone who doesn’t want to watch the nearly three-hour version of Gekidan Shinkansen’s Fortress of Skulls (Wind mix) on Netflix now has an option! This gorgeous production has been edited down to a tighter work, and it’s now playing across Canada at select cinemas.
This theatre company delivers quite the experience when you can see one of their shows live. There, the seating moves with the action (more on this later), but for others going to see it at a movie theatre, the performance has a different feel. While we don’t get the sensation of the stage in motion, we will be assaulted with other terrific bits to make us feel like we’re in the play’s environment. Not only do we get a rousing score that blends rock and roll with traditional music, but also find the lighting design is straight out of a heavy metal concert.
Many cameras are used to track the action with this updated take. One is locked off to frame the entire stage, and the rest are located at strategic spots to nail specific instances, and rest roaming one to nail close-ups. Had this been aired live, the director has to be on his A game to call the camera change. With up to twenty that can be used in total, that’s a lot!
Taping live theatre performances is one thing, but to capture the nuance that defines song, dance and drama through the lens of a video camera requires having the eye to make the show as mesmerizing as attending one.
By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
Fantasia Film Festival 2021 Available to watch On Demand Tickets can be purchased here
Nakamura Kazutaro and Onoe Ukon knew that when the pandemic hit, not every citizen of Japan could partake in watching Kabuki theatre. There are other forms of entertainment, but some cultural events would have to reinvent themselves if it’s to survive. Taping live theatre performances is one thing, but to capture the nuance that defines song, dance and drama through the lens of a video camera requires having the eye to make the show as mesmerizing as attending one. And thus, Art Kabuki was born.
The story we find has to enthral and even captivate. The first segment, “The Descent of the Four Gods” connects the heavens with the mortal realm as these divine forces get rather curious about our human affairs. Much like early Greek theatre, where gods are said to intermingle in the lives of humans and are part of the show, this Asian world takes a novel approach.