What DVD have you just watched?

For Yashujiro Ozu, it's best to kick off with Tokyo Story (which usually vies with Citizen Kane and La Regle Du Jeu as the critics' choice for greatest film ever) then Late Spring, Late Autumn, Equinox Flower and Floating Weeds.

For Kenji Mizoguchi, I'd start with Ugetsu, then try The Life of Oharu, Sansho The Baillif, and The Story of The Last Chrysanthemums.

Both are very different directors from Kurosawa (especially Ozu, whose pictures are low-key, initimate and usually family-based), but there is more that unites all three than separates them. Mizoguchi and Kurosawa are both adept at historical and period-based dramas, while Ozu's films have a contemprary setting. All three, however are primarily concerned with what it is to be Japanese, and with examinations of Japanese culture, tradition and language (especially notions of obligation and bonds of honour).

Ozu is also one of the most physocologically penetrating of all directors, along with Dreyer. A great technical innovator, he developed a technique that makes the viewer feel as if they are in the centre - or at least part of - the scene, rather than an observer of it. His scene transitions are like no-one else's either.

Got series 1, 2 and 3 a while back but just started watching them now. This is so good I also ordered series 4, 5, 6 and 7 on DVD. Got 3 more episodes to go from Series 3 but the other DVD's should be arriving this week so the binge watching won't be interrupted I hope.

A Quiet Place. Streamed via Apple TV.

Late to the party on this film as I just do not get to the cinema as often as I used to. But, as it had been so positively received, this was on the catch up list. Finally got the opportunity last night and it didn’t disappoint. 

A tense and exciting contemporary Sci-Fi-Horror B Movie. Doesn’t overstay its welcome at a tight ninety minutes running time. The (small) cast are superb, especially Emily Blunt, although she’s good in everything she does! Excellent production design and VFX where it counts. Fantastic sound design too, which really comes to life in 5.1. Some truly shocking pulse racing moments that even caught this hardened genre fan out. Watched on my own and I’ve never been so aware of every sound in the house. Plus a truly touching moment using Neil Young’s (wonderful) Harvest Moon.

Highly recommended.

Given I already own this on BluRay and DVD, is 4K a needless extravagance? Absolutely not! I could watch this film forever and still not be bored with it. The 4K with HDR really enhances the colours, particularly in the bowling alley and dream sequences scenes. Crystal-clear dialogue so you can enjoy the whole thing all over again.

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Haim Ronen
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