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  • Vengeance is Mine - Masters of Cinema series [DVD]
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Vengeance is Mine - Masters of Cinema series [DVD]

6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Ken Ogata, Rentarô Mikuni, Chôchô Miyako, Mitsuko Baishô, Mayumi Ogawa
  • Directors: Shôhei Imamura
  • Writers: Masaru Baba, Ryûzô Saki, Shunsaku Ikehata
  • Producers: Hisashi Iino, Kazuo Inoue, Kunio Takeshige, Shinji Soshizaki
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Eureka
  • DVD Release Date: 24 Oct. 2005
  • Run Time: 140 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007Z0VWU
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 100,242 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Based on the true story of Iwao Enokizu (Ken Ogata) and his murderous rampage which sparked a 78-day nationwide manhunt, Shohei Imamura's disturbing gem Vengeance is Mine won every major award in Japan on the year of its release. Both seducing and repelling with its unusual story and grisly humour, Imamura uncovers a seedy underbelly of civilised Japanese society.

From the Contributor

Unfolding through multiple flashbacks, Ogata delivers a career-defining performance as a day-labourer and smalltime con-artist who, after killing two of his co-workers, embarks on a psychopathic spree of rape and murder. Eluding the police and public, Japan's infamous "King of Criminals" passes himself off as a Kyoto University professor, only to become entangled with an innkeeper and her perverted mother. Five years in the making, Vengeance is Mine transcends the limitations of run-of-the-mill criminal studies by presenting a portrait of a killer imbued with a poignant, tragic banality.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Murasaki53 on 27 April 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I saw this film recently on a Hong Kong Region 3 DVD. It is simply terrific. For once we get a fleshed out, plausible serial-killer to contemplate. The direction is taut and the acting is first-rate. I actually think Imamura is an overrated director (I didn't care much for 'The Eel' and 'Ballad of Narayama' is good but not great). But if he had made more films of this standard he would truly deserve a place amongst the first rank of film directors. The Eureka Masters of Cinema series is terrific and so I intend to upgrade to their edition very soon.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Stefan Brenner on 16 Nov. 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a great film and undoubtedly Imamura's best. The cinematography, characterisations and intricate plot development are all superb. For those who know his later films, look out for a number of themes and tropes that he recycled, with a more surrealistic treatment, in 'The Eel'. While I liked the latter, it lacks the seriousness and sharpness of 'Vengeance is Mine'. 'Vengeance' has all the sheer impact of a Takashi Miike film such as 'Audition', while maintaining Imamura's well-known early scrupulous attention to detail and documentary style. Having been extremely disappionted by the insipid 'Roberto Succo', Imamura's serial killer Iwao combined the almot pathetic banality of Kieslowki's boy from 'A Short Film about Killing' with the blank menace of Kiyoshi Kurasawa's stranger in 'Cure'. Full marks all round, the best film I have seen in ages!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tim Kidner TOP 500 REVIEWER on 13 May 2012
Format: DVD
I saw this on Sky Arts 2. I read fully all the reviews here and took the main points in hand.

Firstly, there are some "foreign" films and certain directors that either have superb translators/subtitlers and/or use/write excellent scripts, because they read perfectly and intelligently. Ingmar Bergman is one. I haven't seen a Shohei Imamura film before so I don't know about how his others rate in this respect.

Vengeance Is Mine's script bristles with language and conversation that real people use, in this case, either just routine, lazy small talk that most of us use just to get by or some of the things that our lead, murderer Iwao Enokizu (played by Ken Ogata) says when he so off-handedly explains his actions or says to his family and victims.

I then looked at the film from a Japanese audience's stance and then translated that back to something we'd watch about any of our select convicted murderers. Aside of it being in Japanese and set and made there, its style is very Western, or universal. Therefore, to our eyes, once we get over (if we actually can) the shock of this individual's appalling crimes and the way he lived and manipulated others, then this is actually a very straightforward film and one that's extremely well made.

This way, the story and the characters make the film, the director directs impartially and we are left with everything; for us to think about and make our own minds about. This might seem an easy thing for a film to accomplish, but I'm sure it's not so easy.

Yes, its narrative jumps but unless one is actually studying the case's history, to follow the story, this is actually of less importance.
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