Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Imamura's "Profound Desire of the Gods" gets Blu-ray treatment from Masters of Cinema

by Chris MaGee

If the news of Shout! Factory bringing Daiei's Gamera films to DVD wasn't enough for you Japanese film fans then here's another great bit of news for you on this Tuesday. UK-based company Eureka is adding Shohei Imamura's 1968 film "The Profound Desire of the Gods" to their Masters of Cinema line of art house classics. With a catalogue that already inludes Toshio Matsumoto's "Funeral Parade of Roses", Sadao Yamanaka's "Humanity and Paper Balloons" and Nobuhiro Obayashi's much sought after "House" Masters of Cinema has become the one big competitor of New York's The Criterion Collection in bringing historic cinematic works to DVD.

The first film that Imamura shot in colour "Profound Desire of the Gods" is the story of the major culture clash that occurs when an engineer is sent to a remote Japanese island to scout for a location to build a sugar refining plant. He finds the island peopled by a tribe of people living as they've done for centuries, that is until the engineer is given a god-like status by the natives. The film has been praised by critics as being one of, if not the penultimate Shohei Imamura film, but when the nearly 3-hour film was released by Nikkatsu in 1968 it bombed at the box office.

Now comes the big news - "The Profound Desire of the Gods" will be released as a crystal clear Blu-ray disc! This is great news for all you Blu-ray owners, but for poor schlubs like me who just joined the 21st-century with a region free DVD player just a couple months ago... well, we'll just have to suffer. Thanks to Wildgrounds for this news.

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