The British Film Institute (BFI) will release a DVD box set titled Early Kurosawa this spring. The release date is set for March 28, and the suggested retail price is £39.99.
It is not a bad price actually, considering that the box set will contain Kurosawa’s first six films: disc one will have Sanshiro Sugata and Sanshiro Sugata Part 2, disc two The Most Beautiful and They Who Step on the Tiger’s Tail, disc three No Regrets for Our Youth, and disc five One Wonderful Sunday. As the films have been practically unavailable in region 2 with good English subtitles, this is excellent news for anyone in Europe who for one reason or another has not been able to purchase the Criterion Eclipse editions of these films which are region 1 (North America)!
Just like with the Criterion Eclipse releases, no special features will apparently appear on the discs themselves. However, the box set will include an illustrated booklet with essays by Philip Kemp. There is no word yet (that I can find) about the quality of the prints. (For a small update: see the first comment to this post.)
Last year, BFI released a samurai collection, held a Kurosawa season at their London cinema, and had Kurosawa on the cover of the July 2010 issue of their film magazine Sight & Sound. It is great to see all this activity from their part!