S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
Profound Desires of the Gods aka Kamigami no Fukaki Yokubo [Blu-ray]
(Shohei Imamura, 1968)
Review by Gary Tooze
Video: Masters of Cinema Series
Region: 'B'-locked (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 44,605,218,128 bytes
Feature Size: 42,178,990,080 bytes
Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: June 21st, 2010
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio Japanese 877 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 877 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
English (SDH), none
• Introduction by Tony Rayns (11:37 in HD!)
• Japanese Trailer with English subtites (5:28 in HD!)
•Extensive booklet with a new essay by Rayns (to accompany his introduction), rare stills, reprinted statements by Imamura, a lengthy 1994 career interview and a transcript of Imamura's introduction and Q&A session at the 1994 Edinburgh International Film Festival's screening of the film.
Description: Shohei Imamura's epic production was of little
acclaim when first released and has since grown to become
legendary in Japanese cinema. Profound Desires Of The Gods
chronicles the tale of the Futori Family and an engineer, a
powerful encounter in both strange and powerful ways.
One should note that Imamura's camerawork both raises the sense of
watching through a window and also conveys a sense of the animals --
actually legendary gods through the film's identification of divinity
with nature -- as the ones doing the watching. What the film's title,
content, and structure emphatically exclude is the possibility of
equating the film's "gods" with the film's audience. It would be smug
and arrogant to assume that the film's viewers are meant to be gods.
Because Imamura's camera often switches focus from the human characters
to the animals and back again, it is clear that the camera's field of
view does not singlemindedly represent any one particular perspective.
And even if it were Imamura's intention to make viewers into gods, so to
speak, the viewer-gods would be necessarily impotent and ineffective,
since the viewer is at the mercy of Imamura's cinematic and narrative
The 42-year old Japanese film looks impressive in 1080P. There is abundant grain that is not overwhelming and the image is never glossy nor appears manipulated. Profound Desires of the Gods was shot almost entirely outdoors and the natural lighting gives the HD image an authentic, and consistent, appearance. There are moments of strong detail in the many close-ups of insects and marine life. Colors, like the rich flora of the island and the turquoise ocean look a little pale but I suspect this was a product of the film's age and utilized source. This is still a beautiful film, filled with unique and delightful shots, that benefits greatly by the move to hi-def. It's an incredible treat to simply see this film let alone in the glory of Blu-ray definition. I was treated to one of my most enjoyable presentations of the entire year with Profound Desires of the Gods.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
No superfluous boost going on here - its a lossless 1.0 channel (mono) track - DTS-HD Master at 877 kbps in original Japanese - pushing through the center channel. I appreciate the authenticity but fans who indulge for their Surround systems will be left empty handed with Profound Desires of the Gods. There is an original score by Toshirô Mayuzumi that never comes into play much and it is, Predictably, without range or depth but remains clear and consistent with crisp dialogue.There are optional English subtitles and, unfortunately, my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked Blu-ray ('Fiddlesticks' as the warning screen states).
We get a super introduction by Tony Rayns for almost a dozen minutes in HD. He talks about the historical aspects before discussing the director and production. We get a Japanese trailer in HD with English subtitles that runs an unusually lengthy 5.5 minutes and another of MoC's magnificent booklets - this with a new essay by Rayns, rare stills, reprinted statements by Imamura, a lengthy 1994 career interview and a transcript of Imamura's introduction and Q&A session at the 1994 Edinburgh International Film Festival's screening of the film.
May 25th, 2010
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be
it, but film will always be my first love and I list my
favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze