And another Battle Royale has come to an end. You were asked to make your choice between two Japanese cinema giants - Yasujiro Ozu and Akira Kurosawa. Now, as some have told me, perhaps this is an unfair fight, for Kurosawa is so well known throughout the world, while Ozu is not nearly as famous in the West. Maybe an Ozu vs. Mizoguchi fight would have been a better choice - a fairer fight. But alas, 'twas not to be. This is Ozu vs. Kurosawa, and since, I am assuming now, that most of my so-called fan base (if one can call it that without sounding too egotistical) are of the more cinephiliac bent, there should be no one claiming to not knowing the work of Ozu. And let's face it, anyone who likes cinema, should be well aware of the works of Yasujiro Ozu, and if they are not, then shame on them. But I digress. Let us get on with the results of this supposedly slanted tenth Battle Royale.
Of course, perhaps the preceding paragraph was merely just a way to more easily break it to all those Ozu fans and voters out there, that there boy lost the fight. Yep, that's right fight fans, Kurosawa beat out his mentor and champion, by a cool four votes. With 46 votes being cast (and yes, that number could and should be higher), the man who gave the world Seven Samurai (a film in my personal top ten btw) beat out the man who gave that same world Tokyo Story (not in my top ten, but still a great work of art), by a score of 25 to 21, or 54% to 46%, if you will. Perhaps this is due to more people - more voters - being familiar with the works of Kurosawa over Ozu. Perhaps not. My vote went to Kurosawa, but that's just me. I'm a fan of Keisuke Kinoshita after all, and no one knows who that is. Anyway, congrats to AK and all that. Let's talk about that aforementioned rather weak voter turnout this time around. Pathetic even.
So far, in Battle Royale history, our best turnout was the Battle of the Hollywood Hoofers, where Astaire took down Kelly, 34 to 32. For those of you unskilled in basic math (and that is probably me a lot of the time), that is 66 votes cast, way back in our second battle. Godard and Truffaut almost matched that, when they pulled in 64 votes in their battle, which, incidentally, was won by Godard, 34 to 30. But other than those two rounds, voter turnout has been mostly in the fortysomething range, even dipping as low as a mere 28 when De Havilland took on her sister, Fontaine, and lost 15 to 13. So my question, ladies and germs, is where the hell are all my voters!? I know those classic and foreign film cinephiles are out there in cyberspace somewhere. Must I pit Adam Sandler against Will Ferrell to get people to notice? Clooney vs. Pitt? Edward vs. Jacob!? Now, even though I dig both Clooney and Pitt (my vote goes to Brad), and watch as much modern cinema as I do classic, I am not going to do that with the Battle Royale. No sirree. I will stick with the classics of cinema.
That being said, the goal, as I have been saying since almost the beginning, is to get those votes into the triple digits. I know we can do it people. I know we can. But such an argument is null and void right now, since this Battle Royale is over and the next one will not be appearing until March 1st. Why March 1st, you ask? I will tell you. As I am sure you have noticed, I have an Oscar poll running right now (unless you happen to be reading this more than a month after I have written it, then this whole thing is pretty much null and void) and since I do not want competing polls, Battle Royale will not return until after the Oscars. So March 1st it is - and this one is going to be a real battle of the sexes. Oh yeah, and get prepared to vote and making all your friends vote as well, because we are getting that vote count well into the triple digits, baby! Until then, have fun.