• [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.”


1 comment

  • 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?