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New Battles Without Honor And Humanity Blu Ray Box Set

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New Battles Without Honor And Humanity Blu Ray Box Set

$36.99

In the early 1970s, Kinji Fukasaku’s five-film Battles Without Honor and Humanity series was a massive hit in Japan, and kicked off a boom in realistic, modern yakuza films based on true stories. Although Fukasaku had intended to end the series, Toei Studio convinced him to return to the director’s chair for this unconnected, follow-up trilogy of films, each starring Battles leading man Bunta Sugawara and telling separate, but fictional stories about the yakuza in different locations in Japan. In the first film, Bunta Sugawara is Miyoshi, a low-level assassin of the Yamamori gang who is sent to jail after a bungled hit. While in stir, family member Aoki (Lone Wolf and Cub’s Tomisaburo Wakayama) attempts to seize power from the boss, and Miyoshi finds himself stuck between the two factions with no honorable way out. In the second entry, The Boss’s Head, Sugawara is Kuroda, an itinerant gambler who steps in when a hit by drug addicted assassin Kusunoki goes wrong, and takes the fall on behalf of the Owada family, but when the gang fails to make good on financial promises to him, Kuroda targets the family bosses with a ruthless vengeance. And in Last Days of the Boss, Sugawara plays Nozaki, a laborer who swears allegiance to a sympathetic crime boss, only to find himself elected his successor after the boss is murdered. Restrained by a gang alliance that forbids retributions against high-level members, Nozaki forms a plot to exact revenge on his rivals, but a suspicious closeness with his own sister jeopardizes his relationship with his fellow gang members. The New Battles Without Honor and Humanity films are important links between the first half of Fukasaku’s career and his later exploration of other genres. Each one is also a top-notch crime action thriller: hard-boiled, entertaining, and distinguished by Fukasaku’s directorial genius, funky musical scores by composer Toshiaki Tsushima, and the onscreen power of Toei’s greatest yakuza movie stars.

Based on an ancient folktale, The Ballad of Narayama (1983) was the first of two works from the director to win the prestigious Cannes Palme d’Or. Imamura’s magnum opus depicts the members of an extended farming family eking out their existence in the mountainous north of Japan against the backdrop of the changing seasons before village lore decrees they make the sacrifice of abandoning their aged mother on the top of a nearby mountain when she reaches her seventieth year. Making its HD debut, Zegen (1987) takes a satirical look at Japan’s prewar colonial expansion through the unscrupulous eyes of its flesh-peddler antihero as he establishes a prostitution enterprise across Southeast Asia. Finally, the harrowing Black Rain (1989) details the precarious existence of a household of atomic bomb survivors as, five years after being caught in the blast of Hiroshima, they struggle to find a husband for their 25-year-old niece.

These three works epitomize the director’s almost documentary style of filmmaking, exposing the vulgar yet vibrant and instinctive underbelly of Japanese society through a sympathetic focus on peasants, prostitutes, criminal lowlife and other marginalized figures to explore the schism between the country’s timeless premodern traditions and the modern face it projects to the world.

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Description

  • Two-disc set featuring two different versions of Graveyard of Honor, the 1975 film by Kinji Fukasaku and the 2002 film by Takashi Miike
  • High Definition digital transfers of all three films
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentations
  • Original uncompressed mono audio
  • Optional English subtitles for all three films
  • Beyond the Films: New Battles Without Honor and Humanity, a video appreciation by Fukasaku biographer Sadao Yamane
  • New Stories, New Battles and Closing Stories, two interviews with screenwriter Koji Takada, about his work on the second and third films in the trilogy
  • Original teasers and theatrical trailers for all three films
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Reinhard Kleist
  • Label: Arrow Video
  • Run Time: 283 mins
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Audio: STEREO
  • Year of Production: 1974
  • Region Code: 0

Actors:

  • Bunta Sugawara
  • Tomisaburô Wakayama
  • Hiroki Matsukata
  • Nobuo Kaneko
  • Reiko Ike
  • Ichirô Nakatani
  • Kunie Tanaka
  • Joe Shishido
  • Chieko Matsubara
  • Meiko Kaji

Director: Kinji Fukasaku

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