One of my favorite films by one of my favorite filmmakers, is getting the Criterion Collection treatment this summer. Akira Kurosawa’s epic crime story, High and Low (1963), will be released in July with a typically impressive list of extras, including:
– New, restored high-definition digital transfer, with newly restored original four-track surround sound
– New audio commentary by Akira Kurosawa scholar Stephen Prince
– A 37-minute documentary on the making of High and Low, created as part of the Toho Masterworks series Akira Kurosawa: It Is Wonderful to Create
– Rare archival interview with Toshiro Mifune
– New video interview with actor Tsutomu Yamazaki, who plays the kidnapper
– Theatrical trailers from Japan and the U.S.
– New and improved English subtitle translation
– PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien and a reprinted essay by Japanese film scholar Donald Richie
If you’ve never seen this film, you’re missing out on one of the great cops-and-kidnappers achievements ever put to celluloid. It’s a police procedural at its core, but also an artful look at class in 1960s Japan. So, you can skip the minor DVD editions out now, and get ready for great things this summer.