The Lower Depths

The Lower Depths

 
The Lower Depths (Criterion DVD)

DVD Box Set

2 Discs

SRP: $39.95

Criterion Store price:$31.96

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Box Set Info

  • Spine #239

Jean Renoir and Akira Kurosawa, two of cinema’s greatest directors, transform Maxim Gorky’s classic proletariat play The Lower Depths in their own ways for their own times. Renoir, working amidst the rise of Hitler and the Popular Front in France, had need to take license with the dark nature of Gorky’s source material, softening its bleak outlook. Kurosawa, firmly situated in the postwar world, found little reason for hope. He remained faithful to the original with its focus on the conflict between illusion and reality—a theme he would return to over and over again. Working with their most celebrated actors (Gabin with Renoir; Mifune with Kurosawa), each film offers a unique look at cinematic adaptation—where social conditions and filmmaking styles converge to create unique masterpieces.

Collector’s Set Includes

The Lower Depths box cover

The Lower Depths

Akira Kurosawa 1957

Working with his most celebrated actor, Toshiro Mifune, Akira Kurosawa faithfully adapts Maxim Gorky’s classic proletariat play, keeping the original’s focus on the conflict between illusion and reality.


The Lower Depths box cover

The Lower Depths

Jean Renoir 1936

Jean Renoir’s adaptation of Gorky’s classic proletariat play takes license with the dark nature of its source material, softening the play’s bleak outlook in a reaction to the rise of Hitler and the Popular Front in 1930s France.

Disc Features

SPECIAL EDITION DOUBLE-DISC SET FEATURES:

  • New high-definition digital transfers of both films, with restored image and sound
  • Audio commentary on Kurosawa’s The Lower Depths featuring Japanese-film expert Donald Richie (A Hundred Years of Japanese Film)
  • A 33-minute documentary on Kurosawa’s The Lower Depths from the series Akira Kurosawa: It Is Wonderful to Create, including interviews with Kurosawa, actress Kyoko Kagawa, art director Yoshiro Muraki, and others
  • Introduction to Jean Renoir’s The Lower Depths by the director
  • Cast biographies for Kurosawa’s The Lower Depths by Stephen Prince, author of The Warrior’s Camera: The Cinema of Akira Kurosawa
  • Original theatrical trailer for Kurosawa’s The Lower Depths
  • New essay by Keiko McDonald (From Book to Screen: Modern Japanese Literature in Films_) and Thomas Rimer (_A Reader’s Guide to Japanese Literature) for the Kurosawa film; new essay by film scholar Alexander Sesonske, author of Jean Renoir: The French Films 1924-1939, for the Renoir
  • New and improved subtitle translations
  • Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer editions

    New cover by Lucien S. Y. Yang