by HELEN GEIB
The Criterion Collection released a new two-disc set of High and Low today. Directed by Akira Kurosawa and starring Toshiro Mifune and Tatsuya Nakadai, High and Low is a brilliant amalgam of crime film, character drama, and penetrating social commentary. Though less well known than the famed samurai films Rashomon, The Seven Samurai, The Hidden Fortress, Yojimbo, Ran, et al. (all likewise starring one or both of Mifune and Nakadai), it is this Kurosawa admirer’s pick for his greatest film.
The release is a new, restored digital transfer of the film with new English subtitles. The special features include an audio commentary by film scholar Stephen Prince, a documentary on the making of the film from a series on Kurosawa, a vintage video interview with Mifune and a new interview with actor Tsutomu Yamazaki, theatrical trailers, and a booklet with an essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien and an on-set account by the notable Japanese film scholar Donald Richie.
New releases this week: 21, Turn the River