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Hiroshima & Life is a Long Quiet River on Arrow Academy Blu-ray in July

17 April 2020

Arrow has announced its July releases on the Arrow Academy label, which consist of Hiroshima, a powerful evocation of the devastation wrought by the world’s first deployment of the atomic bomb and its aftermath, and Life is a Long Quiet River, an outrageously wicked comedy about two families from award winning debut filmmaker Étienne Chatiliez. The discs, as ever, come with numerous extras including in-depth documentaries and video appreciations, as well as collector’s booklets, and brand new artwork.

 

Hiroshima Blu-ray cover art

Hiroshima (Japan 1953) | Blu-ray | 13 July 2020 | £24.99

Hiroshima is a powerful evocation of the devastation wrought by the world’s first deployment of the atomic bomb and its aftermath, based on the written eye-witness accounts of its child survivors compiled by Dr. Arata Osada for the 1951 book Children Of The A Bomb: Testament Of The Boys And Girls Of Hiroshima.

Adapted for the screen by independent director Hideo Sekigawa (Listen to the Voices of the Sea, Tokyo Untouchable) and screenwriter Yasutaro Yagi (Theatre of Life, Rice), Hiroshima combines a harrowing documentary realism with moving human drama, in a tale of the suffering, endurance and survival of a group of teachers, their students and their families. It boasts a rousing score composed by Akira Ifukube (Godzilla) and an all-star cast including Yumeji Tsukioka (Late Spring, The Eternal Breasts), Isuzu Yamada (Throne of Blood, Yojimbo) and Eiji Okada (Hiroshima Mon Amour, Woman in the Dunes), appearing alongside an estimated 90,000 residents from the city as extras, including many survivors from that fateful day on 6th August 1945.

Hiroshima was produced and distributed outside of the studio system by the Japan Teachers’ Union following the mixed critical reception to Children of Hiroshima (1952), directed by Kaneto Shindo the previous year, the first dramatic feature to deal directly with the atomic bombing. Although sequences from the film were used in Alain Resnais’ classic of French New Wave cinema, Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959), it has been effectively out of circulation in Japan and the rest of the world since its original release in 1953 due to the force and political sensitivity of its message. This new High Definition presentation is the complete version, restoring the footage from the international edit that was released in the United States in 1955.

Special Edition Blu-ray contents:

  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
  • Original uncompressed audio
  • Archive interview with actress Yumeji Tsukioka
  • Hiroshima Nagasaki Download (2011), 73-minute documentary featuring interviews with survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings now residing in the United States, with an introduction by the director Shinpei Takeda
  • New video essay by Jasper Sharp
  • Newly commissioned artwork by Scott Saslow
  • FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Mick Broderick 

 

Life is a Long Quiet River Blu-ray cover art

Life is a Long Quiet River [La vie est un long fleuve tranquille] (1988) | Blu-ray | 20 July 2020 | £24.99

An outrageously wicked comedy about two families from award winning debut filmmaker Étienne Chatiliez, this fast-paced satire became the most popular French comedy of the decade.

The radiantly bourgeois Le Quesnoys with their immaculate children and perfect manners and the grubby, disreputable Groseilles are thrown together in absurd chaos by an act of revenge as they discover that twelve years prior their babies were switched at birth.

A witty send up of class relations and family ties, Life Is a Long Quiet River was celebrated with a host of trophies at France’s César Awards ceremony winning for best screenplay, best debut work and acting prizes for Héléne Vincent and Catherine Jacob.

Special Edition Blu-ray contents:

  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
  • Original Mono audio 
  • Newly translated optional English subtitles
  • Archival interviews with director Étienne Chatiliez, actor André Wilms, co-writer/co-producer Florence Quentin and producer Charles Gassot 
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Scott Saslow
  • FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Jonathan Romney