Akasen Chitai / Yokihi






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        Kenji Mizoguchi
        D V D


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          Actors: Machiko Kyo, Aiko Mimasu, Masayuki Mori
          Directors: Kenji Mizoguchi
          Format: Black & White, Colour, PAL
          Language: Japanese
          Subtitles: English
          Region: Region 2 (UK & Europe)
          Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
          Number of discs: 2
          Classification: 12

          Studio: Eureka Entertainment LTD
          DVD Release Date: 26 May 2008
          Run Time: 178 minutes




        Akasen Chitai

        Kenji Mizoguchi, 1956

        Akasen Chitai [Red Light District, aka Street of Shame] – sadly, the very last film by Kenji Mizoguchi (Sansho Dayu, Ugetsu Monogatari) – presents a vivid portrait of prostitution in 1950s Japan.

        In a Tokyo brothel named Dreamland — an obvious irony given the faded hopes of those who work there — the lives of five prostitutes intersect. Each has a very different story for how they entered the profession, but what they share is the struggle to make sense of the red light district and its cycle of exploitation.

        Filmed shortly before the Japanese government’s introduction of an anti-prostitution bill, Akasen Chitai is a compelling study of women torn between financial necessity and questions of conscience. It was nominated for the prestigious Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, and inspired French critic Jean Douchet to proclaim: “For me, along with Chaplin’s Monsieur Verdoux and Renoir’s La Règle du Jeu, the greatest film in the history of cinema”.

        The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Mizoguchi’s films for the first time on home video in the UK — Akasen Chitai is only available as a twinpack with Yokihi.


        Yokihi

        Kenji Mizoguchi, 1955

        Set many centuries ago, Yokihi [Imperial Concubine Yang, aka Yang Kwei Fei] recounts the Chinese legend referred to in its title.

        In eighth-century T’ang China, widowed Emperor Hsüan-tsung (Masayuki Mori) reigns alone, devoting his life to the composition of music. When he meets and falls in love with a beautiful young woman (Machiko Kyo), who will become his imperial concubine, a tale of political intrigue and rival dynasties is set in motion, with ultimately tragic consequences.

        Sumptuously filmed in vibrant colour, Yokihi is the most ancient of Mizoguchi’s costume dramas, yet its central themes of passion, sorrow, and the conflict between love and power remain timeless — it was also nominated for the Golden Lion at Venice.

        The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Mizoguchi’s films for the first time on home video in the UK — Akasen Chitai is only available as a twinpack with Yokihi.



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          SPECIAL FEATURES
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        • 2 x disc special edition containing new transfers of both Akasen Chitai and Yokihi.
        • New and improved English subtitles.
        • Full length Akasen Chitai audio commentary and a video discussion about Yokihi by acclaimed Japanese film expert/critic, festival programmer, and filmmaker Tony Rayns.
        • Original theatrical trailers.
        • 64-page booklet featuring writing by Keiko I. McDonald (author of Mizoguchi), Mark Le Fanu (author of Mizoguchi and Japan), Masako Nakagawa (author of The Yang Kuei-fei Legend in Japanese Literature), ninth-century poetry (A Song of Unending Sorrow) by Po Chü-i, and rare production stills.
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          Japan | 178 min.
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          1.33:1 OAR
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          black & white
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          monaural
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      • Price: £99.99 (UK Sterling)
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        2014: this is now getting almost impossible to find and I'm down to my last one. Not sure if I can get it back.

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