French home video distributor Elephant Films revealed on its Facebook page it will release three of famed Japanese director Seijun Suzuki’s films to the high definition format as part of its Cinema Master Class collection. Of the three, only Branded to Kill already got a release (from the Criterion Collection in 2011), while the two others, Detective Bureau 2-3: Go to Hell, Bastards! and Youth of the Beast will be new to the format.
Unfortunately, the Cinema Master Class’ previous releases indicate that it is unlikely these discs will hold English subtitles, but this is definitely good news for anyone who masters Japanese or French and a potential sign that other distributors around the world may get these films out there as Elephant Films indicates the copies are “pristine”.
Not as widely known as other Japanese masters, the 91 year-old Suzuki (who retired in 2006) is nevertheless an important and influential figure of the medium, particularly celebrated for his surreal gangster films, whose work has been championed by filmmakers such as Jim Jarmusch (Broken Flowers), Takeshi Kitano (Zatoichi), Wong Kar-wai (In the Mood for Love) and Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction).
The films will hit French (and online) stores on November 4th. Check out the subtitled trailer for Youth of the Beast after the jump and sound off in the comments.