by Marc Saint-Cyr
Here is a piece of news that has been anticipated, hinted at and more-or-less unofficially confirmed for some time now - but it is nonetheless most satisfying to receive final confirmation on it. Avid DVD collectors are at this point quite aware of the deal IFC made with the Criterion Collection, which entailed a selection of noteworthy films from the former getting juicy DVD releases through the latter. That deal has provided excellent new editions of films like Steve McQueen's "Hunger," Steven Soderbergh's "Che," Jan Troell's "Everlasting Moments," Gotz Spielmann's "Revanche" and others. One of the earliest films initially mentioned in association with the release now has a release date: Hirokazu Kore-eda's "Still Walking" from 2008 will be out on both DVD and Blu-ray from Criterion on February 8th, 2011. The multiple award-winning film focuses on one day in the life of a contemporary Japanese family and has only added to the number of those who call Kore-eda a worthy heir to Yasujiro Ozu. The DVD and Blu-ray will feature a transfer approved by Kore-eda and cinematographer Yutaka Yamazaki, interviews with both men, a making-of documentary, an essay by Village Voice critic Dennis Lim and, most interestingly, actual recipes for the dishes that appear in the film. More information on the release can be found here.
Though I haven't seen "Still Walking" yet, I am a great admirer of Kore-eda's "Maborosi" (which I reviewed here) and "Nobody Knows," and am very pleased by this news. Not only will a modern Japanese master be receiving his first entry in the Criterion Collection, but I and other fans of his work will be getting a superb release of what seems to be one of his strongest efforts yet.