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Silent Ozu-Three Crime Dramas
SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.33:1 Standard
  • Japanese Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono
  • English subtitles
  • 3 Discs
FEATURES
  • Includes the films: Walk Cheerfully, That Night's Wife, Dragnet Girl

Silent Ozu-Three Crime Dramas


Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Yasujiro Ozu
2015 | 261 Minutes | Licensor: Shochiku

Release Information
DVD | MSRP: $44.95 | Series: Eclipse from the Criterion Collection | Edition: #42
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Release Date: April 21, 2015
Review Date: October 13, 2015

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SYNOPSIS

The great Japanese filmmaker Yasujiro Ozu is best known for the stately, meditative domestic dramas he made after World War II. But during his first decade at Shochiku studios, where he dabbled in many genres, he put out a trio of precisely rendered, magnificently shot and edited silent crime films about the hopes, dreams, and loves of small-time crooks. Heavily influenced in narrative and visual style by the American films that Ozu adored, these movies are revelatory early examples of his cinematic genius, accompanied here by new piano scores by Neil Brand.

Discuss the film and DVD here   


PICTURE

The 42nd Eclipse release from Criterionís Eclipse line presents three silent crime films from Yasujiro Ozu made between 1930 and 1933. The set includes the film Walk Cheerfully, That Nightís Wife, and Dragnet Girl. All three films get their own single-layer DVDs and are presented in the aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

It shouldnít come as a surprise that the three films are in fairly rough condition. Both Walk Cheerfully and That Nightís Wife present the most damage, littered with mold and scratches, which get incredibly heavy at times, completely obliterating the image in a few instances. Scratches are a constant nuisance, as are splices, frame jumps, jitters, and more. Theyíre constant and the damage is pretty much always there. Unfortunate but I donít know how likely these issues could have been repaired without ultimately damaging the image. Surprisingly the two films still manage to come off fairly sharp. Detail isnít superb, but the image is rarely hazy at least.

Dragnet Girl is in the better shape of the three films. Damage is still an issue but itís not as heavy, and mold is certainly not as big an issue. It has its own issues, though, primarily in the fact itís the haziest and softest looking of the three films. Contrast also seems a little more blown out here in comparison to the other films in the set.

Thankfully the transfers themselves are solid, not adding to the issues. The transfers work to deliver the films as best as they can, and compression isnít a real problem, just what can be expected from the format.

In the end Iím not all that surprised and was pretty much expecting what we got. The damage is heavy, and the first two films in the set are in very rough shape, but Iím still happy to get these films on DVD, and the digital transfers themselves are at least excellent, not adding any more problems to the image.

5/10

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.

Screen Capture
Walk Cheerfully

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Walk Cheerfully

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Walk Cheerfully

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Walk Cheerfully

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Walk Cheerfully

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That Night's Wife

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That Night's Wife

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That Night's Wife

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That Night's Wife

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That Night's Wife

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Dragnet Girl

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Dragnet Girl

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Dragnet Girl

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Dragnet Girl

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Dragnet Girl

AUDIO

All three films are silent but we do get stereo tracks presenting scores by Neil Brand. Since theyíre newly recorded they donít present any real problems. Range is excellent and overall quality is clean.

8/10

SUPPLEMENTS

Like other Eclipse release there are no supplements other than the usual notes by Michael Koresky, found in the liners of each DVD case. Again, like his other ones, they offer an excellent primer on the films and the period in Ozuís career.

2/10

CLOSING

Itís great to get these three films but no one should be surprised by the rough condition that the source materials are in, nor should they let that dissuade them from picking this up. The transfers themselves are at least solid, presenting the films in the best possible way they can and for that the release still comes with a high recommendation.




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