The Pornographers

Overview

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 ...
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DVD (Wide Screen / Black & White)
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Overview

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
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Hastings
Imagine Eyes Wide Shut as directed by a court jester and you'd come close to approximating the pleasures of The Pornographers, Shohei Imamura's impish, cynical treatise on the intersection between perversity and commerce. The film positively revels in its ability to treat taboo subjects -- the sex industry, incest, orgies -- with the same detached, laissez-faire attitude as its amoral protagonist Subu, played to oblivious perfection by Shoichi Ozawa. Imamura sets his anti-hero's comedy of errors against a lurid, workaday Osaka, portrayed in a series of meticulously framed, static wide shots in which everything and nothing seems to be happening at once. Although his characters pontificate on the nature of sex, attraction, and perversity throughout the film, Imamura doesn't telegraph his feelings, blessedly refraining from finger-pointing or easy moralization. Like Renoir before him, he's more content to sit back and let each member of his film's seedy extended family design their own unique end. As oblique and vivid as the giant carp that casts a blank eye on the proceedings, The Pornographers is a wry, acerbic, and -- in every sense of the word -- sensational allegory that only becomes more topical with each passing year.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/5/2003
  • UPC: 037429178027
  • Original Release: 1966
  • Rating:

  • Source: Criterion
  • Aspect Ratio: Cinemascope (2.35:1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / Black & White
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Mono
  • Language: Japanese
  • Time: 2:07:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 3,634

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Shoichi Ozawa Ogata
Sumiko Sakamoto Haru
Masaomi Kondo Koichi
Keiko Sagowa Keiko
Haruo Tanaka
Technical Credits
Shohei Imamura Director, Screenwriter
Shinsaku Himeda Cinematographer
Toshiro Mayuzumi Score Composer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. On Location [3:00]
2. Opening Credits [1:28]
3. The Family [4:28]
4. Mourning [2:11]
5. Reincarnated [1:42]
6. Three Films a Day [2:52]
7. Subu's Philosophy [1:59]
8. Special Request [3:57]
9. Clientele [1:30]
10. Source of the Scar [2:30]
11. Stomachache [3:55]
12. Yakuza [3:37]
13. His Daughter [3:57]
14. Mr. Ogata [2:52]
15. A Simple Story [4:46]
16. Democracy [3:22]
17. Filthy Business [7:20]
18. Fooling Around [6:57]
19. Keiko Confesses [7:31]
20. Roughed Up [:17]
21. Keiko Runs Away [7:05]
22. "I Love All of You" [9:06]
23. Pathetic Creatures [2:38]
24. Lost Her Mind [6:10]
25. Mother's Arms [3:39]
26. Last Wishes [4:23]
27. Orgy [3:47]
28. Five Years Later [6:15]
29. Not Natural [6:51]
30. The End [2:42]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play the Movie
   Chapters
   Color Bars
   Subtitles
      Subtitles: On
      Subtitles: Off
   Trailer
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