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The Ozu Collection (BFI) launches in July

Following its recent hugely popular theatrical retrospective of world-renowned Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu’s entire surviving films, the BFI will release all 32 films on DVD over the next three years. At least seven of these films will also be made available on Blu-ray for the first time.

In film after film, Yasujiro Ozu focused on the everyday lives – at home, at work, in bars or in school – of ordinary people, deploying stories shorn of big melodramatic moments, and balancing gentle comedy with a poignant awareness of life’s limitations and transience. His distinctive filmic style, a method of framing, pacing and cutting was unique in both Japanese and world cinema. It was a style he pursued right up to his death in 1963.

The Ozu Collection launches on 19 July 2010 with the Dual Format Edition releases (both Blu-ray and DVD discs in one box) of Tokyo Story (1953), Early Summer (1951) and Late Spring (1949). Extra features with each of these titles, and with subsequent releases, will include an early Ozu film that has never been available in the UK before. For instance, Late Spring is paired with Ozu’s first sound film, The Only Son.

Tokyo Story (Tokyo Monogatari)
A constant fixture in critics’ polls, Ozu’s most enduring masterpiece is a beautifully nuanced exploration of filial duty, expectation and regret. From the simple tale of an elderly husband and wife’s visit to Tokyo to see their grown-up children, Ozu draws a compelling contrast between the measured dignity of age and the hurried insensitivity of a younger generation.

Ozu’s incisive satire, the rarely seen Brothers and Sisters of the Toda Family is also included here as an extra.

Features include:

  • Standard Definition and High Definition presentations of Tokyo Story (DVD & Blu-ray)
  • Brothers and Sisters of the Toda Family (1941, 100 mins, DVD only)
  • Illustrated booklet features newly commissioned sleeve note essay by Professor Joan Mellen and Ozu biography by Tony Rayns
  • New and improved English subtitles

Early Summer (Bakushu)
When family, friends and colleagues pressure Noriko – played with enigmatic brilliance by Setsuko Hara (Tokyo Story, Late Spring) – to marry, they provoke a surprising decision with wide-reaching consequences. A wonderfully poised ensemble work, Early Summer presents the intricacies and contradictions of three generations who have lived through the end of an era and are looking towards the new.

Included as an extra is Ozu’s rare comic pre-war feature, What Did the Lady Forget?, which plays with the themes of emasculation and feminine assertion.

Features include:
  • Standard Definition and High Definition presentations of Early Summer (DVD & Blu-ray)
  • What Did the Lady Forget? (1937, 73 mins, DVD only)
  • Illustrated booklet features newly commissioned sleevenote essay by Michael Atkinson, Ozu biography by Tony Rayns and actor Chishu Ryu on working with Ozu
  • New and improved English subtitles

Late Spring (Banshun)
Ozu’s hugely influential award-winning masterpiece, Late Spring, is a tender meditation on family politics, sacrifice and the status quo. Noriko (Setsuko Hara) and her father, Professor Somiya (Chishu Ryu) live together in perfect harmony but old certainties are put at risk when an interfering aunt raises the question of marriage. Introducing Ozu’s popular Noriko character, Late Spring poignantly examines the gradual compromise between modernity and tradition.

Against the backdrop of depression-era Japan, Ozu’s first sound film, The Only Son, is a powerful tale of sacrifice and hope.

Features include:
  • Standard Definition and High Definition presentations of Late Spring and The Only Son (DVD & Blu-ray)
  • Fully illustrated booklet features newly commissioned sleevenote essay by James Bell (Sight & Sound) and Ozu biography by Tony Rayns
  • New and improved English subtitles

The press release lists all three titles as Region B. RRP is £19.99 each. The HD presentations are all 1080/24p with PCM mono audio (48k/16-bit), while the DVD presentations are PAL with Dolby Digital mono audio. The films are all presented in 1.33:1 with Japanese audio and English subtitles.



Last updated: 18/04/2018 15:20:45

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