Maybe I was living under a rock. Or maybe I was lulled by the near constant stream of Akira Kurosawa releases by Criterion, but I finally caught word of two releases that are truly exciting to these ears: Silent Naruse (pictured left) and Still Walking ( lower right).
Silent Naruse is, as the name suggests, a collection of silent era films directed by Mikio Naruse, the golden age director whose classics such as When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (1960) and Floating Clouds (1955) tended to focus on the struggles of women in modern Japanese society. The set includes five films never before released on DVD: Flunky, Work Hard (1931), No Blood Relation (1932), Apart From You (1933), Every-Night Dreams (1933), and Street Without End (1934). Silent Naruse will be featured on Criterion’s sub-label Eclipse which generally releases bare bones discs, but the films in this set will feature an optional soundtrack with experimental pianist Wayne Horwitz and singer-songwriter Robin Holcomb. The release date of this set is 03/22/11
A little more modern, maybe moreso in terms of chronology than style, is the Criterion Collection addition of Hirokazu Kore-eda’s 2008 film, Still Walking. The film is essentially about an extended family who struggles to maintain ties in the face of a passing that occurred long ago. Longtime VCinema fans might remember that I gave a short review of this film during episode four in our old “Netflix Instant Watch” segment. The release date of Still Walking is 02/08/11.
In celebration of these two releases, the VCinema podcast will feature a film from one of these two directors in episode twenty one, which will be released on 01/17/11. Which film, you may ask? Tune into our show and find out!