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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka 'Hadaka no shima' or 'Naked Island' or 'The Island')

directed by Kaneto Shindō
Japan 1960

 

Filmed on the virtually deserted Setonaikai archipelago in south-east Japan, The Naked Island was made — in the words of its director — "as a 'cinematic poem' to try and capture the life of human beings struggling like ants against the forces of nature". Kaneto Shindo, director of Onibaba (MoC #13) and Kuroneko (MoC #14), made the film with his own production company, Kindaļ Eiga Kyokai, who were facing financial ruin at the time. Using one-tenth of the average budget, Shindo took one last impassioned risk to make this film. With his small crew, they relocated to an inn on the island of Mihari where, for two months in early 1960, they would make what they considered to be their last film.

The Naked Island tells the story of a small family unit and their subsistence as the only inhabitants of an arid, sun-baked island. Daily chores, captured as a series of cyclical events, result in a hypnotising, moving, and beautiful film harkening back to the silent era. With hardly any dialogue, Shindo combines the stark 'Scope cinematography of Kiyoshi Kuroda with the memorable score of his constant collaborator Hikaru Hayashi, to make a unique cinematic document.

Shindo, who had worked with both Kenji Mizoguchi and Kon Ichikawa, shot to international fame with the astounding Children of Hiroshima (1952). Eight years later, the BAFTA-nominated The Naked Island won the Grand Prix at Moscow International Film Festival (where Luchino Visconti was a jury member). It is now considered to be one of Shindo's major works, and its success saved his film company from bankruptcy. The experience of making The Naked Island led Shindo to appreciate 'collective film production', and has been his preferred method of making films ever since...

  Theatrical Release: November 23rd, 1960

Reviews                                                                                               More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Eureka (Master of Cinema #12) - Region 2 - PAL vs. Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray vs. Criterion Region 'A' - Blu-ray

1) Eureka - MOC - Region 2 - PAL LEFT

2) Masters of Cinema - Spine #55 Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Spine #811 Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

 

Box Covers

  

Distribution Eureka (Master of Cinema #12) - Region 2 - PAL

Masters of Cinema - Spine #54

Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Criterion Collection - Spine #811 - Region 'A' Blu-ray
Runtime 1:32:19 (4% PAL Speedup) 1:36:01.630 1:36:36.791
Video 2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: ? mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 29,301,506,877 bytes

Feature: 28,221,214,272 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.86 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 37,187,884,155 bytes

Feature: 28,517,179,392 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.01 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Bitrate MoC Blu-ray
Bitrate Criterion Blu-ray
Audio Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0)  LPCM Audio Japanese 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio Japanese 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
LPCM Audio Japanese 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio Japanese 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Subtitles English, None English, None English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Eureka (Master of Cinema #12) Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 2.35:1

Edition Details:

• Full-length audio commentary by director Kaneto Shindo and composer Hikaru Hayashi
• Video introduction by Alex Cox
• Production stills gallery
• A playable archive of the French 7" soundtrack vinyl
• 28-page booklet with a new essay by Acquarello, and a reprint of Joan Mellen's interview with Shindo from Voices from the Japanese Cinema. 

DVD Release Date: July 25th, 2005

Transparent Keep Case
Chapters: 13

Release Information:
Studio: Eureka (Master of Cinema #54)

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 2.46:1

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 29,301,506,877 bytes

Feature: 28,221,214,272 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.86 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Edition Details:

• Full-length audio commentary by director Kaneto Shindo and composer Hikaru Hayashi
• Video introduction by Alex Cox
• 32-PAGE BOOKLET with an essay by Acquarello; a 1972 interview with Shindō conducted by Joan Mellen; and rare imagery. 

Blu-ray Release Date: June 24th, 2013
Transparent
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 13

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio:
2.35:1

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 37,187,884,155 bytes

Feature: 28,517,179,392 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.01 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Edition Details:

• Video introduction by director Kaneto Shindo, recorded for a 2011 retrospective of his work (7:31)
• Audio commentary recorded in 2000, featuring Shindo and composer Hikaru Hayashi
• New appreciation of the film by actor Benicio Del Toro (7:43)
• New interview with film scholar Akira Mizuta Lippit (17:15)
• Trailer (2:12)
• PLUS: An essay by film scholar Haden Guest

Blu-ray Release Date: May 11th, 2016
Transparent Keep case

Chapters: 11

 

 

 

Comments:

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

 

ADDITION: Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray April 16': Criterion's 1080P transfer differences are, really, only in the aspect ratio. The Masters of Cinema is 2.46;1 and the Criterion is 2.35:1. So that means the UK Blu-ray has more information in the sides but less on the top and bottom. The Criterion looks a shade darker at times and contrast may be marginally superior. Both looks stellar to me and I have no opinion of which ratio is the most accurate.

 

The linear PCM audio (24-bit) is an exact duplicate according to my ears, the translation similar and the font on the Criterion, slightly larger. They are respectively coded for their geographic regions.

 

Criterion include the same subtitled (see sample) audio commentary, recorded in 2000, featuring Shindo and composer Hikaru Hayashi, a 7-minute video introduction by director Kaneto Shindo, recorded for a 2011 retrospective of his work, a new 8-minute appreciation of the film by actor Benicio Del Toro, a long-time advocate of the work of Kaneto Shindō. There is also a new, 17-minute, interview with film scholar Akira Mizuta Lippit recorded in Los Angeles in February 2016. There is a trailer and the package has a liner notes booklet with an essay by film scholar Haden Guest.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting the film, still marveling at the lives of the characters and the beauty of the black and white cinematography in 1080P. A masterpiece and a film that cinephiles must own on Blu-ray.  

 

***

ADDITION: Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray (June 2013): The Naked Island is a beautiful film to upgrade to 1080P - it is so visual. The Blu-ray image looks marvelous - the stellar SD now looks flat, lifeless and thick beside the pristine contrast of HD presentation. It's a huge upgrade - and the still capture comparisons don't do the film enough justice. It's dual-layered with a very high bitrate. The black and white visuals are rich showing depth and an impressive crispness. Wow.

 

Audio is lossless and the subtitles have a slightly different (more complete?) translation as compared to the DVD (even the subtitles for the commentary!). We keep the commentary, Cox intro and similar liner notes but lose the Production stills gallery, and playable archive of the French 7" soundtrack vinyl. FABULOUS Blu-ray - Love this film and the image quality in 1080P blew me away. Strongly recommended! 

***

On the DVD (2005): Beautiful de-saturated image again from Eureka's Masters of Cinema series... and what a film to showcase. It looks like the same restoration as the Japanese DVD. Shadow detail and contrast are extremely filmic and the discs extras features are worthy of Criterion - a full length director commentary, video introduction (Alex Cox), a liner notes booklet and more. Original audio and exemplary subtitling are further key elements to this incredibly complete package. It's such a treat to have this MoC series flowering - continually producing stellar digital material for the discerning film fan. We should consider ourselves very lucky. I do. 

Gary W. Tooze

 


Menus


1) Eureka - MOC - Region 2 - PAL LEFT

2) Masters of Cinema - Spine #55 Region 'B' - Blu-ray RIGHT


 

 


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

 

Subtitle Sample (example is from the Commentary)

 

1) Eureka - MOC - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Spine #55 Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Spine #811 Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

from the film:

 

1) Eureka - MOC - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Spine #55 Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Spine #811 Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

Screen Captures

 

1) Eureka - MOC - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Spine #55 Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Spine #811 Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Eureka - MOC - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Spine #55 Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Spine #811 Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Eureka - MOC - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Spine #55 Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Spine #811 Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Eureka - MOC - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Spine #55 Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Spine #811 Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Eureka - MOC - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Spine #55 Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Spine #811 Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Eureka - MOC - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Spine #55 Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Spine #811 Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures

1) Masters of Cinema - Spine #55 Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Criterion - Spine #811 Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Masters of Cinema - Spine #55 Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Criterion - Spine #811 Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Masters of Cinema - Spine #55 Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Criterion - Spine #811 Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Masters of Cinema - Spine #55 Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Criterion - Spine #811 Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Masters of Cinema - Spine #55 Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Criterion - Spine #811 Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Masters of Cinema - Spine #55 Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Criterion - Spine #811 Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Masters of Cinema - Spine #55 Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Criterion - Spine #811 Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Recommended Reading in Japanese Cinema (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

The Japan Journals : 1947-2004,

by  Donald Richie

The Midnight Eye Guide to New Japanese Film
by Tom Mes and Jasper Sharp

Kon Ichikawa (Cinematheque Ontario Monographs)

by James Quandt, Cinematheque Ontario

Shohei Imamura (Cinematheque Ontario Monographs, No. 1)
by James Quandt

Eros Plus Massacre: An Introduction to the Japanese New Wave Cinema (Midland Book, Mb 469)
by David Desser

The Films of Akira Kurosawa by Donald Ritchie

Tokyo Story

by Yasujiro Ozu, Kogo Noda, Donald Richie, Eric Klestadt

Ozu by Donald Ritchie

A Hundred Years of Japanese Film by Donald Richie

Check out more in "The Library"


Box Covers

  

Distribution Eureka (Master of Cinema #12) - Region 2 - PAL

Masters of Cinema - Spine #54

Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Criterion Collection - Spine #811 - Region 'A' Blu-ray

 





 

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