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Two Kurosawa box sets from the BFI in October
Two fine collections of key Kurosawa films, one of which includes two films making their UK DVD debut, will be released from the BFI next month.
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Profound Desires of the Gods on dual format in October

28 September 2011

The culmination of Shohei Imamura's extraordinary examinations of the fringes of Japanese society throughout the 1960s, Profound Desires of the Gods was an 18-month super-production which failed to make an impression at the time of its release, but has since risen in stature to become one of the most legendary – albeit least seen – Japanese films of recent decades.

Presenting a vast chronicle of life on the remote Kurage Island, the film centres on the disgraced, superstitious, interbred Futori family and the Tokyo engineer sent to supervise the creation of a new well — an encounter which leads to both conflict and complicity in strange and powerful ways.

A tragic view of a passing epoch that teeters on the edge of grotesque farce, Imamura's merciless gaze combines with spectacular colour 'Scope photography to create a mythic saga convulsing with earthly impulses.

All of which will be old news to devotees of Masters of Cinema's Blu-ray output. Released on Blu-ray for the first time in June of last year, Profound Desires of the Gods was acclaimed as one of the best Blu-ray transfers of 2010. Now it's coming back as a dual format release from Masters of Cinema, containing both DVD and Blu-ray versions of the film, on 24th October 2011 at the RRP of £23.48.

Boasting what the press release describes as 'a spectacular new HD transfer of the film in the film's original 2.35:1 aspect ratio' (though this is likely referring to the transfer on the original release), the disc will have the following extras:

  • New video introduction by film scholar Tony Rayns;
  • Original Japanese theatrical trailer (in 1080p on Blu-ray);
  • 44-page booklet with a new essay by Tony Rayns (to accompany his introduction); rare stills; two statements from Imamura; and a transcript of Imamura's introduction and Q&A session at the 1994 Edinburgh International Film Festival's screening of the film.

You can read our review of the Blu-ray here.