New Release: Pale Flower DVD and Blu-ray

Pale Flower movie scene

Ryo Akebe and Mariko Kaga take a gamble on their future in Masahiro Shinoda's 1964 gangster romance Pale Flower.

The Criterion Collection released one of the great films of the Japanese New Wave, Masahiro Shinoda’s (Double Suicide) gangster romance Pale Flower (Kawaita hana), on Blu-ray and DVD on May 17, 2011.

The 1964 flm focuses on a tough yakuza (Ryo Ekebe, Chushingura), just out of prison, who becomes entangled with a beautiful, enigmatic gambling addict (Mariko Kaga, Lost Spring) who’s looking for some thrills. What at first seems a redemptive relationship for both ends up leading both down a dangerous criminal path.

Gorgeously shot in rich black-and-white and featuring a dreamy score by Toru Takemitsu (Woman in the Dunes, Ran), Shinoda’s tough-talking film was the effort that broke him out to an international audiences and laid the groundwork for dozens of hard-hitting Japanese crime movies to come.

Criterion’s releases feature a new high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition and new and improved English subtitle translation.

Both the DVD and Blu-ray also include these bonuses:

  • new video interview with director Masahiro Shinoda
  • selected-scene audio commentary by film scholar Peter Grilli, coproducer of Music for the Movies: Toru Takemitsu
  • original theatrical trailer
  • new essay by film critic Chuck Stephens

The Pale Flower DVD and Blu-ray carries the list prices of $29.95 and $29.95, respectively.


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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.