Naruse Box Set Volume One






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        Mikio Naruse
        D V D


        We are based in South London near Croydon, UK, and if preferred this item can be picked up by appointment. Just e-mail here. I also welcome the old fashioned cheque and po as it is cheaper to process and all orders are sent off same day as cheque received.



        dvd




          Actors: Ken Uehara, Setsuko Hara, Yukiko Shimaza, Yoko Sugi, Akiko Kazami
          Director: Mikio Naruse
          Format: Box set, Black & White, PAL
          Language: Japanese
          Subtitles: English
          Region: Region 2 (UK & Europe)
          Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
          Number of discs: 3
          Classification: PG

          Studio: Eureka Entertainment
          DVD Release Date: 4 Dec 2006
          Run Time: 275 minutes




        Repast

        Mikio Naruse, 1951

        In many of his most successful films, Naruse depicted common people, living their lives. With Repast the director set his characters to the task of navigating their way amidst a pungent atmosphere of fading love. Set shortly after World War II, Repast is about a struggling marriage between salaryman Hatsunosuke (Ken Uehara) and his wife Michiyo (Setsuko Hara). It focuses on the emotional crisis of the bored housewife. The tedium of her domestic life – consumed by repetitive tasks such as cooking and cleaning – is brought into focus by a visit from Hatsunosuke’s niece, Satoko (Yukiko Shimazaki). Satoko’s arrival, and the amount of attention Hatsunosuke devotes to her charms, leads to further unhappiness for Michiyo, who is forced to confront her future. In the hands of master director Naruse, this adaptation of an unfinished novel by Fumiko Hayashi offers a fascinating exploration of married life, from the habitual routine of everyday existence to the hope for a better tomorrow that may or may not keep such relationships alive.


        Sound of the Mountain

        Mikio Naruse, 1954

        Adapted from a novel by Yasunari Kawabata, the first Japanese author to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, Sound of the Mountain typifies Naruse’s preferred genre of shomin-geki (films about the daily lives of ordinary people). Set in the ancient seaside town of Kamakura, Kawabata’s home, Sound of the Mountain depicts the increasingly close relationship between a childless young woman, Kikuko (Setsuko Hara), and her father-in-law, Shingo (So Yamamura), to whom she turns as her own marriage, to the neglectful and philandering Shuichi (Ken Uehara), disintegrates. A domestic drama of rare existential insight and emotional subtlety, Sound of the Mountain draws on the concerns of Naruse’s earlier marriage films, including Repast (even the pairing of stars Hara and Uehara is reprised), to offer a profoundly moving account of the complex relationship that develops between an older man and a younger woman.


        Flowing

        Mikio Naruse, 1956

        Directed in 1956, the year that prostitution was outlawed in Japan, Flowing explores the inner workings of a changing world, as traditional geishas faced the impending decline of their hidden way of life and the looming spectre of prostitution. It depicts the story of a widow, Rika (Kinuyo Tanaka), who is forced to work for a living and becomes a maid in a struggling Tokyo geisha house where its proud mistress (Isuzu Yamada) tries to save the house from becoming either a restaurant or a brothel. It is through Rika that we are introduced to the various geishas, who drink and fight, worry over the lack of clients, and attempt to stave off imminent extinction. Based on a book by Koda Aya, Flowing is a showcase for both Naruse’s powers of empathy, and his natural talent in constructing complex female characters on-screen. The result is one of the most innovative and revealing of all geisha films.



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          SPECIAL FEATURES
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        • New progressive transfer from a brand-new Toho film restoration
        • Illustrated audio discussion with Kent Jones and Phillip Lopate
        • New and improved optional English subtitles
        • A 184-page book featuring the writing of Audie Bock, Phillip Lopate, and Catherine Russell accompanies this box set

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          Japan
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          1.33:1
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          black & white
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          monaural
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      • Sold Out

        May 2015: This is one of those Masters of Cinema titles that have gone out of print and what few copies are about on the market are quite expensive. The only alternative is to wait until Eureka! get round to re-issuing it in their favoured dual format editions. I really can't say when that will be though.


      • Where to look?: ebay.co.uk (direct link to set where I've seen one or 2 from time to time at a half decent price)


      • Available elsewhere: amazon.co.uk (direct link)


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