Kurosawa Samurai Collection

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by the BFI and the films on them.

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Kurosawa Samurai Collection

#1 Post by MichaelB » Mon May 10, 2010 9:39 am

Kurosawa Samurai Collection
5 films by Akira Kurosawa

The films of Akira Kurosawa, one of cinema’s greatest auteurs, have had a profound effect on audiences around the world, and his acclaimed samurai epics – featuring international star Toshiro Mifune – have inspired filmmakers as diverse as George Lucas and Sergio Leone.

This BFI DVD box set, which also contains film notes, is released alongside BFI Southbank’s Akira Kurosawa and His Influence, a season running throughout June, which marks the centenary of Kurosawa’s birth with a season of films made by both the seminal filmmaker himself and those he has influenced. It includes an Extended Run of Rashomon (1951).

Seven Samurai (1954)

When the residents of a small Japanese village seek protection, they hire seven unemployed ‘ronin’ (masterless samurai). Paid only in handfuls of rice, the samurai remain distant from the villagers, knowing that their assignment may prove to be fatal. Unanimously hailed as one of cinema's greatest masterpieces, Seven Samurai has inspired countless films, including The Magnificent Seven.

Throne of Blood (1957)

In this brilliant re-imagining of Shakespeare's Macbeth, Toshiro Mifune plays a samurai fated to betray his friend and master in exchange for the prestige of nobility. Kurosawa's bloody tale is a triumph of economic style, and the climactic battle scene is full of remarkable, and brutal, imagery.

The Hidden Fortress (1958)

In this classic collaboration between Kurosawa and star Mifune, a warrior and a princess try against all odds to return to their homeland with their fortune. Acknowledged by George Lucas as the inspiration for Star Wars, The Hidden Fortress combines an epic tale of struggle and honour with modern comic sensibilities to masterful effect.

Yojimbo (1961)

A drifting samurai for hire plays both ends against the middle with two warring factions, surviving on his wits and his ability to outrun his own bad luck. Eventually the samurai seeks to eliminate both sides for his own gain and to define his own sense of honour. Yojimbo provided inspiration for A Fistful of Dollars.

Sanjuro (1962)

This comedy of manners follows a man fighting corruption in local government offers a twist on the classic Samurai tale by gently, but perfectly parodying the conventions of the Japanese period action movie tradition.

Release date: 7 June 2010
RRP: £39.99 / cat. no. BFIVD867 / cert 12 / 5 discs
Seven Samurai: Japan / 1954 / 190 mins / Original aspect ratio 1.33:1
Throne of Blood : Japan / 1957 / 104 mins / Original aspect ratio 1.33:1
The Hidden Fortress: Japan / 1958 / 138 mins / Original aspect ratio 2.35:1 (16x9 enhanced) Yojimbo: Japan / 1961 / 106 mins / Original aspect ratio 2.35:1 (16x9 enhanced)
Sanjuro: Japan / 1962 / 95 mins / Original aspect ratio 2.35:1 (16x9 enhanced)
It is a very safe bet that this will mimic the Jacques Tati, Terence Davies and Film Noir boxes and consist of repressings of the original BFI DVDs in slimline cases and a cardboard sleeve, with a single booklet - but I'll let you know if I hear anything different.

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Fiery Angel
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Re: Kurosawa Samurai Collection

#2 Post by Fiery Angel » Mon May 10, 2010 10:15 am

No Blu?

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Re: Kurosawa Samurai Collection

#3 Post by hearthesilence » Fri Nov 24, 2017 10:29 pm

Fiery Angel wrote:No Blu?
Of course there is a Blu-Ray edition. (Says me seven-and-a-half years later.) And just your luck, it's on sale at 50% off (30 quid) for Black Friday.

I'm curious as to how these compare to Criterion's BD reissues though. Same transfer?

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Re: Kurosawa Samurai Collection

#4 Post by EddieLarkin » Sat Nov 25, 2017 4:34 am

Inferior transfers of Seven Samurai, Throne of Blood and Hidden Fortress. Superior transfers of Yojimbo and Sanjuro (albeit presented with the wrong black levels).

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