Oh, the DVD's terrible. The BD's amazing.
LOL. Not wanting to question Nick's words (because I don't have the comparison in the first place), but as I have just finished watching the DVD, let me state that it simply looks gorgeous, probably among the very best transfers of a Japanese film of that vintage on DVD I've ever seen, and it's especially amazing if you consider the length of the film. Wonderfully vivid, detailed, unmanipulated image. Truly great work.
And I found the film fantastic, too, even though I needed to get over the first thirty minutes or so to begin to appreciate it. The Futori family is bewildering at first, if not downright appalling, but the longer the film went on, the more I got interested in what was going on, especially because of the completely non-judgemental view of the filmmaker which allows the viewer to become acquainted with those people and their deep relation to the land and the nature they live in, and in the end I really sympathized with the stubbornness with which Uma and Nekichi resist the change brought by the mainland influences. And the final sequence (before the "Five years later" epilogue, I mean) was pretty much of a knock-out in its ritualised strangeness and strong play on the emotions. It's a film of incredible visual beauty, and in its nature shots often enchanting and frightening at the same time.
This was my first Imamura, I have to confess, but it surely made me interested in seeing more from the director. Which film should I try next, then, if I liked this one?