(aka 'The Yamada Yoji Collection')

directed by Yji Yamada
Japan 1972 - 86'
(not inclusive)

 

A Distant Cry from Spring     Home from the Sea     The Village     Final Take     The Yellow Handkerchief

 

 Once regarded as the heir apparent to Ozu.

 

From 1969 - 1996 a directorial master of melodrama named Yji Yamada created an average of 2 Tora-san (The Lovable Tramp) films each year until the lead actor Atsumi Kiyoshi died at age 58. This was extremely popular throughout its entire run.  Yamada also made some very personal films in between in which he was able to capture the very essence of warm emotional co-existence and human frailty. His talent for formulating simplistic and uncluttered narratives into wholesome art-infused dramas, is famous in Japan but almost totally unknown in the west. His signature style might be recognized by extreme close-ups and erratic framing to maintain the feeling of reality as well as his obvious even flow to induce a strong emotional climax. This 5-disc boxset contains some of his most highly regarded work outside of Tora-san. Although personally I would have included My Sons as his best work (available separately).   out of    

Gary W. Tooze

DVD Review: Panorama - Region 3 - NTSC

DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

 

Available in the 5-disc Yamada Boxset:

   

Distribution Panorama Entertainment - Region 3 - NTSC
Audio Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0) for 4, Japanese (Dolby Digital 5.1) for 2, optional on 1
Subtitles English, Chinese, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Panorama Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio: varying - many not in OAR.

Edition Details:

• Directors Biography (text screens)
• Director's filmography (text screens)

• Collectable handbill with production notes (in English and Chinese)

DVD Release Date: March 29th, 2005

Keep Case
Chapters: 12

 

 

Comments:

Definitely only suitable for television viewing as the transfers are both non-progressive and non-anamorphic. We have no concrete proof yet but suspect that most are cropped from their original aspect ratios. Most are probably only superior to VHS actually. Subtitles are generally weak and there are no substantial digital extras worth mentioning.

But we still recommend... for two strong reasons;

1) This gives westerners (or Chinese) the ability to see these masterpieces of Japanese cinema. The alternative is to wait, although they may never arrive in a substantially improved format for us, or not watch at all - and that would be a definite loss.

2) The price. These five films are only $22.99 US. A savings of more than 1/2 the price of buying individually and the entertainment value/hour may be the highest I have ever seen.

Bottom line: DVDBeaver is against manipulation of any films to suit the DVD format and these Panorama products are certainly far from acceptable, but you must weigh the factors yourself to determine if it is worthwhile for you. We see these films as essential modern Japanese cinema and hence immensely enjoyable viewing.

NOTE: We also strongly recommend My Sons  from Yamada on Panorama DVD individually.

Gary W. Tooze

 




Sample Captures from the 5 disc set
 


Subtitle Sample

 

 


 

Screen Captures

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 

 

DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

 

Available in the 5-disc Yamada Boxset:

   

Distribution Panorama Entertainment - Region 3 - NTSC




 

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Mississauga, Ontario,

   CANADA

Thank You!

 

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