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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 12:22 pm 
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The Ballad of Narayama

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Cinematic anthropologist extraordinaire Shōhei Imamura won his first Palme d’Or at the 1983 Cannes Film Festival for The Ballad of Narayama [Narayama bushikō], his transcendent adaptation of two classic stories by Shichirō Fukazawa.

In a small village in a remote valley where the harshness of life dictates that survival overrules compassion, elderly widow Orin is approaching her 70th birthday – the age when village law says she must go up to the mythic Mount Narayama to die. But there are several loose ends within her own family to tie up first.

Creating a vividly realised inverse image of “civilised” society with typical directness and black humour, Imamura presents a bracingly unsentimental rumination on mortality and an engrossing study of a community’s struggles against the natural elements. Handled with a masterful control and simplicity, moving effortlessly between the comic and the horrific, The Ballad of Narayama is one of the legendary director’s deepest, richest works, and ranks among the finest films of its decade. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present the film’s first UK home viewing release in a new Dual Format Blu-ray + DVD edition.

DUAL FORMAT RELEASE INCLUDING BLU-RAY AND DVD VERSIONS OF THE FILM

• New, restored high-definition transfer
• New and improved English subtitle translation
• Exclusive new 20-minute video interview with scholar Tony Rayns
• Four original Japanese theatrical trailers, including behind-the-scenes footage
• PLUS: A 44-page full-colour booklet containing a 1983 director’s statement by Shôhei Imamura; a newly translated 1983 interview with Imamura conducted by Max Tessier; the newly translated production diary for the film kept by producer Jirô Tomoda; a wide selection of rare production stills; and facsimile imagery from the film’s original Japanese press book.


Last edited by swo17 on Wed Sep 07, 2011 3:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 5:45 pm 

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Amazon pre-order


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 8:49 am 

Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2011 4:17 pm
On the 27 films and documentaries account the Director, 16 was edited on DvD or B-D (two in France) :

- 11'09''01 - September 11 (Segment) (2002) DvD First Run Features
- Warm Water Under a Red Bridge aka Akai hashi no shita no nurui mizu (2001) Wision et DeltaMac DvD
- Dr. Akagi aka Kanzo sensei (1998) DvD Kino Video et Studio Canal
- L'anguille aka Unagi (1997) DvD Films sans Frontieres
- Pluie Noire aka Kuroi ame (1989) DvD Films sans Frontieres
- The Ballad of Narayama aka Narayama bushikō (1983) DvD et B-D MoC
- Eijanaika (1981) DvD MK2
- Vengeance Is Mine aka Fukushû suru wa ware ni ari (1979) DvD Criterion, MoC et MK2 + B-D MoC
- Pirates of Buban aka Bubuan no KAizuko (Doc.) DvD Choses Vues (France)
- Profound Desires of the Gods aka Kamigami no Fukaki Yokubo (1968) DvD et B-D MoC
- A Man Vanishes aka Ningen jōhatsu (Doc.) (1967) DvD MoC et Choses Vues (France)
- The Pornographers aka Erogotoshi-tachi yori: Jinruigaku nyûmon (1966) DvD Criterion
- Intentions of Murder aka Akai satsui (1964) DvD Criterion
- The Insect Woman aka Nippon konchûki (1963) DvD Criterion
- Pigs and Battleships aka Buta to gunkan (1961) DvD Criterion et B-D MoC
- Stolen Desire aka Nusumareta yokujo (1958) DvD et B-D MoC

4 films and 7 documentaries was not edited. And 6 should be re-edited by MoC or Criterion.

- Zegen (87)
- Still in search of unreturned soldiers aka Zoku Mikikanhei o Otte 3 (Doc.)
- The Making of a Prostitute aka Karayuki-sanThe Making of a Prostitute (Doc.) (73) -- Muhomatsu returns home aka Muhomatsu Kokyo ni Kaeru (Doc.) (73)
- I want to go far away, my Shimokita aka Toku e Ikitai; Ore no Shimokita (Doc.) (72)
- In Search of unreturned soldiers 2 - Thailand aka Mikikanhei o Otte 2 (Doc.) (71) -- Search of unreturned soldiers aka Mikikanhei o Otte (Doc.) (71)
- History of Postwar Japan as Told by a Bar Hostess aka Nippon Sengoshi : Madamu onboro no Seikatsu (Doc.) (70)
- My Second Brother aka Nianchan (59) -- Lights of Night aka Nishi Ginza ekimae (59)
- Endless Desire aka Hateshinaki yokubô (58)

http://www.cinemasie.com/fr/fiche/perso ... urashohei/

MoC contributes to achieving a dream! Thank's


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 5:08 am 
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To banish any possible confusion, I assume you're using the word 'edited' in the French rather than the English sense - i.e. "releasing an edition of" rather than "cutting or otherwise altering"?


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 6:02 am 

Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2011 4:17 pm
Yes it's mean "releasing an edition of". Sorry for my bad english I am French :s


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 8:02 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2011 4:33 pm
Akrocine, regarding your list above, don't forget that Narayama and Black Rain have also been released in the US by Animeigo in good editions, as well as The Eel by New Yorker Films (now OOP) and Dr Akagi by Kino (OOP), and Warm Water in the UK by Tartan (also OOP). Its a shame the last 3 are OOP now, though apparently The Eel is being released next year in the UK by Artificial Eye.

I'd love to see Eijanaika. Can you tell us if the French MK2 release has English subtitles? From a check on Amazon France is seems it's only been released in a set with Vengeance Is Mine. That's unfortunate, as I have Vengeance, but if Eijanaika is a great edition with English subs I'd get it anyway.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:49 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2006 2:24 pm
New Yorker's edition of The Eel was fucking terrible. The best I've seen first hand was the Korean DVD.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:51 pm 
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The Australian DVD of Eel looked much better than the US release.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 5:20 am 
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The Hong Kong one looked dreadful. If I remember rightly, it had some of the worst edge enhancement I've ever seen.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:41 pm 
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Did any of these releases include the 'complete' cut of the film? (134 minutes, see here). The only release outside of Japan (this DVD) that I'm personally aware of which contains the aforementioned cut is an Italian DVD, which looks pretty terrible, and does not include English subs. I'm hoping someone will release this cut (or both in one package, but that's probably too much to ask) in an English-friendly edition, but it looks unlikely. I'm guessing AE's new edition will be the 117 minute cut.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:52 pm 
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I think the Australian Madman release is 134 minutes long. I believe it used Shochiku's digitally restored version.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 1:00 pm 
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Michael Kerpan wrote:
I think the Australian Madman release is 134 minutes long. I believe it used Shochiku's digitally restored version.

If that's the case, I'll go ahead and purchase that edition. I had refrained and was planning to wait for the cheaper AE instead, just to own an edition with likely decent PQ, since Madman's website lists the runtime as 117 minutes. Though, I wonder if the AE might use the same materials as the Madman?

Edit: With a quick search, I found a couple of websites which confirm that the runtime of the Madman is indeed 134 minutes (though the case apparently says 146). It never occurred to me to research further since I assumed Madman's own website would have the most accurate info! Odd, though, that there is apparently no PAL speedup. Anyway, thanks, Michael!


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 1:41 pm 
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zeroism wrote:
Michael Kerpan wrote:
I think the Australian Madman release is 134 minutes long. I believe it used Shochiku's digitally restored version.

If that's the case, I'll go ahead and purchase that edition. I had refrained and was planning to wait for the cheaper AE instead, just to own an edition with likely decent PQ, since Madman's website lists the runtime as 117 minutes. Though, I wonder if the AE might use the same materials as the Madman?

Edit: With a quick search, I found a couple of websites which confirm that the runtime of the Madman is indeed 134 minutes (though the case apparently says 146). It never occurred to me to research further since I assumed Madman's own website would have the most accurate info! Odd, though, that there is apparently no PAL speedup. Anyway, thanks, Michael!


It's definitely the best available version that I have seen, though I would hope the AE would use different materials if at all possible given that the Madman release is 5 or 6 years old by now. Here's a fairly detailed review from MichaelDVD if you are interested in picking it up (which confirms the runtime - it's been years since I saw it so can't remember rightly). I'd agree with pretty much everything and am pretty happy with my copy, though I'm keeping my ears pricked up about the upcoming AE.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 2:18 pm 
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bigP wrote:
It's definitely the best available version that I have seen, though I would hope the AE would use different materials if at all possible given that the Madman release is 5 or 6 years old by now. Here's a fairly detailed review from MichaelDVD if you are interested in picking it up (which confirms the runtime - it's been years since I saw it so can't remember rightly). I'd agree with pretty much everything and am pretty happy with my copy, though I'm keeping my ears pricked up about the upcoming AE.

Thanks! Detailed indeed. I suppose I'll bite; though, given what's written there, I certainly share your hope that AE will use better materials (or at least do a better job with NTSC-PAL). Incidentally, I assume the lack of PAL speedup could be the result of an improper conversion.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:00 am 
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I own the Animego edition of Ballad, but I just ordered this one because, frankly, I want the extras in that booklet. I don't have enough literature on Imamura so I appreciate the lengths that you take to provide good writing for us.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 3:24 pm 

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Special features and booklet contents now updated on the MoC Catalogue page.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 10:29 pm 
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About to sign this one off for replication. For those interested in the image: on our internal scale, the BD is one notch higher than our VENGEANCE IS MINE BD, but one notch lower than our PROFOUND DESIRES OF THE GODS BD.

One of my favourite Imamuras. So glad to be giving this its first ever release (on DVD or Blu-ray) in the UK! Long overdue.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:43 pm 
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looking good


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 3:23 pm 
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Yes, that's very accurate. Based on the checkdisc, I can't imagine anyone being seriously disappointed with this.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 3:48 pm 
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Gary sure knows how to pick a benign still for the subtitle comparison!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 3:54 pm 
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Those who've seen the film will probably recall what's going on in the second framegrab too...


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 4:53 pm 
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MichaelB wrote:
Those who've seen the film will probably recall what's going on in the second framegrab too...
Is a dog a co-star in this scene?

(Still have not been able to get myself to watch this film).


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:25 pm 
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swo17 wrote:
Gary sure knows how to pick a benign still for the subtitle comparison!
I'm at work and I pretty much assumed that it would be nothing but trouble taking even the briefest of glances at Tooze's screencaps of this particular film. Can't wait until I get home!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:26 pm 
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It's the scene where a younger brother meets the widow.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:37 pm 
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Michael Kerpan wrote:
MichaelB wrote:
Those who've seen the film will probably recall what's going on in the second framegrab too...
Is a dog a co-star in this scene?


No.


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