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Harakiri (Dual Format Blu-ray & DVD) [Masters of Cinema] 
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Of all Masaki Kobayashi's attacks on the cruelty and inhumanity perpetrated by authoritarian power (including The Human Condition and Samurai Rebellion), perhaps none are more brilliant than his visceral, mesmerising Harakiri [aka Seppuku].
In a magnificent performance, Tatsuya Nakadai (Yojimbo, The Face of Another, Ran) stars as Hanshiro Tsugumo, a masterless down-and-out samurai who enters the manor of Lord Iyi, requesting to commit ritual suicide on his property. Suspected of simply fishing for charity, Hanshiro is told the gruesome tale of the last samurai who made the same request but Hanshiro will not be moved...
With its intricate structure and pressure-cooker atmosphere, Kobayashi's first jidai-geki period drama is a full-scale demolition job of samurai ideals and feudal hypocrisy, filmed with artistry and surgical precision, and scored by celebrated composer Toru Takemitsu. Adapted from the same source novel in 2011 by notorious auteur Takashi Miike, the original winner of the 1963 Special Jury Prize at Cannes still stands as a startling moment in Japanese cinema.
The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present the UK home viewing première of one of the great blood-soaked revenge epics of the cinema, alongside Oldboy, Kill Bill, and Dead Man's Shoes. Harakiri will be released in a Dual Format Blu-ray + DVD edition on 26 September 2011.
SPECIAL DUAL-FORMAT EDITION FEATURES:
- New, officially licensed, Shochiku high-definition transfer (1080p on Blu-ray)
- New and improved English subtitle translation
- Original theatrical trailer
- Excerpt from a 1993 Directors Guild of Japan interview with Masaki Kobayashi discussing the film with director Masahiro Shinoda
- An illustrated 28-page booklet featuring a new essay by film critic Philip Kemp, a 1963 interview with Kobayashi, and rare archival production stills
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Top Customer Reviews
This is one of the best Japanese films around, but has been notoriously difficult to find until this recent release in the Masters of Cinema Series. It was worth the wait. Taken from a new transfer of the film, this looks absolutely amazing on Blu-ray, with deep blacks - and closeups where you can see the individual, sweat-drenched pores on the faces. For those who haven't yet got a Blu-ray player, this includes a DVD containing the film as well, but the Blu-ray version really is breathtaking at times, and I'd encourage anyone to watch it this way.Read more ›
Excruciating in its emotional intensity as the blade twists and slides within the innards.
A film which spares not one extra drop of sweat within its deft execution. Riveting, brutal, seemingly without sentiment, it drops several human bombshells, ringing with a clear message that life is based upon attachment bonds. As these disappear it leaves a huge gaping hole as it all finishes and a whole where bereavement enter.
Highlights that two nations during the 1950's/60's were streets ahead of anyone else in film making, so far beyond the rest in terms of style, emotional literacy, power, composition and construction that no one has caught them since.
These films travel to the journey to the end of the night and then willingly on beyond - Japan and Soviet Russia - two of the greatest film cultural nations ever.
i was unfortunate to get this film on a poor cheap dvd with bad quality. I knew then i had to get the best quality transfer. it meant me spending £16
on a region one criterion from the U.S , which came with a great transfer and info. And now eurka who are exellent in transfer of dvds, have taken on this classic, something i wished they would of done 5 years ago! but its too late for my region 2.
The movie itself is one of the best movies to come out of japan/asia.. and the one of the greatest samurai movies of all time. You are not reading this review , or stumbled on this page by accident , its because you either exloring japanese cinema , or your looking for a samurai film.
Anyone whos into world cinema / japanese cinema MUST watch this film. Its one of the films that show why tatsuya nakadai is one of the best in his profession, and also why tetsuro tamba is also none the less.
The film is sooo well written that it puts 80 per cent of nowdays films based on the same genre and theme, look amuteur and literally of a really poor standard. The acting in this film is superb , its natural the japanese in this period along with hong kong cinema during the 60s and 70s were a rare breed of opera/ period film experts.
The film portrays the life of a veteran samurai whos life is turned upside down, as peace enters japan. And unemployed samurai roam the streets in search of work. What becomes of this is , poverty and depression. And many samurai resort to desperate measures in order to feed their families, which in turn leads to abuse and exploitation.
The film is dark , depressing and intense. This is not dark humour like sanjuro and yojimbo kurosawa films..Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Probably one of the best films I have seen, Japanese or otherwise.Published 5 months ago by Hogster
Firstly I'd like to say that I found the quality of the transfer amazingly well restored. Eureka have done a wonderful job here. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Peter
Brilliant; Excellent video and aural reproduction of a very macabre story which is well directed with the splendid acting of Nakadai Tatsuya.Published 10 months ago by MC
The greatest Japanese film ever made! Yes im my opinion, that's right. People will disagree and say that 'Seven Samurai' or 'Hana Bi' would get their vote, but for me it is... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Lee Thomson
This is a excellent film and the Blu-Ray and DVD combo is well worth the money.Published 13 months ago by Mr. J. James
This film is definitely one of my favourites,It's ultimately a story for revenge with sadness,tragedy,but also a classic Samurai swordfight duel in it too.I thought it was great.Published 16 months ago by David Addison