The colossally popular Zatoichi films make up the longest-running action series in Japanese history and created one of the screenâ€™s great heroes: an itinerant blind masseur who also happens to be a lightning-fast swordsman. As this iconic figure, the charismatic and earthy Shintaro Katsu became an instant superstar, lending a larger-than-life presence to the thrilling adventures of a man who lives staunchly by a code of honor and delivers justice in every town and village he enters. The films that feature him are variously pulse-pounding, hilarious, stirring, and completely off-the-wall. This deluxe set features the string of twenty-five Zatoichi films made between 1962 and 1973, collected in one package for the first time.
Factory sealed DVD
Product Information Specifications for Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray + DVD) Below:
Russian filmmaker Alexander Sokurov (THE SUN) broke boundaries with his dreamlike vision of the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russian Ark. It's the first feature-length narrative film shot in a single take (on digital video, using a specially designed disc instead of tape). Russian Ark is shot from the point-of-view of an unseen narrator, as he explores the museum and travels through Russian history. The audience sees through his eyes as he witnesses Peter the Great (Maksim Sergeyev) abusing one of his generals; Catherine the Great (Maria Kuznetsova) desperately searching for a bathroom; and, in the grand finale, the sumptuous Great Royal Ball of 1913. The narrator is eventually joined by a sarcastic and eccentric 19th century French Marquis (Sergey Dreiden), who travels with him throughout the huge grounds, encountering various historical figures and viewing the legendary artworks on display. While the narrator only interacts with the Marquis (he seems to be invisible to all the other inhabitants), the Marquis occasionally interacts with visitors and former residents of the museum. The film was obviously shot in one day, but the cast and crew rehearsed for months to time their movements precisely with the flow of the camera while capturing the complex narrative, with elaborate costumes from different periods, and several trips out to the exterior of the museum. Tilman BÃ¼ttner, the director of photography, was responsible for capturing it all in one single Steadicam shot. T...
In the Realm of the Senses (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
Manufacturer: Criterion Collection
Brand: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Still censored in its own country, In the Realm of the Senses (Ai no corrida), by Japanese director Nagisa Oshima, remains one of the most controversial films of all time. A graphic portrayal of insatiable sexual desire, Oshima's film, set in 1936 and based on a true incident, depicts a man and a woman (Tatsuya Fuji and Eiko Matsuda) consumed by a transcendent, destructive love while living in an era of ever escalating imperialism and governmental control. Less a work of pornography than of politics, In the Realm of the Senses is a brave, taboo-breaking milestone.SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES: New, restored high-definition digital transfer with uncompressed monaural soundtrackNew audio commentary with film scholar Tony RaynsNew interview with actor Tatsuya FujiA 1976 interview with director Nagisa Oshima and actors Fuji and Eiko Matsuda, and a 2003 program featuring interviews with consulting producer Hayao Shibata, line producer, Koji Wakamatsu, assistant director Yoichi Sai, and film distributor Yoko AsakuraDeleted footageU.S. trailerNew and improved English subtitle translationPLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by Japanese film scholar Donald Richie and a reprinted interview with Oshima
Winner of both the Academy Award for best foreign-language film and the Cannes Film Festivalâ€™s Palme dâ€™Or, Marcel Camusâ€™ Black Orpehus (Orfeu negro) brings the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice to the twentieth-century madness of Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. With its eye-popping photography and ravishing, epochal soundtrack, Black Orpehus was a cultural event, kicking off the bossa nova craze that set hi-fis across America spinning. Blame it on the bossa nova. French director Marcel Camus created an international sensation, and a craze for all things Brazilian, when he released Black Orpheus in 1959. Black Orpheus, based on a play by Vinicius de Moraes, is a valentine to Rio, Carnaval, and the infectious sounds of salsa and the then-just-emerging sultry bossa nova. When it was released, despite having won the Palme d'Or at Cannes, Black Orpheus had not been widely known, but after it won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, audiences worldwide sparked to its joyous cinematography and unforgettable soundtrack. Much as Leonard Bernstein did two years later with Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story, Camus takes a centuries-old tale of love and doom, the Greek legend of Orpheus, and sets it in modern times, against an unforgettable musical backdrop. The actors are all splendid, including Breno Mello making his screen debut as Orfeo, a streetcar conductor musician with an untamed heart. The American-born Marpessa Dawn, who had been acting in Franc...
Manufacturer: ANCHOR BAY
Brand: TCFHE/ANCHOR BAY/STARZ
One Of The Most Controversial Film Series Of All TimeNow Available For The First Time In AmericaIn 2000, director Kinji Fukasaku unleashed BATTLE ROYALE, his violently poetic epic about an innocent group of Junior High students forced by the government to hunt and kill their classmates for sport. It was nominated for 10 Japanese Academy Awards, launched a global phenomenon, and banned from screens by frightened civic groups and distributors across America. Three years later, the equally disturbing sequel -- featuring a new class, new rules, and a brutal terrorist plot by the first film's young survivors -- triggered its own tragic firestorm around the world. Now for the first time ever, you can see it all: Experience the entire BATTLE ROYALE saga on 4 discs -- including more than 3 hours of definitive Special Features -- that forever blasts open one of the most potent, shocking and savagely influential sagas in motion picture history. ''My favorite movie of the last 20 yearsâ€¦I wish I had made this movie.'' - Quentin Tarantino''If you love The Hunger Games, Battle Royale sets the stage. One of the best - and most violent - genre films ever made. It's also a hell of a lot of fun.'' - Entertainment Weekly
Manufacturer: Alliance Atlantis
Brand: Buena Vista Home Video
Cheered by critics and audiences everywhere, IL POSTINO (THE POSTMAN) is the record-breaking Academy Award(R)-winning (Best Dramatic Score, 1995) romantic comedy that delivers heartfelt laughs! Mario is a bumbling mailman who's madly in love with the most beautiful woman in town ... and who's too shy to tell her how he feels. But when a world-famous poet -- Pablo Neruda -- moves into town, Mario is inspired. With Neruda's help, he finds the right words to win the woman's heart! This unforgettably funny comedy proves that passion ... with some artful deception ... can win the most improbable love!