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The Pornographers [Criterion Collection] [DVD] [1966]

Release Date:08/05/2003
Shohei Imamura's perverse classic comes to DVD in this crisp if spartan presentation from the unparalleled Criterion Collection. The video image and soundtrack for The Pornographers is taken from an impeccably cleaned-up print of the film: Barely a scratch is transferred over to the disc, and the mono soundtrack is superbly modified to accommodate stereo (if not surround-sound) systems. This is a film of extremes, and every high-contrast shot and sudden burst of volume is preserved as the director might have wished. What's more, the disc has been given new and improved subtitling that does away with some of the anachronisms and errors found in previous prints' translations. As for supplemental material, the disc is bare save for the odd, sensationalistic original Japanese trailer and a witty essay by critic J. Hoberman, included in the liner notes.

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    Special Features

    • New high-definition digital transfer
    • Original theatrical trailer
    • New and improved English subtitle translation
    • Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition


    The Pornographers
    A small-time purveyor of blue movies has to defend his livelihood against thieves, authorities, and his widowed girlfriend and her family in Shohei Imamura's dark satire. The Pornographers concerns the exploits of the hapless Subu (Shoichi Ozawa), an impotent (in every sense of the word) middle-aged entrepreneur employing a small crew in the back room of a barbershop. When not staging stag films in garages and secluded fields, Subu lives with the unhinged Haru (Sumiko Sakamoto), her Oedipal, high-minded son Koichi (Masaomi Kondo), and her impudent teenage daughter Keiko (Keiko Sagawa). Though he lusts after Keiko, the girl -- all too aware of her sexual power over men -- rebuffs his advances in an increasingly cruel manner, leaving Subu to channel his frustrations into the plots of his movies. As Subu's life grows even more lurid than his profession, local yakuza, the opportunistic Koichi, and the police all struggle to get in on the action. All the while, the family's machinations take place under the watchful eye of a giant carp, whom Haru believes to be the reincarnation of her late husband. ~ Michael Hastings, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Shoichi Ozawa
      Shoichi Ozawa - Ogata
    • Sumiko Sakamoto
      Sumiko Sakamoto - Haru
    • Image coming soon
      Masaomi Kondo - Koichi
    • Image coming soon
      Keiko Sagowa - Keiko
    • Haruo Tanaka
      Haruo Tanaka

    Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.