(aka 'In the Realm of the Senses" or "Ai no corrida" or "Bullfight of Love')

directed by Nagisa Oshima
Japan 19
76

 

Still censored in its own country, In the Realm of the Senses (Ai no corrida), by Japanese director Nagisa Oshima, remains one of the most controversial films of all time. A graphic portrayal of insatiable sexual desire, Oshima’s film, set in 1936 and based on a true incident, depicts a man and a woman (Tatsuya Fuji and Eiko Matsuda) consumed by a transcendent, destructive love while living in an era of ever escalating imperialism and governmental control. Less a work of pornography than of politics, In the Realm of the Senses is a brave, taboo-breaking milestone.

***

Oshima's abiding fascination with the most dangerous extremes of sexual desire gave way to his pornographic masterpiece, one of the most intensely debated films of the 1970s and one of the first to artistically depict explicit sex. Marking a triumph for Oshima's visionary melding of eroticism and politics, the release of his first French-financed project resulted in a major international scandal and a trial on obscenity charges hurled against Oshima. Based on the true story of a tempestuous affair between a dangerous prostitute and a gambler in the 1930s, In The Realm Of The Senses is both a sumptuous period piece, with a vivid ukiyo-e inspired color scheme and architectonic compositions, and a fascinating study of the intermingling of sex and death.

Excerpt from "In the Realm of Oshima located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: May 15th, 1976, Cannes 

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DVD Comparison:

Fox / Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

1) Fox / Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

DVD Box Cover

   

Distribution Fox Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC Criterion Collection - Spine # 466 - Region 1 - NTSC Criterion Collection - Spine # 466 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:40:48 1:42:15 1:42:25.180
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.80 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 
1.66:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.89 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Feature: 29,487,802,368 bytes

Disc Size:  48,328,782,008 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Average Bitrate: 38.39 Mbps

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

F/L Release

Bitrate:

Criterion DVD

Bitrate:

Blu-ray

Audio DUB: English (Dolby Digital 2.0)  Japanese (Dolby Digital 1.0)  LPCM Audio Japanese 768 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Subtitles  None English, None English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Fox Lorber

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.75:1

Edition Details:

• Filmographies

• Weblinks

DVD Release Date: July 28th, 1998

Keep Case
Chapters: 25

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.66:1

Edition Details:

• New audio commentary with film scholar Tony Rayns
• New interview with actor Tatsuya Fuji (17:16)
• A 1976 interview with director Nagisa Oshima and actors Fuji and Eiko Matsuda (5:39), and a 2003 program featuring interviews with consulting producer Hayao Shibata, line producer, Koji Wakamatsu, assistant director Yoichi Sai, and film distributor Yoko Asakura (38:47)
• Deleted footage (6 scenes - 12:19)
• U.S. trailer (2:19)
• 36-page liner notes booklet featuring a new essay by Japanese film scholar Donald Richie and a reprinted interview with Oshima

DVD Release Date: April 28th, 2009

Transparent Keep Case
Chapters: 25
 

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Feature: 29,487,802,368 bytes

Disc Size:  48,328,782,008 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Average Bitrate: 38.39 Mbps

 

Edition Details:

• New audio commentary with film scholar Tony Rayns
• New interview with actor Tatsuya Fuji (17:16 ion HD!)
• A 1976 interview with director Nagisa Oshima and actors Fuji and Eiko Matsuda (5:39), and a 2003 program featuring interviews with consulting producer Hayao Shibata, line producer, Koji Wakamatsu, assistant director Yoichi Sai, and film distributor Yoko Asakura (38:47 in HD!)
• Deleted footage (6 scenes - 12:19 in HD!)
• U.S. trailer (2:19 in HD!)
• 36-page liner notes booklet featuring a new essay by Japanese film scholar Donald Richie and a reprinted interview with Oshima

Blu-ray Release Date: April 28th, 2009
Thick transparent 
Blu-ray-sized case
Chapters: 25
 

 

Comments:
NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

I suppose we can simply chuck-into-the-bin the out-of-print Fox/Lorber DUBBED edition that was once fetching up to $120 in online auctions. It was non-anamorphic, single-layered, had distortion of the image aspect ratio, was riddled with artifacts and had a large border positioning it from the edges of the frame - limiting it's, already minimal, horizontal resolution.

Both Criterions are, obviously, a vast improvement in every area.  Where you may see the Blu-ray advance upon the SD-DVD is, specifically, in the rendering of the color red - quite prominent in the film. Kimonos, blood and even female lips to some degree look far redder (less orange?) than the DVD. The higher resolution brings details up as well and the film's more subtle textures and background grain is more readily evident in the 1080P transfer. In motion these differences seem heavier than the captures would indicate below. Both Criterion presentations are very clean with only a few speckles noticed. The Criterions are in the original 1.66 aspect ratio and are both progressive on dual-layered discs.

 

Audio-wise the Blu-ray boasts an uncompressed monaural soundtrack in linear PCM. It is not always clear but a darn sight superior to the Fox/Lorber English DUB. Both Criterions offer optional English subtitles.

Regarding the supplements - in all honesty I think I'd buy any Blu-ray (or DVD) with a Tony Rayns commentary. I love his voice and his articulations are always so informative, relevant and interesting. He lets us know right from square one the areas that he will be discussing (and not venturing) with this extremely graphic film. There are some other pieces of which the Blu-ray has them all in high-definition - namely a 15-minute, 2008 interview with actor Tatsuya Fuji, a 1976 interview (only 5 1/2 minutes worth), from Belgian television, with director Nagisa Oshima with actors Fuji and Eiko Matsuda and a 2003 Argos Films created program featuring interviews with consulting producer Hayao Shibata, line producer, Koji Wakamatsu, assistant director Yoichi Sai, and film distributor Yoko Asakura - this runs almost 40-minutes and is entitled 'Recalling the Film'. Both offer English subtitles. There is about 6-minutes of deleted footage (6 scenes) meshed into their proper context making te 'play all' segment run over 12-minutes. Finllay there is a scratchy U.S. trailer also in HD on the Blu-ray. Both packages include a wonderful, thick  36-page liner notes booklet featuring a new essay by Japanese film scholar Donald Richie and a reprinted interview with Oshima.

One note: I much prefer the new Criterion Blu-ray cases (same as The Wages of Fear Blu-ray) - it's like a smaller transparent keep case but with standard Blu-ray case height and length dimensions - but is a bit thicker.

I greatly appreciated Rayns analysis to assist my understanding of the film's deeper nature. I certainly got more out of it than watching the awful Fox/Lorber many years ago. I think this was a superb choice of film for Criterion to release and if you are an adopter of the hi-def format the Blu-ray obviously makes the best sense - and it add insult to injury to those who haven't yet - it is a couple of dollars cheaper than the SD-DVD!      

Gary W. Tooze

 



DVD Menus

(Fox Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)

 

Criterion Extras (both DVD and Blu-ray)

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Fox / Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Fox / Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Fox / Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Fox / Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Fox / Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Fox / Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Fox / Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Fox / Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Fox / Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

DVD Box Cover

   

Distribution Fox Lorber - Region 0 - NTSC Criterion Collection - Spine # 466 - Region 1 - NTSC Criterion Collection - Spine # 466 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 




 

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