• [Updated]

    Critics have been deploying appropriately expansive terms in discussing Masaki Kobayashi’s gigantic slab of filmmaking The Human Condition on the occasion of its Criterion DVD release: “magnificent” (Time), “epic” (Time Out Chicago), even “suitably exhausting” (Film Comment). Perhaps the most vivid superlatives, however, have come from Grady Hendrix. In his terrifically enthusiastic review for Slate, Hendrix writes, “Kobayashi’s humanist triumph is finally getting the Western exposure it deserves . . . The Human Condition is as grand in scale and scope as that other antiwar classic, Gone with the Wind.” So if you’re trying to decide whether to devote nine and a half hours to Kobayashi’s devastating, existential war film, take it from Hendrix: “Kobayashi’s epic is not art-house homework. Tense escape sequences rival anything in Hitchcock’s early filmography, and a scene of hundreds of half-dead Chinese prisoners attacking a food cart looks like an outtake from Night of the Living Dead. The trilogy is a gothic noir, shot like a survival horror epic.”

    8OCT09: “Kobayashi’s anti-war saga is a deeply affecting emotional experience,” writes Glenn Erickson at TCM.com, “a career highpoint for director Masaki Kobayashi.”

     

4 comments

  • By joshua w.
    September 22, 2009
    02:02 AM

    just finished the 9+, and i want to know only 1 thing: why not blu ray? if this doesn't deserve it, well, what does?
    Reply
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  • By Richard Seeto
    August 28, 2010
    02:48 AM

    Yes, indeed; why hasn't this outstandingly spectacular war classic of immense value not put into the Blu-ray format? I first saw this classic anti-war Japanese movie at the Sydney International Film Festival, a couple of decades ago, which screened from 8:00am finishing at 8:00pm including intervals. Normally, for a movie this long, I would have dozed off for the majority of its episodes but the story is so gripping and the moral of the movie is such that I cannot but tried to absorb every word and nuance in the story. Since that time, I was looking everywhere to try to grab hold of a high quality copy of this for my collection. Thanks, Criterion for re-releasing this but it would be much better in Blu-ray.
    Reply
  • By Richard Seeto
    November 20, 2010
    02:29 AM

    Yes, This film is the greatest and longest and grandest that has ever been made and I am still awaiting its re-release in Blu-Ray. I will grab a copy as soon as I can and I am sure there are many others in the same position.
    Reply
  • By y
    July 06, 2014
    12:54 PM

    same here,just unbelievable actually that Crite rion hasn't released this on blu ray,it deserves it surely!
    Reply

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