Following the collapse of his clan, an unemployed samurai (Ran's Tatsuya Nakadai) arrives at the manor of Lord Iyi, begging to commit ritual suicide on his property. Iyi's clansmen, believing the desperate ronin is merely angling for a new position, try to force him to eviscerate himselfâ€” but they have underestimated his beliefs and his personal brand of honor. Winner of the 1963 Cannes Film Festival's Special Jury Prize, Harakiri, directed by Masaki Kobayashi (The Human Condition) is a fierce evocation of individual agency in the face of a corrupt and hypocritical system.
Factory sealed DVD
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After more than a decade of sober political dramas and social-minded period pieces, the great Japanese director Masaki Kobayashi (The Human Condition) shifted gears dramatically for this rapturously stylized quartet of ghost stories. Featuring colorfully surreal sets and luminous cinematography, these haunting tales of demonic comeuppance and spiritual trials, adapted from writer Lafcadio Hearnâ€™s collections of Japanese folklore, are existentially frightening and meticulously crafted. This version of Kwaidan is the original three-hour cut, never before released in the United States. BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES â€¢ New 2K digital restoration of director Masaki Kobayashiâ€™s original cut, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack â€¢ Audio commentary by film historian Stephen Prince â€¢ Interview from 1993 with Kobayashi, conducted by filmmaker Masahiro Shinoda â€¢ New interview with assistant director Kiyoshi Ogasawara â€¢ New piece about author Lafcadio Hearn, on whose versions of Japanese folk tales Kwaidan is based â€¢ Trailers â€¢ New English subtitle translation â€¢ PLUS: An essay by critic Geoffrey Oâ€™Brien
The 15th-century Russian icon painter renounces his art after taking part in a peasant uprising. Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky. At last, the complete version of Andrei Tarkovski's 1966 masterpiece about the great 15th century Russian icon painter (a film suppressed by the Soviet Union and unseen until 1971) is available. It's a complex and demanding narrative about the responsibility of the artist to participate in history rather than documenting it from a safe distance. A landmark in Russian cinema, Andrei Rublev is a beautifully lyrical black-and-white film about harmony and soulful expression. As the late filmmaker says in a supplementary interview, each generation must experience life for itself; it cannot simply absorb what has preceded it. In fact, a whole host of supplements accompanies the film in this Criterion Collection release. Stick with it; it's worth the effort. --Bill Desowitz
Manufacturer: Criterion Collection
Brand: CRITERION COLLECTIONS
Color: black & white
Toshiro Mifune (Seven Samurai) is unforgettable as Kingo Gondo, a wealthy industrialist whose family becomes the target of a cold-blooded kidnapper in High and Low (Tengoku to jigoku), the highly influential domestic drama and police procedural from director Akira Kurosowa (Rashomon). Adapting Ed McBainâ€™s detective novel "Kingâ€™s Ransom", Kurosawa moves effortlessly from compelling race-against-time thriller to exacting social commentary, creating a diabolical treatise on class and contemporary Japanese society.
Luca Zingaretti, Katharina Bohm, Cesare Bocci. Based on the international best-selling mystery novels by Andrea Camilleri, Detective Salvo Montalbano uses his personal intuition as a valuable tool to shake down the likes of criminals who share a common denominator-they all come from Sicily. Includes The Snack Thief," The Voice of the Violin" and The Shape of Water." 3 episodes on 3 DVDs. In Italian with English subtitles. 1999-2000/color/5 hrs., 30 min/NR/widescreen.
(In Danish with English Subtitles) In this second season of Denmark's blockbuster political drama, BORGEN, we continue to follow the country's first female Prime Minister, Birgitte Nyborg, her cynical spin doctor, Kasper Juul, the ambitious journalist, Katrine FÃ¸nsmark and her more seasoned colleague, Hanne Holm. Birgitte has been Denmark's Prime Minister for two years - years that have taken their toll on her private life. She must now balance her role as PM with that of divorced single mother of two. Politically, she has succeeded in earning the respect of her allies and enemies in Parliament, but tensions between parties are growing. Denmark's participation in international wars as well as certain central domestic policy issues are fracturing coalitions in parliament, and forcing Birgitte to make increasingly questionable compromises. The mounting pressure causes her to doubt whether she can maintain both her position and her integrity. A castle (borgen) imprisons and excludes; it also protects. Borgen is the story of a castle that houses parliament, a self-contained universe with its own laws and unwritten rules.
IN DANISH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES Borgen is a modern Danish political drama about the personal costs of the struggle for power for the people at the center of the political world and the media. In this third and final season of Borgen, Birgitte Nyborg (Sidse Babett Knudsen) is a very different person than the confident prime minister who spoke at the lectern in parliament. She is no longer prime minister. It has been two and a half years since she called an election in which she failed to win the required number of seats to maintain the existing government. She has since left politics and is now a highly-paid speaker in the business world. During a talk she is holding for yet another group of Danish businesspeople, it all suddenly becomes too much for her. She can no longer brush off the recurring question of what she would do if she were Prime Minister.
Manufacturer: Kino Lorber films
Brand: Kino Video
One of Andrei Tarkovsky(Solaris, The Sacrifice) most acclaimed films, Stalker is an unforgettable film experience that evokes the spiritual lucidity of Carl Dreyer and the unbridled imagination of Philip K. Dick. Since its release in 1979, Stalker has inspired filmmakers as diverse as David Lynch and Steven Spielberg and ensnared audiences in a labyrinth of striking imagery revealing the familiar in the strange, the poetic in the disturbing and the mythic in the mordant. In the near future, an unseen alien force has taken possession of an area of Russian wilderness that authorities, have dubbed The Zone. The only thing known for sure about the region is that few who enter it ever return. Led by a Stalker one of a small group of outlaws able to safely navigate the Zone, a renegade scientist and a cynical, burnt out writer penetrate the dangers outside in search of the power and transcendence rumored to exist inside. The Stalker longs to un-do a mysterious physical transformation the Zone has performed on his young daughter. The scientist will risk anything to see that reason triumphs over faith. The writer seeks a germ of inspiration that the crumbling and corrupt world beyond the Zone no longer provides. Together, these three men become desperate pilgrims walking a desolate trail leading to one of the most enigmatic and tantalizing endings in the history of cinema. A haunting and honest meditation on the intersections of science, feeling, and faith.Stalker is both profound...