Arrow announce their December Blu-ray releases

Arrow announce their December Blu-ray releases

Alongside the 4K Blu-ray limited edition of Tremors, Arrow have announced the rest of their December Blu-ray line-up...

Survivor Ballads: Three Films by Shohei Imamura

7th December

Based on an ancient folktale, The Ballad of Narayama (1983) was the first of two works from the director to win the prestigious Cannes Palme d’Or. Imamura’s magnum opus depicts the members of an extended farming family eking out their existence in the mountainous north of Japan against the backdrop of the changing seasons before village lore decrees they make the sacrifice of abandoning their aged mother on the top of a nearby mountain when she reaches her seventieth year. Making its HD debut, Zegen (1987) takes a satirical look at Japan’s prewar colonial expansion through the unscrupulous eyes of its flesh-peddler antihero as he establishes a prostitution enterprise across Southeast Asia. Finally, the harrowing Black Rain (1989) details the precarious existence of a household of atomic bomb survivors as, five years after being caught in the blast of Hiroshima, they struggle to find a husband for their 25-year-old niece.

Features

  • Restored High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentations of all three films
  • Original lossless Japanese PCM 1.0 mono soundtracks
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Brand new audio commentaries on all three films by Japanese cinema expert Jasper Sharp
  • Brand new, in-depth appreciations of all three films by Japanese cinema expert Tony Rayns
  • Alternate colour ending to Black Rain, shot by Imamura but removed from the film shortly before its release
  • Archival interviews on Black Rain with actress Yoshiko Tanaka and assistant director Takashi Miike
  • Multiple trailers and image galleries
  • Original Japanese press kits for The Ballad of Narayama and Black Rain (BD-ROM content)
  • Limited edition 60-page booklet containing new writing by Tom Mes
  • Limited edition packaging featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Tony Stella

Versus

7th December

A mysterious face-off in a wooded clearing between two escaped convicts and a carload of sharply dressed yakuza holding a beautiful woman captive ends in hails of bullets and showers of blood. The location for this violent encounter is the mythic Forest of Resurrection, the site of the 444th portal of the 666 hidden gates that link this earthly domain to the netherworld – and it didn’t get this name for nothing. As one of the surviving prisoners escapes with the girl into the darkness of the forest, disgruntled gangsters soon become the least of their worries as an earlier battle between a lone warrior against hordes of zombie samurai is carried over from a millennium ago into the present day…

Special Edition Contents

• Brand new 2K restoration from original film elements by Arrow Films, approved by director Ryûhei Kitamura
• High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray™ presentations of both versions of the film: the original 2000 cut and 2004’s Ultimate Versus, featuring over 10 minutes of new and revised footage
• Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Chris Malbon

Disc One

  • Original lossless Japanese 5.1 and 2.0 stereo audio and English 2.0 stereo audio
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Audio commentary by Kitamura and producer Keishiro Shin
  • Audio commentary by Kitamura and the cast and crew
  • New visual essay on the career of Kitamura by Japanese cinema expert Jasper Sharp
  • Behind Versus, a two-part behind-the-scenes documentaries exploring the film’s production
  • First Contact: Versus Evolution, a featurette exploring the film’s origins
  • Tak Sakaguchi’s One-Man Journey, an archival featurette on the actor’s visit to the 2001 Japan Film Festival in Hamburg
  • Film festival screening footage
  • Team Versus, a brief look inside the Napalm Films office
  • Deep in the Woods, an archival featurette featuring interviews with Kitamura, cast and crew
  • The Encounter, an archival interview with editor Shûichi Kakesu
  • Deleted scenes with audio commentary by Kitamura, cast and crew
  • Nervous and Nervous 2, two “side story” mini-movies featuring characters from the main feature
  • Featurette on the making of Nervous 2
  • Versus FF Version, a condensed, 20-minute recut of the film
  • Multiple trailers
  • Image gallery

Disc Two - Ultimate Versus

  • Original lossless Japanese 6.1 and 2.0 stereo audio and English 6.1 and 2.0 stereo audio
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Audio commentary by Kitamura, cast and crew
  • Sakigake! Otoko versus Juku, a featurette on the newly shot material for Ultimate Versus

First Pressing Only:

Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film and a
reprinted interview with Kitamura by Tom Mes, and notes on the making of the film by Kitamura.

For a full list of all upcoming releases for you to buy to own you can check out our 4K Blu-ray release schedule and DVD and Blu-ray release schedule.


Versus (2000)
Dir: Ryûhei Kitamura | Cast: Chieko Misaka, Hideo Sakaki, Kenji Matsuda, Tak Sakaguchi | Writers: Ryûhei Kitamura (screenplay), Yudai Yamaguchi (screenplay)

The Ballad of Narayama (1958)
Dir: Keisuke Kinoshita | Cast: Danko Ichikawa, Kinuyo Tanaka, Teiji Takahashi, Yûko Mochizuki | Writers: Keisuke Kinoshita, Shichirô Fukazawa (stories)

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