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BFI Ozu Collection titles in January

The BFI have announced the next Yasujiro Ozu titles to be released in Dual Format Editions (both a Blu-ray and a DVD disc in one box) are Equinox Flower (1958) and Good Morning (1959) on 17 January 2011.

In July 2010 the BFI launched The Ozu Collection; all 32 of the world-renowned Japanese director's surviving films made for the Shochiku Studio will be issued over the next three years. Each feature film will be accompanied by an early Ozu film that has never been available in the UK before.

Equinox Flower (Higanbana) & There Was a Father (Chichi Ariki)

Ozu's first colour film, Equinox Flower, is a deft comedy that takes an ironic glance at the decline of paternal authority. Shin Saburi plays Wataru Hirayama, an old-fashioned father whose outwardly liberal views on marriage are severely tested when his daughter tells him she wants a love-match. Outwitted and outflanked by his wily female relatives, Hirayama stubbornly refuses to admit defeat. The director's playful use of colour, poetry and arch humour combine to make this tale of old versus new at once deeply moving and razor-sharp.

Paternal authority is unquestionably ascendant in Ozu's powerful war-time drama There Was a Father which is included here. Shuhei Horikawa (Chishu Ryu) sacrifices his teaching career after an unfortunate accident but refuses to sacrifice the education of his only son.

Features include:

  • Standard Definition and High Definition presentations of Equinox Flower and There Was a Father (DVD & Blu-ray)
  • Fully illustrated booklet with newly commissioned sleevenote essays by Asian cinema expert Tony Rayns
  • New and improved English subtitles
  • 1.33:1 / Japanese language, English subtitles
  • Disc 1: BD50 / 1080p / 24fps / PCM mono audio (48k/16-bit)
  • Disc 2: DVD9 / PAL / Dolby Digital mono audio (320kbps)

Good Morning (Ohayo) & I Was Born, But… (Umarete wa mita keredo)

A bright Tokyo suburb buzzing with gossip is the backdrop to Ozu's cheerful comedy, Good Morning. Disillusioned with the seemingly meaningless talk of the adults around them, two brothers take a vow of silence when their parents refuse to buy them a television. With a dexterously woven plot, built on mishaps and misunderstandings, Good Morning pokes fun at the silliness of everyday chatter whilst gently acknowledging its fundamental necessity.

Also included is Ozu's superb early comedy I Was Born, But... The forerunner of Good Morning, this silent masterpiece contains many similar themes but a darker edge. As brothers Ryoichi and Keiji struggle to outwit the local bully and scale the pecking order in their new neighbourhood, they find out that injustice does not end with school.

Features include:
  • Standard Definition and High Definition presentations of Good Morning
  • Standard Definition presentation of I Was Born, But… (DVD only)
  • Newly recorded score for I Was Born, But… by composer Ed Hughes and the New Music Players
  • Illustrated booklet with newly commissioned sleevenote essay by silent film curator Bryony Dixon and contemporary review by Jonathan Rosenbaum
  • New and improved English subtitles
  • 1.33:1 / Japanese language, English subtitles
  • Disc 1: BD25 / 1080p / 24fps / PCM mono audio (48k/16-bit)
  • Disc 2: DVD9 / PAL / Dolby Digital mono audio (320kbps)

The discs are listed as Region B and RRP is £19.99 each.

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