Imamura; 14 Dual Format Upgrades

Feb 2012

Imamura; 14 Dual Format Upgrades

A busy release month for the Series! — Now available:

A Dual Format (Blu-ray + DVD) edition of Shôhei Imamura’s 1963 feature The Insect Woman [Nippon-konchûki, which translates in English to An Account of Japanese Insects] follows Sachiko Hidari’s Tome as she burrows through five decades of Japanese social upheaval and the conflicts of a volatile, violated life. Included in our edition alongside The Insect Woman as part of an Imamura double-feature is the director’s rarely seen 1958 Nishi-Ginza Station [Nishi-Ginza eki-mae, or In Front of West-Ginza Station], a rollicking B-comedy intermittently set to the tunes of ’50s crooner Frank Nagai. The release is accompanied by a video conversation about The Insect Woman between Imamura and critic Tadao Satô, and a 36-page booklet containing essays on both features by Tony Rayns.

Following the destruction of much of our stock months ago in the London riots, we are proud to announce at last the renewed availability of 14 titles from the Series — all upgraded to Dual Format. They are as follows:

Sunrise by F. W. Murnau
Mad Detective by Johnnie To and Wai Ka-fai
Tokyo Sonata by Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Une femme mariée by Jean-Luc Godard
For All Mankind by Al Reinert
La Planète sauvage by René Laloux
City Girl by F. W. Murnau
M by Fritz Lang
Profound Desires of the Gods by Shôhei Imamura
Vengeance Is Mine by Shôhei Imamura
The World by Jia Zhangke
The Burmese Harp by Kon Ichikawa
Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? by Frank Tashlin
Make Way for Tomorrow by Leo McCarey

And if all that weren’t enough, our special Blu-ray only limited edition of Alex Cox’s 1984 classic Repo Man is also available now, in ‘regular’ and SteelBook variations. We’ll be devoting this space to more on Repo Man in the days ahead… but ‘nuff said for now!

LE SILENCE DE LA MER on Blu-ray

Feb 2012

LE SILENCE DE LA MER on Blu-ray

Out now from The Masters of Cinema Series: Jean-Pierre Melville’s beautiful debut feature, Le Silence de la mer [The Silence of the Sea] in a new Dual Format (Blu-ray + DVD) edition.

Melville’s independently produced film adapts the clandestinely penned 1942 novel by French Resistance fighter Vercors (the pen-name of Jean Bruller) into a stunningly paced, quietly poetic presentation of the story of a German soldier (Howard Vernon of Lang’s Die 1000 Augen des Dr. Mabuse and Godard’s Alphaville) billeted in the country home of an elderly gentleman and his niece (Jean-Marie Robain and Nicole Stéphane, both of whom would take turns in Melville’s brilliant follow-up rendition of Cocteau’s Les Enfants terribles). Conveyed through the delicate usage of voice-over and flashbacks, tensions play out and empathies form among the familial pair and the officer whose rich aesthetic sensibility and innate humanism place him squarely at odds with the agenda of his tyrannical superiors.

Le Silence de la mer constitutes the astonishingly assured start to a career that would later bring the world such revered masterpieces as Bob le flambeur, Le Samouraï, L’Armée des ombres, and Le Cercle rouge.

This edition presents the film in a new high-definition 1080p transfer (on the Blu-ray) licensed from Gaumont, accompanied by a video discussion with Ginette Vincendeau (professor of French cinema at King’s College London and author of Jean-Pierre Melville: An American in Paris) and, on the Blu-ray only, both a 41-minute 2010 documentary about the film called Melville Out of the Shadows and the original theatrical trailer. A 56-page booklet rounds out the package and offers writing by Vincendeau alongside an interview with Melville conducted by Rui Nogueira (author of Melville on Melville).

Coming soon: Alex Cox’s cult-classic Repo Man on limited edition Blu-ray (in regular and steelbook editions), and a Dual Format double-feature of Shôhei Imamura’s early Nishi-Ginza Station and the 1963 The Insect Woman.

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