Double Suicide

( 2 )


Masahiro Shinoda's classic Japanese film Double Suicide comes to DVD with a standard full-frame transfer. The Japanese soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Mono. English subtitles are accessible. There are no supplemental materials of any consequence, but this is still a worthwhile disc from Criterion for any fan of international cinema.
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Masahiro Shinoda's classic Japanese film Double Suicide comes to DVD with a standard full-frame transfer. The Japanese soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Mono. English subtitles are accessible. There are no supplemental materials of any consequence, but this is still a worthwhile disc from Criterion for any fan of international cinema.
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Eddy Crouse
Yasujiro Ozu, the Japanese master who's usually pegged as a gentle, transcendental gazer, here serves up an efficient, materially rich peek at everyday circa 1959 rituals and conversations. Set in a Tokyo suburb replete with Americanisms -- washing machines, atomically bright sweaters and blue jeans, a hula hoop, a guitar-and-marimba score, kids piping up with English idioms -- this minimalist comedy mainly concerns two nearly identically dressed brothers who refuse to talk until their father buys a television set for their household. The brothers -- one a hard-eyed rebel and the other a pipsqueak who echoes his elder's sentiments -- shake up the world around them by pointing out its hypocrisies. Visually austere there isn't a single moving shot in the entire film yet complex in its machinations, Good Morning's witty dissection of manners ostensibly remakes Ozu's silent 1932 film I Was Born, But…. in color and sound. The soundtrack is particularly rich, especially in the delicate way it makes a pumice-fueled farting contest a pivotal and dignified springboard for comic nuance.
All Movie Guide - Jonathan Crow
A landmark of modernist cinema, Double Suicide brilliantly recasts traditional bunraku conventions to a cinematic form that is visually stunning and emotionally riveting. Using his trademark graphic sensibility, director Masahiro Shinoda never allows viewers to forget that they're watching an adaptation of a play. Just as the black clad puppeteers are visible during traditional bunraku performances, so are they seen throughout this film as they hand props to the actors, move sets, and -- as if agents of fate -- guide the characters to their inevitable bloody end. The sets turn and break down like a kabuki stage while the walls and floors, blow-ups of voluptuous Edo-period woodblock and abstract calligraphy, threaten to overwhelm the characters completely. Both through Monzaemon Chikamatsu's narrative and Shinoda's deconstructed style, the film seems to push the two doomed lovers toward their destiny while tragically hinting at a world beyond this fate. Shima Iwashita delivers the finest and most honored performance of her long and illustrious career as both the courtesan Koharu and self-sacrificing wife Osan. A masterful example of modernist filmmaking on every level, Double Suicide pulls off a rare feat: a film that wears its self-conscious theatricality on its sleeve while still creating a drama that is emotionally compelling.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/30/2001
  • UPC: 037429149621
  • Original Release: 1969
  • Rating:

  • Source: Criterion
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1)
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Mono
  • Language: Japanese
  • Time: 1:44:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 50,873

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Kichiemon Nakamura Jihei
Shima Iwashita Koharu/Osan
Hosei Komatsu Tahei
Yusuke Takita Mogoemon
Kamatari Fujiwara Yamatoya Owner
Yoshi Kato Gosaemon
Shizue Kawarazaki Osan's Mother
Tokie Hidari Osugi
Technical Credits
Masahiro Shinoda Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Kiyoshi Awazu Art Director
Masayuki Nakajima Producer
Toichiro Narushima Cinematographer
Toru Takemitsu Score Composer, Screenwriter
Taeko Tomioka Screenwriter
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Logos [:14]
2. Essential Images/Opening Titles [4:50]
3. Fate [2:06]
4. The Pleasure Quarters [6:10]
5. The Sound of Gold [6:06]
6. "Let's Have Sake and Cheer Up" [8:01]
7. Ruffian With a Sword [3:59]
8. "Cheating Is a Whore's Job" [5:58]
9. A Paper Shop of Good Repute [4:11]
10. Lazy Worm [10:09]
11. "Are You Crying?" [11:16]
12. Silk for Redemption [5:17]
13. Letter of Divorce [6:56]
14. Paper Walls [2:59]
15. Safehouse [7:26]
16. Bound by Duty [4:58]
17. Priest and Nun [6:47]
18. Double Suicide [6:03]
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Side #1 --
   Play the Movie
   Color Bars
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A challenging movie

    This movie takes a puppet play by Chikamatsu and performs in live, sylized action. Normally C.'s plays don't take to live adaptation, but this one evokes live action and puppet world at the same time. In Japan the puppeteers are dressed in black and are visible to the audience. Shinoda continues this in the live action movie, so it raises the question to what degree the characters are free agents and to what degree are they manipulated by forces.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews