News Memories of Matsuko now on Blu-Ray
The colorful live-action Japanese film Memories of Matsuko, frequently compared to the French hit Amelie, is now available on Blu-Ray. Lifted by splashy, fantastical visuals, animated elements and musical numbers (see trailer), Matsuko is the story of one woman's incredible life. The heroine Matsuko faces appalling situations – abuse, murder, prison – with an indomitably cheery spirit. Matsuko won the 2007 Japan Academy Awards for Best Music, Editing and Actress.
The latter prize was won by the film's leading actress-singer Miki Nakatani, playing Matsuko. Nakatani previously had a supporting role in the horror film Ring; she went on to appear in its (mutually contradictory) sequels The Spiral and Ring 2, and the later thriller Chaos, all available on DVD. Beyond horror, Nakatani was the female lead in the film version of the otaku-romance Train Man, which was also adapted as four manga and a TV drama. Memories of Matsuko is directed by Tetsuya Nakashima, who made the similarly manic film Kamikaze Girls (on DVD), with a Gothic Lolita heroine and music by Yoko Kanno. Nakashima's 2010 film Confessions is now having a two-week theatrical run at London's Institute of Contemporary Arts (details here).
The Matsuko Blu-Ray is in Japanese, with optional subtitles; it's region-free and the soundtrack is in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. The box also includes a PAL DVD with the following extras: a half-hour “making of” film, a storyboard to film comparison, an interview with Gabriele Roberto (Matsuko's Italian composer) and the Japanese trailer. Matsuko is distributed by Third Window Films, which has already released a DVD edition of the film.
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