Wednesday, 23 October 2013


The Tale of Zatoichi (1962)
[#92 in 100 Films in a Year 2013]

aka Zatôichi monogatari, the first of 26 movies starring Shintarô Katsu as the titular blind swordsman.

Criterion are releasing a lavish (almost-)complete Blu-ray set of the series later in the year, which is massively tempting (it looks gorgeous), but as I've had the first few films knocking about on DVD for a few years I thought I should check one or two of them out before committing to Criterion's set.

One thing's for certain: the picture quality in the new set will be more pleasant. Not just because it's in HD, but because the 2006 US DVD I watched this on presented the film in its correct ultra-wide aspect ratio... but stuck within a 4:3 frame, with the subtitles under the film image -- i.e. a nightmare to watch nicely on a widescreen TV. I'll be happy to take it in again when I get that BD set.

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