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Harakiri - DVD

4.9 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

Price: £9.80 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: French
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007HCB1NO
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 90,662 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

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Format: Blu-ray
Harakiri (or seppuku) is the ancient samurai act of redeeming lost honour by committing suicide through disembowelment. In this masterful 1962 film, set in Japan in 1630, a ronin enters the house of a powerful clan and requests to commit suicide through harakiri. The leader of the clan is reluctant to permit this as he has been recently deceived by another ronin, who was trying to obtain charity from the house through this way. This ronin, however, is permitted to tell the house the story of how he came to be in such a situation, and a fantastic, surprising, and often very dark story is told. The main character, Hanshiro Tsugmo, is played by Tatsuya Nakadai (who'd appeared in Akira Kurosawa's classic Yojimbo [1961] [DVD]); he really does put in a masterful performance here, calling on a massive range of emotions during the film's 133 minute running-time. Most interesting is how a surprisingly anti-samurai theme develops.

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.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
A film that gives you both a great story and inspired visuals, if you liked the Twilight Samurai, Hidden Blade or When the last sword is Drawn you need to watch this but dont expect the same infact its quite different almost anti-samurai but not quite, i will avoid the story because if you know beforehand it will slightly spoil the experience, its very much the story that draws you in and it will feel familar to you as many parts reminded me of newer films howerver Harakiri is the grandfather of so much, watch it and you will see what i mean, excellent!!
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By Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 12 Mar. 2013
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
A superior type of film, shot in a pristine black and white noir, depicting the bleak, nihilistic worlds of those who inhabit the Eastern codes of masculinity, men who brim with those barbs aimed fixedly at the world of manners and robotic deportment.

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.
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Format: Blu-ray
Years ahead of its time and 50 years later still a hard film to watch. Elegantly restrained but also violent and gritty with the perpetual association between death and the unshakable honour of the samurai in 17th century Japan. While not as action packed as some Jidaigeki or the more martial arts centric entries into the genre, it is violent and deceptively bloody for a film of its vintage. With each scene that including violence being visually striking and harrowing. Bleak, grim spirited with a huge existential streak, Harakiri is an undisputed classic of the samurai genre and Japanese cinema. From Tatsuya Nakadai's stately performance to the flawless use of storytelling within a story, to the gorgeous cinematography this is a film with the visceral power to knock its viewers speechless. Harakiri is sublime. Going a level further than that, Masaki Kobayashi's film is one of the half dozen or so perfect films I have ever experienced.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Firstly I'd like to say that I found the quality of the transfer amazingly well restored. Eureka have done a wonderful job here. Just so you have an idea of how good this transfer is, go to the 'extras' menu and select original trailer. Watch this then view the movie and you'll immediately observe the differences.

The interview in the extras menu didn't capture my attention as the interviewer appeared to talk non stop while the director grunted occasionally and basked blissfully in all the gushing compliments from the journalist.

The story is heartbreaking and left me reflecting on our own 21century, western harikiri called suicide. No doubt the the reasons that drove individuals to perform ritual harikiri in 17th C Japan are not totally dissimilar to 21st C folks perhaps.

Lastly, it raised the question of how we deal with those, for whatever reasons, who are unable to make their way independently in life anymore. Do we turn them away or offer a helping hand.
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