by Marc Saint-Cyr
December is traditionally a light month for releases from the Criterion Collection. Usually, they limit themselves to just a few titles that are put out early in the month, presumably so as to make sure there’s ample time to shop for Christmas. But this December, Japanese film fans will be getting a tasty two-shot of re-vamped releases from a Criterion favorite: the one and only Seijun Suzuki. Previously, his yakuza classics “Tokyo Drifter” (1966) and “Branded to Kill” (1967), being two of the Collection’s earliest spine numbers, were only available in bare-bones DVD editions, with the transfers looking like there was certainly more room for improvement. Now, as of December 13th, eager collectors and Suzuki fans will be treated to brand new Blu-ray and DVD releases of both films with upgraded digital restoration. Other improvements will also include brand new cover art, video interviews with Suzuki and fresh essays by Tony Rayns (on “Branded to Kill”) and Howard Hampton (on “Tokyo Drifter”). Follow the links to see more details on these tantalizing new releases of “Tokyo Drifter” and “Branded to Kill.”
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