Arrow Academy’s August Blu-ray releases are all about innovative and legendary cult classic that turned Hollywood upside down and a beautiful box set featuring a stunning and sublime trilogy from a Japanese master.
First up in August is Being John Malkovich the Oscar-nominated masterwork that launched the careers of director Spike Jonze and writer Charlie Kaufman. This unforgettably bizarre comic fantasia, starring John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener and Malkovich himself (who makes his return to the London stage this summer), is as hilarious and innovative now as it was two decades ago.
June also sees the release of Akio Jissôji: The Buddhist Trilogy, from a director who created a rich and diverse body of work during his five decades in Japan’s film and television industries. Three of his New Wave films for the Art Theatre Guild – This Transient Life, Mandara and Poem, forming The Buddhist Trilogy – are collected here.
Being John Malkovich | Blu-ray | August 12 2019
Failed street puppeteer Craig Schwarz (John Cusack) reluctantly gets a day job to support his wife Lotte (Cameron Diaz) in their tiny New York apartment. Working as a file clerk, one day Craig finds a hidden door that leads to a portal inside the mind of legendary actor John Malkovich, seeing life through his eyes for fifteen minutes before being spat back out on the New Jersey Turnpike. Craig’s discovery leads to an explosive chain of events that will irrevocably alter his life… and of course, the unwitting Malkovich’s.
SPECIAL EDITION BLU-RAY CONTENTS
Restoration from a 4K scan of the original camera negative, approved by director Spike Jonze
High Definition Blu-Ray (1080p) presentation
Original 5.1 DTS-HD master audio
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
Select scene audio commentary by Jonze’s friend and competitor, the filmmaker Michel Gondry
John Malkovich and John Hodgman, a conversation between the film’s star and the actor, writer and humourist
Strung Along, a new featurette exploring the marionettes made for the film, featuring newly shot interviews with puppeteer Phillip Huber and puppeteer/designer/fabricators Kamela Portuges and Lee Armstrong
The 7½ Floor, the full corporate orientation video seen in the film
John Horatio Malkovich: Dance of Despair and Disillusionment, the full pseudo-documentary seen in the film
An Interview with Director Spike Jonze, a brief chat with the director filmed under duress by Lance Bangs
An Intimate Portrait of the Art of Puppeteering, an archival interview with Phillip Huber filmed on set by Lance Bangs
An Intimate Portrait of the Art of Background Driving, an on-set look at filming the New Jersey Turnpike sequence by Lance Bangs
Don’t Enter Here, There Is Nothing Here
Theatrical trailer and TV spots
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Vero Navarro
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Booklet featuring new writing on the film by Roger Keen and archive publicity materials
USA | 1999 | 15 | 113 Mins | 1.85:1 | Drama, Comedy| English
Akio Jissôji: The Buddhist Trilogy | Blu-ray | August 19 2019
Winner of the Golden Leopard award at the 1970 Locarno Film Festival, the controversial This Transient Life concerns a brother and sister from a rich family who defy the expectations placed on them. Their closeness, and isolation, gives way to an incestuous relationship which, in turn, breeds disaster.
Mandara, Jissôji’s first colour feature, focuses on a cult who recruit through rape and hope to achieve true ecstasy through sexual release. Shot in a radically stylised manner, the film sits somewhere between the pinku genre and the fiercely experimental approach of his Japanese New Wave contemporaries.
The final entry is Poem, centres on the austere existence of a young houseboy who becomes helplessly embroiled in the schemes of two brothers, continuing the trilogy’s exploration of faith in a post-industrial world.
The box set also includes a bonus Blu-Ray disc with Jissôji’s 1974 feature It Was A Faint Dream, which continues the themes explored in the Trilogy
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
High Definition Blu-Ray (1080p) presentations
Original uncompressed LPCM mono 1.0 audio on all three films
Newly translated optional English subtitles
Both the 120-minute Theatrical and 137-minute Extended versions of Poem
Bonus Blu-Ray disc with Jissôji’s 1974 feature It Was A Faint Dream, which continues the themes explored in the Trilogy
Introductions to all three films in the Trilogy by David Desser, author of Eros Plus Massacre: An Introduction to the Japanese New Wave
Scene-select commentaries on all three films in the Trilogy by Desser
Theatrical trailers for Mandara, Poem and It Was A Faint Dream Limited edition packaging, fully illustrated by maarko phntm
Illustrated 60-page perfect-bound collector’s book featuring new writings on the films by Anton Bitel and Tom Mes
Japan | 1970 | 18 | 143 / 135 / 137 mins| 1.37:1 / 1.85:1 / 2.35:1 | Japanese | English Subtitles