(aka "Nijushi no hitomi" or "Twenty-Four Eyes")

directed by Keisuke Kinoshita
Japan 1954

Keisuke Kinoshita’s Twenty-Four Eyes (Nijushi no hitomi) is an elegant, emotional chronicle of a teacher’s unwavering commitment to her students, her profession, and her sense of morality. Set in a remote, rural island community and spanning decades of Japanese history, from 1928 through World War II and beyond, Kinoshita’s film takes a simultaneously sober and sentimental look at the epic themes of aging, war, and death, all from the lovingly intimate perspective of Hisako Oshi (Hideko Takamine), as she watches her pupils grow and deal with life’s harsh realities. Though little known in the United States, Twenty-Four Eyes is one of Japan’s most popular and enduring classics.

***

"A marvelous film chronicling twenty years in the life of a young schoolteacher and her pupils on a remote Japanese island beginning in 1928. The "24 eyes" are her twelve 6-year-old pupils living in a quiet and peaceful Inland Sea village whose harmony is shattered by the war. The schoolteacher is forced to resign when books she believes are good for the children are rejected as "Red" literature. War sees most of the boys going off to fight and the girls living in poverty. Not a dry eye in the house. Presented in a very simple and touching style, Kinoshita goes all out to show how war affects those that are left behind. The long timeframe in which the film plays out adds to the cumulative power of the story. Although little known to foreign audiences and critics, the back of the DVD box argues that Kinoshita was more well known and successful in Japan than Kurosawa or Mizoguchi."

Theatrical Release: September 14th, 1954 - Japan

Reviews    More Reviews    DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison:

Panorama Entertainment -  Region 0 - NTSC vs. Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Eureka (Masters of Cinema) - Region 2 - NTSC

 

1) Panorama Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT

2) Criterion - Region 1- NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Eureka (Masters of Cinema ) - Region 2 - NTSC RIGHT

 

DVD Box Cover

 

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Distribution Panorama  (HK) Region 0 - NTSC Criterion Collection  Spine # 442 - Region 1 - NTSC Eureka (Masters of Cinema) Spine # 18 - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 2:35:17   2:35:55 2:36:00  
Video 1.33:1.00 Original Aspect Ratio
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1.00 Original Aspect Ratio

Bitrate: 5.28 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1.00 Original Aspect Ratio
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
Audio Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)  Japanese (Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono) Japanese (Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono)
Subtitles English, Chinese, None English, None English, None
Features

Edition Details:

  • Director's Biography (text)

  • Filmography

    Keep Case
    Chapters: 14

Edition Details:

- Video interview with Japanese cinema historian and critic Tadao Sato about the film and its director
 (19:22)
- 24-page liner notes booklet featuring a new essay be renowned film scholar Audie Bock and excerpts from an interview with Kinoshita

 

Release Date: August 19th, 2008

Transparent Keep Case
Chapters: 28

Edition Details:

  • Large Production Stills Gallery

  • 24 Page liner notes Booklet With A New Essay By Joan Mellen

Release Date: February 20th, 2006

Transparent Keep Case
Chapters: 18

 

Comments:
ADDITION: The Criterion is pictureboxed transferred (see our full description of 'pictureboxing' in our Kind Hearts and Coronets review) with a black border circumventing the framed image. It looks to have been digitally cleaned and the manipulation of contrast appears to have removed some detail from the image. So the Masters of Cinema shows more scratches/dirt/blemishes but also looks sharper to me. I believe I like the appearance better - this is a personal choice and others may disagree. I don't think too many can deny the Criterion looks softer.

Criterion have included a new video interview with Japanese cinema historian and critic Tadao Sato about the film and its director. It's an insightful 20 minutes and it gives Criterion the edge in supplements. Both offer good liner notes booklets.

Although listening to the mono Japanese audio on both UK and US editions didn't produce any different results to my ear - scrutinizing the subtitles did. Now I didn't compare the entire film's translation, but in my observation the Criterion subtitles seem a bit more detailed (see sample below). I know the film fairly well, so I don't know how different this would make to a first time viewer but I will state there is some, often slight, variation in the translations.

I love this film... more each time I see it. It brings me to tears and no matter which edition you desire most - we strongly encourage viewing this film. Now. 

Gary Tooze

ON THE Masters of Cinema: Not much of a comparison - the Eureka/MoC image is far superior in every area. The film is damaged and Panorama's contrast boosting has only made that more visible. I suspect Eureka may have slightly boosted the blacks to hide the same scratches (which unfortunately still exist). The Japanese are notorious for their poor storage of films and I image this is the best this hidden masterpiece will look. The Eureka Production Stills Gallery shows some breathtaking quality images and the booklet is another wonderful appointed keepsake. A big thanks to MoC boys for bringing us this exceptional film in a state-of-the-art digital presentation.

Gary Tooze

NOTE: This film has a great little cameo by Ozu regular CHISHU RYU!


Recommended Reading for Japanese Film Fans (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

Check out more in "The Library"


DVD Menus

Criterion

(Panorama Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT vs. Eureka (Masters of Cinema ) - Region 2 - NTSC RIGHT)

 

 


Subtitle Sample

1)Criterion - Region 1- NTSC - TOP

2) Eureka (Masters of Cinema ) - Region 2 - NTSC BOTTOM

 

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Panorama Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Criterion - Region 1- NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Eureka (Masters of Cinema ) - Region 2 - NTSC BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Panorama Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Criterion - Region 1- NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Eureka (Masters of Cinema ) - Region 2 - NTSC BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Panorama Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Criterion - Region 1- NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Eureka (Masters of Cinema ) - Region 2 - NTSC BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Panorama Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Criterion - Region 1- NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Eureka (Masters of Cinema ) - Region 2 - NTSC BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Panorama Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Criterion - Region 1- NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Eureka (Masters of Cinema ) - Region 2 - NTSC BOTTOM

 

 


(Panorama Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. Eureka (Masters of Cinema ) - Region 2- NTSC BOTTOM)
 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Eureka

Sound:

Extras: Criterion
Menu: Eureka / Criterion

 

 

DVD Box Cover

 

Thinking of buying from YesAsia? CLICK HERE and use THIS UPDATED BEAVER PAGE to source their very best...

Distribution Panorama  (HK) Region 0 - NTSC Criterion Collection  Spine # 442 - Region 1 - NTSC Eureka (Masters of Cinema) Spine # 18 - Region 1 - NTSC




 


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Gary Tooze

Mississauga, Ontario,

   CANADA