103 / BD 13 The Burmese Harp

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What A Disgrace
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103 / BD 13 The Burmese Harp

#1 Post by What A Disgrace » Sat Mar 07, 2009 9:35 pm

The Burmese Harp

Image Image

A rhapsodic celebration of song, a brutal condemnation of wartime mentality, and a lyrical statement of hope within darkness; even amongst the riches of 1950s' Japanese cinema, The Burmese Harp [Biruma no tategoto], directed by Kon Ichikawa (Alone Across the Pacific, Tokyo Olympiad), stands as one of the finest achievements of its era.

At the close of World War II, a Japanese army regiment in Burma surrenders to the British. Private Mizushima is sent on a lone mission to persuade a trapped Japanese battalion to surrender also. When the outcome is a failure, he disguises himself in the robes of a Buddhist monk in hope of temporary anonymity as he journeys across the landscape – but he underestimates the power of his assumed role.

A visually extraordinary and deeply moving vision of horror, necessity, and redemption in the aftermath of war, Ichikawa's breakthrough film is one of the great humanitarian affirmations of the cinema. Nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar and honoured at the Venice Film Festival, The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present this landmark film on Blu-ray for the first time.

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

• New, restored high-definition 1080p transfer officially licenced from Nikkatsu
• Newly translated optional English subtitles
• Exclusive video interview with scholar and filmmaker Tony Rayns
• Original Japanese theatrical trailer
• 40-page booklet with an essay by Keiko I. McDonald and rare archival stills

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Fan-of-Kurosawa
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Re: 68 The Burmese Harp

#2 Post by Fan-of-Kurosawa » Sun Mar 08, 2009 4:28 am

I am happy with the Criterion release but if the extras are great or if it includes the remake I will double dip and buy it.

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Ashirg
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Re: 68 The Burmese Harp

#3 Post by Ashirg » Tue Jul 21, 2009 3:34 am

Any time frame when to expect this? Any special features?

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manicsounds
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Re: 68 The Burmese Harp

#4 Post by manicsounds » Tue Jul 21, 2009 4:35 am

September according to the MoC site

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What A Disgrace
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Re: 68 The Burmese Harp

#5 Post by What A Disgrace » Sun Aug 02, 2009 5:56 pm

Evidently, this has been delayed until Janurary now!

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Peacock
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Re: 68 The Burmese Harp

#6 Post by Peacock » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:58 pm

How's this coming along Nick? Any news on the extras or whether this will be Blu?

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Re: 68 The Burmese Harp

#7 Post by peerpee » Mon Feb 01, 2010 5:27 am

It will be out in 2010. We're aiming for Blu.

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Re: 68 The Burmese Harp

#8 Post by Peacock » Mon Feb 01, 2010 12:01 pm

=D> Woohoo!

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Re: 68 The Burmese Harp

#9 Post by Cash Flagg » Mon Feb 01, 2010 6:26 pm

Nick, assuming this does receive a Blu release, is it likely to be region-free?

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Re: 68 The Burmese Harp

#10 Post by peerpee » Mon Feb 01, 2010 6:55 pm

No - it would be Region B, unfortunately.

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Re: 68 The Burmese Harp

#11 Post by tajmahal » Mon Feb 01, 2010 7:35 pm

peerpee wrote:No - it would be Region B, unfortunately.
I'd be surprised if it wasn't. I think it is a smart move, opting for a Blu-only release. there have been so many Criterion sales over the last year, a competing dvd release could be a slow mover. I guess you will be number-crunching the City Girl figures over the next few months, Nick. Even the blu-ray nay-sayers must concede that the Dvdbeaver screencaps of City Girl are just a little bit special. Good luck with the blu only leap of faith. [-o<

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manicsounds
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Re: 68 The Burmese Harp

#12 Post by manicsounds » Mon Feb 01, 2010 9:14 pm

securing both versions for bluray would be fantastic.

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Re: 68 The Burmese Harp

#13 Post by peerpee » Tue Feb 02, 2010 4:25 am

The only version/edit that exists is the one that Criterion put out. The original, longer, 2-part cut does not exist anymore.

There is another similar version which is just like Criterion's but which has ingrained Japanese subtitles vertically down the righthandside only when Burmese is spoken.

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tojoed
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Re: 68 The Burmese Harp

#14 Post by tojoed » Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:52 am

I think he means the 1985 remake by Ichikawa.

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Re: 68 The Burmese Harp

#15 Post by peerpee » Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:10 am

Ah, well that's with Toho, and the original is with Nikkatsu. So that would be like us putting out Losey's M with Lang's M together in one package, we couldn't do that without charging double for it (that's overlooking the other tie-ups with Losey's M for the sake of the example).

Which is why releases like Criterion's THE KILLERS are so rare (and so special).

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tojoed
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Re: 68 The Burmese Harp

#16 Post by tojoed » Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:40 am

Thanks, Nick, I thought that was the case.
I would say that while it is wonderful to have Kon Ichikawa on Blu-Ray, it is such a shame that so much of his work is not even available on DVD. We can but hope.

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Ashirg
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Re: 68 The Burmese Harp

#17 Post by Ashirg » Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:35 am

Floating Weeds from Criterion would be a more appropriate example since the original and remake are from the same director and two different studios (Shochiku and Daiei)... :D

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Re: 68 The Burmese Harp

#18 Post by McCrutchy » Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:44 pm

So this is projected for April 2010?

I just saw an MoC web page that lists it as such in the top right corner...

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Re: 68 The Burmese Harp

#19 Post by peerpee » Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:50 pm

might be August 2010 on BD. I'll change the website, it's an overhang from a hopeful schedule from last year.

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Re: 68 The Burmese Harp

#20 Post by triodelover » Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:59 pm

peerpee wrote:might be August 2010 on BD. I'll change the website, it's an overhang from a hopeful schedule from last year.
Is a BD issue definite, Nick? I'll happily trade up from the Criterion for a MoC Blu. =D>

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Re: 68 The Burmese Harp

#21 Post by peerpee » Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:34 pm

It's looking good, but not definite yet. Will know for sure in about 5 weeks.

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manicsounds
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Re: 68 The Burmese Harp

#22 Post by manicsounds » Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:27 pm

I guess there is no way to tickle Toho's funny bone to get them to OK the remake as a bonus film? I was surprised that recently let UK's Third Window to release "Kamikaze Girls" in a region free bluray, even though there isn't a BD in Japan as of yet....

If it had both films together, I would gladly pay to get it out. But if it means a delay....

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Re: 68 The Burmese Harp

#23 Post by What A Disgrace » Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:54 pm

Any chance that Iwai's Ichikawa Kon monogatari will make it as an extra?

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Tommaso
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Re: 68 The Burmese Harp

#24 Post by Tommaso » Wed Mar 03, 2010 8:57 am

In any case, "The Burmese Harp" seems no longer to be #68, which indicates blu exclusive, I suppose. On the website, there is now a small size cover for Feyder's "Le grand jeu" in its place (and nice it looks).

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spocker
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Re: The Burmese Harp

#25 Post by spocker » Mon Jun 28, 2010 11:03 pm

Coming in August on BD

New catalog number is #13

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