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Akio Jissôji: The Buddhist Trilogy

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    This disc has not yet been reviewed. The following information has been provided by the distributor.

Genres: Drama
Director: Akio Jissôji
Plot Synopsis:

Akio Jissôji created a rich and diverse body of work during his five decades in Japan's film and television industries. For some, he is best-known for his science-fiction: the 1960s TV series Ultraman and 1988's box-office success Tokyo: The Last Megalopolis. For others, it is his 1990s adaptations of horror and mystery novelist Edogawa Rampo, such as Watcher in the Attic and Murder on D Street. And then there are his New Wave films for the Art Theatre Guild, three of which – This Transient Life, Mandara and Poem, forming The Buddhist Trilogy – are collected here.

Winner of the Golden Leopard award at the 1970 Locarno Film Festival, This Transient Life is among the Art Theatre Guild's most successful – and most controversial – productions. The film concerns a brother and sister from a rich family who defy the expectations placed on them: he has little interest in further education or his father's business, instead obsessing over Buddhist statues; she continually refuses a string of suitors and the prospect of marriage. Their closeness, and isolation, gives way to an incestuous relationship which, in turn, breeds disaster. Mandara, Jissôji's first colour feature, maintained the controversial subject matter, focusing on a cult who recruit through rape and hope to achieve true ecstasy through sexual release. Shot, as with all of Jissôji's Art Theatre Guild works, in a radically stylised manner, the film sits somewhere between the pinku genre and the fiercely experimental approach of his Japanese New Wave contemporaries.

The final entry in the trilogy, Poem, returns to black and white and is centred on the austere existence of a young houseboy who becomes helplessly embroiled in the schemes of two brothers. Written by Toshirô Ishidô (screenwriter of Nagisa Ôshima's The Sun's Burial and Shôhei Imamura's Black Rain), who also penned This Transient Life and Mandara, Poem continues the trilogy's exploration of faith in a post-industrial world.

  • Release Details
    Release Date: August 20th, 2019
    Movie Release Year: 1974
    Release Country: United States
    Movie Studio: Arrow Academy
  • Technical Specs
    Length:515 Minutes
    Specs:4-Disc Blu-ray Set
    Video Resolution/Codec:1080p AVC/MPEG-4
    Aspect Ratio(s):1.33:1, 1.85:1
    Audio Formats:Japanese: LPCM Mono
    Subtitles/Captions:English
    Special Features:• Newly translated optional English subtitles• Both the 120-minute Theatrical and 137-minute Extended versions of Poem• Bonus Blu-Ray disc with Jissôji's 1974 feature It Was A Faint Dream, which continues the themes explored in the Trilogy• Introductions to all three films in the Trilogy by David Desser, author of Eros Plus Massacre: An Introduction to the Japanese New Wave• Scene-select commentaries on all three films in the Trilogy by Desser• Theatrical trailers for Mandara, Poem and It Was A Faint Dream• Limited edition packaging, fully illustrated by maarko phntm• Illustrated 60-page perfect-bound collector's book featuring new writings on the films by Anton Bitel and Tom Mes