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Cinema

Frank Sidebottom The Home of the Retrospective

ON DVD & BLU-RAY

Sister Street Fighter Collection (1974-1976) Blu Ray (Arrow)

Etsuko Shiomi kicks ass across four Japanese martial arts films, the last of which is a sequel-in-name-only to the first three. The first one is the freshest and most outright entertaining entry but it's still a fun collection overall.

Sonny Chiba pops up in Sister Street Fighter

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Tokyo Drifter (1966) Blu Ray (The Criterion Collection)

Seijun Suzuki's style-over-substance cult classic Yakuza flick comes the closest that any film ever has to what a manga comic book would be like had it been turned into live action rather than animation. Starring Tetsuya Watari and Chieko Matsubara.

Tokyo Drifter (1966)

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Orgies of Edo (1969) dir: Teruo Ishii Blu Ray (Arrow)

Actor Teruo Yoshida links together links together three stories which explore the depravity and perversion lurking beneath the surface of Japan's Genroku era. It's an unpleasant and misogynistic catalogue of sexual and violent acts, recommended only to a very select audience.

Masumi Tachibana in Orgies of Edo

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Street Mobster (1972) starring Bunta Sugawara Blu Ray (Arrow)

Kinji Fukasaku's distinctively deglamourised Jitsuroku eiga Yakuza flick makes heavy use of shaky cinéma vérité camerawork and Dutch angles. It has a certain raw energy about it but fails to generate much sympathy for its central protagonist.

A Yakuza tattoo in display in Street Mobster (1972)

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Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985) Blu Ray (The Criterion Collection)

Paul Schrader's multi-stranded examination of one of Japan's most memorable and controversial cultural figures is a beautiful and hugely ambitious piece of cinema. This 4K restoration is stunning and features a wealth of extras which add up to an almost perfect package.

Ken Ogata in Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters

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House aka Hausu (1977) dir: Nobuhiko Ôbayashi Blu Ray (Eureka!)

This postmodern, pop art Japanese take on comedy horror emphasises pure audiovisual insanity over substance. It's a film you'll either love or hate. It features a happy-clappy theme song by Godiego, who are also known for their contribution to the cult favourite TV series Monkey.

House (1977)

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Departures (2008) Blu Ray (Arrow Academy) directed by Yôjirô Takita

Yôjirô Takita’s sombre drama of the profession of encoffinment and the cycle of life starring Masahiro Motoki, Tsutomu Yamazaki and Ryôko Hirosue.

Departures Masahiro Motoki and Ryôko Hirosue

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More DVDs and Blu Rays

CLICK HERE for a guide to the best independent DVD / Blu Ray companies in the UK.

CINEMA

ARTICLES

Vampyres directed by José Larraz

RETRO

Erik the Conqueror directed by Mario Bava

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