I guess the BFI project can now be presumed dead, which is sad, because this time we really came quite close to having a complete, homogeneous "Ozu with subtitles" set...
I am unsure whether Criterion will go beyond their 3rd Eclipse set.
And unsure too whether there will be any more BluRay transfers beyond the already available BFI (+ Masters of Cinema), Criterion, and Shochiku ones (and Carlotta for the French market + various publishers for Spain, Italy, etc., but all using one of the same available sources).
So I've done what I had long intended to do : a simplified Excel file listing all (IMHO) relevant DVD and BR editions of Ozu films.
I kept it, as I said, simple, with just 7 columns :
- (English) "title" (only for the 37 extant, or partly extant films, not the lost ones) - with mention of "fragments" and "short film" where applicable -,
- (French) "titre" - with same mention -,
- "Shochiku + Toho + Daiei", with specific mention of Toho and Daiei editions listed for the 3 non-Shochiku films, and "+ BR" added in red when there is a separate Blu Ray edition available (keeping in mind that the BRs have English subtitles, while none of the Japanese DVDs do, and that the original DVDs were from a different master, not "reductions" of the BRs : so there are actually two DVD editions of the same movies, one beofre there was a HD transfer, and one after),
- "Carlotta + Arte + MK2" for the French DVDs (and 2 BRs), with Arte or MK2 specified for non-Carlotta releases (only French s/t),
- "BFI + Masters of Cinema" for the British DVDs (and BRs), with MoC specified for Floating Weeds
- "Criterion" for the US DVDs (and BRs), keeping in mind that (as is the case for the Shochiku sets), here there are (or were) available DVDs that were done from different masters than the present "Blu Ray reduced to DVD" editions ; CAUTION :1/ Criterion (somehow paranoically) insists on using "region 1" DVD and "region A" Blu Ray format, so beware what your player can or can't do, and 2/ as opposed to BFI, Criterion has given up the "dual format" editions, so that Tokyo Story
is (for now) still available in dual format, but the new transfer of Late Spring
on DVD must be bought separately from the Blu Ray,
- and finally "Panorama + Bo Ying + Filmax" : Panorama because these Hong Kong releases remain to this day, with all their shortcomings, the 3rd most complete series of Ozu films behind Shochiku (but remember, no subtitles...) and BFI (but some titles on Panorama are not on BFI), Bo Ying simply because it is one of the few editions of The Munekata Sisters
, keeping in mind that the "true" Bo Ying disc only has Chinese subtitles, but there are quite a few "home made" DVDs (made from this Chinese edition rather than the Japanese one) with English subtitles added, and Filmax because it is, to the best of my knowledge, the only "legal" edition of The Munekata Sisters
so far with subtitles in a Western language (in this case, Spanish). I also know someone selling DVDs made from a former VHS with French subtitles, but no English ones, if someone's interested...
Note that where there are 2
"x", it means that there was a first DVD (usually still available), and that there is now a second, different DVD that came out along with the Blu Ray edition (even though not necessarily in the same package : see recent Criterion policy in that regard).
I deliberately left out the Tartan sets due to their poor quality, not compensated with a large offer as in the case of Panorama.
What it shows is that, all questions of quality of transfer, subtitles, etc., apart, and also not considering the availability of some titles that tend to become scarce or be quite hard to find already (like Criterion's Good Morning
), the most "fragile" Ozu films for now are the fragment of Fighting Friends Japanese Style
(only available on Shochiku and Carlotta), the documentary Kagami jishi
(same here), and I Flunked, But...
and The Lady and the Beard
(only available on Shochiku and BFI).
This does not aim at being an exhaustive, scientific list, but rather a tool, particularly for people wanting to have an easy reference allowing them to become acquainted with Ozu or to deepen their knowledge of his work.
So here's the link :
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It will remain active for 30 days, and 30 more days every time someone downloads it. If this forum hardly sends anyone there and the link expires (not too unlikely since nobody seems to come here any more...), let me know by PM, I will renew it (and possibly update the file if necessary).