Pigs & Battleships (including Stolen Desire) (Masters of Cinema) is to be released in the UK as a Dual Format Blu-ray/DVD on June 27 2011

Considered part of the Japanese new-wave of cinema, Pigs & Battle ships is Shôhei Imamura’s fifth film, and is a portrait of the wannabe-Yakuza subculture in the U.S. Navy occupied area of Yokosuka.  It’s a chaotic tale of petty thugs, strong minded women, gangsters, and much more who are all battling for control over the pork trade in the Yokosuka coastal town.  This special Dual Format Blu-ray/DVD will also contain Shôhei Imamura’s 1958 debut, but rarely seen, Stolen Desire. The Blu-ray format will certainly bring out all of the details in the rich black and white ‘Scope’ cinematography found in Pigs & BattleshipsPigs & Battleships will be released in the UK June 27th, 2011.  


With this, his fifth film, Shôhei Imamura finally answered his true calling as Japanese cinema’s most dedicated and brilliant chronicler of society’s underbelly with the astonishing Pigs and Battleships [Buta to gunkan]. A riotous portrait of sub-Yakuza gangsters battling for control of the local pork business in a U.S. Navy-occupied coastal town (Yokosuka), Imamura conjures a chaotic world of petty thugs, young love, tough-headed women, and underworld hypochondria, with one of the most unforgettable climaxes ever to grace the screen.

Featuring dynamic black-and-white ‘Scope cinematography, the director’s typically sly sense of social commentary, and a host of outstanding performances (including Jitsuko Yoshimura from Onibaba), Pigs and Battleships immediately became a cornerstone of the Japanese New Wave and remains perhaps Imamura’s most sheerly entertaining work.

Pigs and Battleships is a much-loved, major classic of Japanese cinema, and part of the established canon along with Seven Samurai, Onibaba, Kwaidan, Ugetsu monogatari, and Tokyo Story, etc.  The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present the film in a Dual Format edition, alongside Imamura’s 1958 rarely-seen debut feature, Stolen Desire [Nusumareta yokujô] commercially released with English subtitles for the first time ever in the West.  Available from 27 June 2011.


• Exclusively restored high-definition master from the original camera negative (1080p on Blu-ray)

• Stolen Desire [Nusumareta yokujô] (1958), Imamura’s debut feature for Nikkatsu in a new high-definition transfer [93 minutes] (1080p on Blu-ray)

• Newly translated English subtitles for both films

• A booklet featuring essays on both films by Tony Rayns and rare stills


Label: Eureka Entertainment Ltd

Catalogue No: EKA70032 (RETAIL ONLY)

Barcode: 5060000700329

RRP: £25.52

Release Date: 27 June 2011

Certificate: TBC

Run Time: 201 min. (108 + 93)

Format:  2.35:1 OAR/ B&W

Genre: World Cinema

Director: Shôhei Imamura

Year: 1961/ 1958

Country:  Japan

Language: Japanese

Subtitles: English (Optional)


Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

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