Friday, May 29, 2009

Akira Kurosawa’s “Kagemusha” to be released on Criterion Blu-ray

by Marc Saint-Cyr

Back in April, we reported two unfortunate bits of bad news surrounding the Criterion DVD of “Ran”, one of Akira Kurosawa’s greatest films: that its upcoming Blu-ray release had been canceled due to a “rights issue,” and that the regular DVD had been designated as out of print. While there is no change in either of those areas regarding that film, it seems Criterion is offering Kurosawa fans something of a compensation for the setbacks by giving them a Blu-ray release of “Kagemusha” due on August 18th. That work, also a large-scale epic set in feudal Japan , is well known as Kurosawa’s “practice run” for the project that would eventually become “Ran.” So while people will at least have to wait longer before something, if anything, happens on the “Ran” front, at least admirers of the Emperor’s work (particularly his glorious color films) can find solace come August when they slip their Blu-ray “Kagemusha” discs into their players and bask in a high-def world of horses, flying banners and scores of armed samurai warriors.

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