Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Human Condition!

By Matt Hardstaff

I'm having a hard enough time as it is, waiting for Criterion's release of In the Realm of the Senses, Empire of Passion and the Pigs, Pimps and Prostitutes Shohei Imamura boxed set. Well now it seems that the people at Criterison are just being plain cruel, announcing their plans to release Masaki Kobayashi's entire 6 part Human Condition series in a solid 4 disc set. The series, starring the always amazing Tatsuya Nakadai, is considered one of the greatest Japanese drama series ever made, and its North American DVD release has been anticipated by many.

A trilogy of films, each broken into 2 parts, is based on a novel by Gomikawa Shunpei's novel. It traces the life of Kaji, played by Nakadai, a pacifist and socialist who moves to a mining town in Japanese controlled Manchuria to supervise a labour camp. Over the course of the epic 9 hour trilogy, he struggles to reconcile his socialist ideals and humanistic tendancies with the harsh reality of the fascist, imperialistic world of World War 2 era Japan.

The trailers for the three films can be seen right below!

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