Friday, June 5, 2009

Criterion's 4-disc "Human Condition" set delayed until September

by Chris MaGee

There were a lot of happy people here at the Pow-Wow when the news hit in April that Masaki Kobayashi's 9-hour, three film epic "The Human Condition" was finally making its way back to DVD care of the Criterion Collection. For too long the only way to see Kobayashi's sweeping take on Gomikawa Shunpei's novel about a conscientious objector during WW2 was to see them on the out of print Image Entertainment discs. Of course Criterion being Criterion you know that the finished discs are going to be far and away superior to those clunky old DVDs. The Criterion site already whet our appetites with news of high-def transfers of all three films, a rare interview with Masaki Kobayashi conducted by Masahiro Shinoda, and a brand new interview with the films' star Tatsuya Nakadai; but now it looks like the Criterion Collection's pursuit of perfection will be delaying the release of this 4-disc set.

According to Wildgrounds the folks at the Criterion Collection have discovered a rare stereo track for the films, so they'd decided to push back the July 14th release of the set to September 8th. That way they'llbe able to marry the high-def transfer with the stereo track's superior sound. A two month delay for the "Human Condition" set that we've all been waiting for? That's easy time, plus I still have to save up the cash to buy it!

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