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Irezumi (Special Edition) [Blu-ray]

4.6 out of 5 stars 86 ratings
IMDb7.1/10.0

-44% $22.49
List Price: $39.95

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June 22, 2021
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Genre Drama
Format Anamorphic, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
Contributor Fujio Suga, Ayako Wakao, Yasuzo Masumura, Akio Hasegawa, Kei Satô, Reiko Fujiwara, Gaku Yamamoto
Language Japanese
Runtime 1 hour and 26 minutes
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Product Description

Drawn from the pen of one of Japan’s foremost writers of the 20th century, Junichiro Tanizaki (A Fool’s Love, The Makioka Sisters), Irezumi is a stylish tale of lust, betrayal and revenge directed by Yasuzo Masumura (Giants and Toys, Blind Beast).

Masumura’s muse Ayako Wakao (The Blue Sky Maiden, Red Angel) stars as Otsuya, the daughter of a rich merchant, who is tempted by her lover, Shinsuke, a lowly employee of her father’s, to elope. During their flight, Otsuya’s beauty attracts the gaze of Seikichi, a mysterious master tattooist who sees her pristine white skin as the perfect canvas for his art. The image of the large demonic spider that he emblazons across Otsuya’s back marks her as the property of another man, radically altering her relationships with all around her as her personality transforms under its influence.

Available for the first time outside of Japan in a new 4K restoration, Irezumi sports some of Japanese cinema’s most respected talent of its day both in front of and behind the camera. The bewitching cinematography by Kazuo Miyagawa (Rashomon, Ugetsu) captures the sensual atmosphere of the period setting, while the script by Kaneto Shindo (Onibaba, Kuroneko) lends a modern twist to this feverish meditation on obsession and the act of creation.

SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS

  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation from a new 4K scan

  • Original uncompressed Japanese mono audio

  • Optional English subtitles

  • Brand new audio commentary by Japanese cinema scholar David Desser

  • Newly filmed introduction by Japanese cinema expert Tony Rayns

  • Out of the Darkness, a brand new visual essay by Asian cinema scholar Daisuke Miyao

  • Original Trailer

  • Image Gallery

  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Tony Stella

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collectors' booklet featuring new writing by Thomas Lamarre and Daisuke Miyao

Product details

  • Product Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.35 x 6.93 x 0.75 inches; 3.53 Ounces
  • Director ‏ : ‎ Yasuzo Masumura
  • Media Format ‏ : ‎ Anamorphic, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Run time ‏ : ‎ 1 hour and 26 minutes
  • Release date ‏ : ‎ June 22, 2021
  • Actors ‏ : ‎ Fujio Suga, Gaku Yamamoto, Ayako Wakao, Akio Hasegawa, Reiko Fujiwara
  • Studio ‏ : ‎ Arrow Video
  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B091CPF9D7
  • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ USA
  • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 86 ratings

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
86 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on June 12, 2022
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on August 1, 2021
4 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on June 2, 2021
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4.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully disturbing film that has gone underappreciated for far too long.
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on June 2, 2021
Tattoos are still quite trendy; although expressing your style, taste or romantic devotion in permanent ink never seemed to be the wisest decision considering all three of those factors are likely to change…along with your saggy skin. But tattoos have a darker stigma as well, signifying ownership, property and dehumanization. In 1966’s Irezumi, directed by Yasuzo Masumura, the artwork forcibly inked on a geisha’s back takes on an almost supernatural quality, the darkness within awakening to match the evil without.

Anxious to elope with her lover, Otsuya is duped by a family friend who sells her into slavery as a high-end geisha. To ensure her fidelity, the new owner instructs a tattoo artist to create a distinctive spider design on her back. Meanwhile her lover, Shinsuke, murders in self-defense and becomes a lovelorn outlaw, still plotting how to win his fiancé back. But Otsuya excels in the art of “consuming” men, using her natural skills to exact revenge on those who ruined her life…but also ruining her own in the process.

Masumura, whose Giants and Toys and Black Test Car (also released by Arrow Films) were trend-setting examples of the Japanese salaryman genre, was never one to shy away from conflicted characters. And Otsuya, despite the circumstances, is never a victim. The film strongly suggests she was predisposed to a life of toying with men’s emotions; her imprisonment is merely a convenient excuse to do more of the same. Even Shinsuke, whose naïve loyalty and guilty conscience makes him the film’s most likely protagonist, is a character that engenders little sympathy.

Inspired by the macabre work of Edgar Allen Poe and shot in a studio-bound environment, Irezumi feels haunted despite a lack of genuine ghosts or spirits. There’s something unsettling in nearly every frame, a feeling that’s amplified by Kazuo Miyagawa’s cinematography, made up of deep shadows and foggy blues. It’s a beautifully disturbing film that, like most of Masumura’s work, has gone underappreciated for far too long.

Arrow Film’s Blu-ray is sumptuous to look at and includes an audio commentary, 10-minute introduction by Japanese cinema expert Tony Rayns, visual essay, trailer, image gallery and illustrated collector’s booklet.
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12 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on May 24, 2021
6 people found this helpful
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Film Fan
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Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on November 25, 2008
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Bruce
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on January 3, 2016
One person found this helpful
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