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Classic Oshima double on DVD and Blu-ray in October

12 September 2011

Celebrated Japanese New Wave filmmaker Nagisa Oshima was the director of two of the most controversial movies of the 1970s, the explicit and taboo-busting In the Realm of the Senses / Ai no korida (1976) and Empire of Passion / Ai no borei (1978). Now both are to be released on double-play sets containing both DVD and Blu-ray versions of the film. This will mark the UK Blu-ray premiere of both films.

In the Realm of the Senses / Ai no korida

Based on a true story set in pre-war Japan, a man and one of his servants begin a torrid affair. Their desire becomes a sexual obsession so strong that to intensify their ardour, they forsake all, even life itself.

A notoriously explicit and powerful drama, Ai no korida contains material that has always presented a problem for the BBFC (on the film's uncut TV screening, alterations still had to be mde to the framing of one shot), but has apparently been passed uncut for the very first time for this reelase.

The Blu-ray will have the following extras:

  • Recalling the Film: 2003 program featuring interviews with consulting producer Hayao Shibata, line producer Koji Wakamatsu, assistant disrector Yoichi Sai and distributer Yoko Asakura;
  • Panel discussion at Birkbeck College with Japanese film scholars;
  • Once Upon a Time: In the Realm of the Senses.

Empire of Passion / Ai no borei

A young man has an affair with an older woman. He is jealous of her husband and together they decide that they should kill him. One night, after the husband drinks plenty of sake and gets into bed, they strangle him and dump his body down a well. To avert any suspicions, the woman pretends that her husband has gone to Tokyo for work. For three years the wife and her lover secretly see each other until finally, suspicions become very strong and people begin to gossip. To make matters worse, her husband's ghost begins to haunt her and the law arrives to investigate her husband's disappearance.

The extra features will be:

  • Sur Le Tournage: 2003 interview program featuring production consultant Koji Wakamatsu and assistant directors Yusuke Narita and Yoichi Sai;
  • Panel discussion at Birkbeck College with Japanese film scholars.

Both films will be released individually by StudioCanal as double-play sets – which will include both Blu-ray and DVD versions of the film – on 17th October 2011 at the RRP of £22.99 each.