Ikiru and The Rules of the Game from Criterion

Criterion have announced the following titles for release in January 2004...

Ikiru - 6th January 2004 - $39.95 - Considered by some to be Akira Kurosawa’s greatest achievement, Ikiru presents the director at his most compassionate—affirming life through an exploration of a man’s death. Takashi Shimura portrays Kanji Watanabe, an aging bureaucrat with stomach cancer forced to strip the veneer off his existence and find meaning in his final days. Told in two parts, Ikiru offers Watanabe’s quest in the present, and then through a series of flashbacks. The result is a multifaceted look at a life through a prism of perspectives, resulting in a full portrait of a man who lacked understanding from others in life.

  • New high-definition digital transfer, with restored image and sound
  • Audio commentary by Stephen Prince, author of The Warrior’s Camera: The Cinema of Akira Kurosawa
  • A Message from Akira Kurosawa (2000): a 90-minute documentary produced by Kurosawa productions and featuring interviews with the director on the set of his later films
  • A 41-minute documentary on Ikiru from the series, Akira Kurosawa: To Create is Beautiful, including interviews with Akira Kurosawa, writer Hideo Oguni, actor Takashi Shimura, and many others
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
The Rules of the Game - 20th January 2004 - $39.95 - Widely regarded as one of the greatest film ever made, Jean Renoir’s masterpiece The Rules of the Game is a scathing critique of corrupt French society cloaked in a comedy of manners. At a weekend hunting party, amorous escapades abound among the aristocratic guests and are mirrored by the activities of the servants downstairs. The refusal of one of the guests to play by society’s rules sets off a chain of events that ends in tragedy. Poorly received upon its release in 1939, the film was severely re-edited, and the original negative was destroyed during World War II. Only in 1959 was the film fully reconstructed and embraced by audiences and critics who now see the film as a timeless representation of a vanishing way of life.
  • New high-definition digital transfer, with restored image and sound Introduction to the film by Jean Renoir
  • Audio commentary written by film scholar Alexander Sesonske and read by filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich
  • Selected scene audio commentary by Renoir historian Christopher Faulkner
  • Jean Renoir le Patron: La Règle et L’Exception (1966), a French television program about The Rules of the Game featuring interviews with Renoir and actor Marcel Dalio
  • A new video essay about the film’s production, release, and later reconstruction
  • Jean Gaborit and Jacques Durand discuss their reconstruction and re-release of the film (1965)
  • New interview with Renoir’s son, Alain, an assistant cameraman on the film
  • New interview with The Rules of the Game set designer Max Douy
  • Written tributes to the film and Renoir by François Truffaut, Paul Schrader, Bertrand Tavernier, Wim Wenders and others
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • More!

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