The British Film Institute’s new Blu-ray release of Akira Kurosawa‘s Seven Samurai is out to day. This is the first time that an English friendly Region B (Europe) edition of the film is made available on Blu-ray.
At the time of the release’s original announcement back in June, BFI was surprisingly secretive about its contents. However, it is now known that the package contains:
- Transfer digitally re-mastered in High Definition
- Playable with or without original intermission
- Original Japanese Theatrical Trailer
- The Art of Akira Kurosawa (2013, 49 mins): Asian-Cinema Expert Tony Rayns Discusses Kurosawa’s Career and Influence
- Fully Illustrated Booklet with Essays and Credits
So, the offerings could be worse, but it isn’t really comparable to Criterion’s Seven Samurai release. In any case, it is great to see a new documentary included on the disc, and for many it may be reason enough to get the disc.
Much of course also depends on the picture and audio quality. No reviews seem to be out yet, which is not really surprising as BFI mentioned earlier that they would not be sending review copies for this release. I will be keeping my eyes open for any that pop up in the next few days, and should be writing my own review once my pre-ordered copy arrives.
The release can be purchased exclusively from Zavvi and comes in a limited steel book edition.
25 October 2013
My copy arrived, strange there has been very little publicity for this . I don’t have the Criterion Blu-ray to compare it to and I’ve only had time to view the first 15 minutes but it looks very nice to me . A very large upgrade from the BFI DVD , can’t wait to find time to give it a full viewing.