Two Gorgeous Japanese Classics Join The Masters of Cinema

James Marsh, Asian Editor

While it has already been announced that Ozu Yasujiro's Floating Weeds (Ukigusa Monogatari) and Kinusaga Teinosuke's Gate of Hell (Jigokumon) will be joining The Masters of Cinema series on 3 December, we now have a chance to catch a glimpse of these two visually ravishing productions, that arrive on Blu-ray in the UK for the very first time.

25 years after first telling the story, Ozu remade his silent classic Story of Floating Weeds in a stunning colour version. Nakamura Ganjiro plays Komajuro, an ageing actor who is reunited with his former lover and illegitimate son when his theatre troupe brings their show to a seaside port. The reunion is a mixed blessing for Komajuro, who arrives in town with his current mistress in tow. Shot by legendary cinematographer Miyagawa Kazuo (Rashomon, Ugetsu), Floating Weeds is a sage of profound humanity that stands tall, even amidst Ozu's extraordinary body of work.

Three decades on from his astounding silent classics, A Page of Madness and Crossroads, Kinusaga Teinosuke brought us the incredible Gate of Hell, named by Martin Scorsese as one of the ten most beautiful colour films ever made, and winner of the Grand Prix at Cannes as well as two Academy Awards - Best Foreign Language Film and Best Costume Design. Hasegawa Kazuo stars as samurai warrior Morito, who saves the life of the empress by using a loyal subject, Lady Mesa (Kyo Machiko) as a decoy. In return, Morito is granted anything he desires, but when he requests the hand of Mesa, who is already married to a fellow samurai, it sets in motion a tragic chain of events.

Both titles will be available both as Dual Format (Blu-ray & DVD) and standalone DVD releases, and boast stunning new HD restorations. Check out the gallery below for your first glimpse of these stunning classics of 1950s Japanese Cinema.

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