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SPECIFICATIONS
  • 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Japanese Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono
  • English subtitles
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • Introduction by critic Tony Rayns
  • Conversations between Shohei Imamura and critic Tadao Sato

Intentions of Murder


Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Shohei Imamura
1964 | 150 Minutes | Licensor: Nikkatsu Co.

Release Information
DVD | MSRP: $79.95 | Series: The Criterion Collection | Edition: #474
RLJ Entertainment

Release Date: May 19, 2009
Review Date: May 8, 2009

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SYNOPSIS

Sadako (Masumi Harukawa), cursed by generations before her and neglected by her common-law husband, falls prey to a brutal home intruder. As a result, rather than become a victim, she forges a path to her own awakening. This disturbing and pitiless evocation of domestic drudgery and sexual violence is also a fascinating, unsentimental account of one womans determination. Filled with director Shohei Imamuras characteristic flashbacks and dream sequences, Intentions of Murder is a gripping, audacious portrait of a woman coming into her own in a mans world.

Forum members rate this film 8.8/10

 

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PICTURE

As part of their box set of three films by Shohei Imamura, Pigs, Pimps, and Prostitutes, Criterion presents Intentions of Murder in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1 on this dual-layer disc. The image has been enhanced for widescreen televisions.

The transfer found on here is similar to the other discs in the set. The restoration has again been quite extensive and thereís very little in the way of damage. The contrast again looks to have been boosted and at times blacks look a little too deep, not allowing much in the way of detail, but this could be the filmís intended look. Artifacts are a little more noticeable here, noise present in a few sequences.

In all about on the same level of the other transfers, which is pretty good.

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

Like the other Japanese Dolby Digital tracks found on the other discs, quality is pretty good, though the track is a little weak and music can come off a tad harsh. Still, thereís no background noise or any other signs of damage.

6/10

SUPPLEMENTS

Criterionís edition of Intentions of Murder is currently only available in their Pigs, Pimps, and Prostitutes box set, which contains two other films. Each film gets their own disc and has their own set of supplements. This supplement review and the grade provided only reflect this title in the set, and not the box set as a whole.

The supplements are about the same in nature on all of the discs presenting interviews with director Shohei Imamura and historian Tony Rayns, though Pigs and Battleships presents a longer interview with Imamura, taken from an episode of the French program Cinema de notre temps.

Up first on this disc is a 24-minute interview with Shohei Imamura, conducted by Japanese film critic Tadao Sato. The segment looks to be for Japanese television and Iím guessing it appeared after an airing of Intentions of Murder. Itís similar to an interview on the Insect Woman disc. Here Imamura talks about how the film was somewhat based on a short story, though he made many changes with the biggest being a change of location. They discuss the actors that appear in the film, concentrating most on Masumi Harakuma (and her bigger size.) Thereís also a bit of time devoted to one out-of-left-field comic touch, and then some reflection on Pigs and Battleships. Itís fairly static, with the two just sitting there (and looks to have been edited down) but itís a good interview with the director.

And again we get an interview with Tony Rayns, running about 12-minutes. This one isnít as thorough as the others, but itís decent enough, with Rayns talking about the short story the film is based on and the changes made to it for the film. He compares the main character to the women that appear in some of Imamuraís other films, and then offers some analysis on some of the visuals in the film, such as the dream sequences and the rats that appear. Decent enough though again I actually sort of wish Rayns was able to offer a commentary for all of the films.

And finally we get another booklet, this one featuring an essay by James Quandt, offering a look at Imamuraís technique and the filmís visuals. Like the other booklets found in the set it makes for a good read.

The box set isnít loaded with supplements, each disc only containing a couple, but they all offer some decent analysis of their respective films, and give a nice bit of history on Imamura and his work.

6/10

CLOSING

I like this box set a lot and recommend it without question. The films are all great works and the transfers are good across all. The supplements are slim but you can find this set for around $60 online working out to $20 a disc, which I think is worth it. Intentions of Murder is another nice disc in the set, with a fine looking digital transfer and a couple of good features covering the film.


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