Also announced from **Criterion** for August release is the Japanese classic Twenty-Four Eyes (1954). It will retail for $39.95, but is available at Classicflix.com for only $29.99.
The Small Back Room (1949)
After the lavish Technicolor spectacle of The Red Shoes, British filmmakers Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger retreated into the inward, shadowy recesses of this moody, crackling character study. Based on the acclaimed novel by Nigel Balchin, The Small Back Room details the professional and personal travails of troubled, alcoholic research scientist and military bomb-disposal expert Sammy Rice (David Farrar), who, while struggling with a complex relationship with secretary-girlfriend Susan (Kathleen Byron), is hired by the government to advise on a dangerous new German weapon. Frank and intimate, deftly mixing suspense and romance, The Small Back Room is an atmospheric, post–World War II gem.
- Audio commentary featuring film scholar Charles Barr
- New video interview with cinematographer Chris Challis
- Excerpts from Michael Powell’s audio dictations from his autobiography
- PLUS: A new essay by film scholar Nick James
Twenty-Four Eyes (1954)
Keisuke Kinoshita’s Twenty-four Eyes (Nijushi no hitomi) is an elegant, emotional chronicle of a teacher’s unwavering commitment to her students, her profession, and her sense of morality. Set in a remote, rural island community and spanning decades of Japanese history, from 1928 through World War II and beyond, Kinoshita’s film takes a simultaneously sober and sentimental look at the epic themes of aging, war, and death, all from the lovingly intimate perspective of Hisako Oshi (Hideko Takamine), as she watches her pupils grow and deal with life’s harsh realities. Though little known in the United States, Twenty-four Eyes is one of Japan’s most popular and enduring classics.
- Television interview with director Keisuke Kinoshita
- New video interview with Japanese cinema historian and critic Tadao Sato about the film and its director
- New and improved English subtitle translation
- PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay be renowned film scholar Audie Bock and excerpts from an interview with Kinoshita