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SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.33:1 Standard
  • Japanese Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono
  • English subtitles
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • None

Double Suicide


Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Masahiro Shinoda
Starring: Kichiemon Nakamura, Shima Iwashita, Hosei Komatsu, Yusuke Takita, Kamatari Fujiwara, Yoshi Kato, Shizue Kawarazaki, Tokie Hidari
1969 | 104 Minutes | Licensor: Toho Co.

Release Information
DVD | MSRP: $29.95 | Series: The Criterion Collection | Edition: #104
RLJ Entertainment

Release Date: January 30, 2001
Review Date: September 8, 2012

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SYNOPSIS

Many films have drawn from classic Japanese theatrical forms, but none with such shocking cinematic effect as director Masahiro Shinoda's Double Suicide. In this striking adaptation of a bunraku puppet play (featuring the music of famed composer Toru Takemitsu), a paper merchant sacrifices family, fortune, and ultimately life for his erotic obsession with a prostitute. Criterion is proud to present Double Suicide in a stunning digital transfer, with a new and improved English subtitle translation.

Forum members rate this film 7.9/10

 

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PICTURE

The Criterion Collection presents Masahiro Shinoda’s Double Suicide is presented on this single-layer disc in its original aspect ratio of about 1.33:1. Because of the ratio the image has not been enhanced for widescreen televisions.

For an older, barebones release the image doesn’t look too bad. The print has a number of blemishes remaining, limited to specs and hairs (a few of which are rather large) but is generally clean. The transfer itself looks nice, delivering some clean edges and decent levels of detail, but I couldn’t help but feel the contrast was blown out a bit, as whites can completely swallow up everything. This could be the intended look but it was odd. Also, this contrast leads to things looking a bit waxy and I'm sure some of the ringing that is noticeable in places may be related.

Past that, though, it’s not a bad looking image, much stronger than I would have expected after revisiting it all of these years later.

7/10

All DVD screen captures are presented in their original size from the source disc. Images have been compressed slightly to conserve space. While they are not exact representations they should offer a general idea of overall video quality.

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AUDIO

The Dolby Digital 1.0 mono track doesn’t hold up, though. It’s a little edgy and distorted, especially during some louder moments that including what I can only describe as a booming narration during the opening. Dialogue does sound clear but is a little harsh around the edges itself. Very bland.

5/10

SUPPLEMENTS

Criterion includes a reprint of a piece on the film and its obvious kabuki theater influences written by film theorist Claire Johnston in their insert, which was originally published in 1970 in an issue of Focus on Film. Unfortunately this short piece is the only supplement to be found: there are no supplements to be found on the disc itself.

1/10

CLOSING

Early barebones DVD edition delivers a decent transfer but has lackluster audio and no supplements, other than a very short essay in the insert. Bland release that I can only recommend if one comes across it incredibly cheap, under-$10 cheap.


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