Japan | 108 min.
black & white
DUAL FORMAT RELEASE INCLUDING BLU-RAY AND DVD VERSIONS OF BOTH FILMS
• Exclusively restored high-definition master of Pigs and Battleships from the original camera negative (1080p on Blu-ray)
• Stolen Desire [Nusumareta yokujô] (1958), Imamura’s debut feature for Nikkatsu in a new progressive transfer [93 minutes]
• Newly translated English subtitles for both films
• 36-page booklet featuring essays on both films by Tony Rayns and rare stills
Shôhei Imamura, 1962
With this, his fifth film, Shôhei Imamura finally answered his true calling as Japanese cinema’s most dedicated and brilliant chronicler of society’s underbelly with the astonishing Pigs and Battleships [Buta to gunkan]. A riotous portrait of sub-Yakuza gangsters battling for control of the local pork business in a U.S. Navy-occupied coastal town (Yokosuka), Imamura conjures a chaotic world of petty thugs, young love, tough-headed women, and underworld hypochondria, with one of the most unforgettable climaxes ever to grace the screen.
Featuring dynamic black-and-white ‘Scope cinematography, the director’s typically sly sense of social commentary, and a host of outstanding performances (including Jitsuko Yoshimura from Onibaba), Pigs and Battleships immediately became a cornerstone of the Japanese New Wave and remains perhaps Imamura’s most sheerly entertaining work. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present the film in a Dual Format edition, alongside Imamura’s 1958 rarely-seen debut feature, Stolen Desire [Nusumareta yokujô].