It’s death, Japanese style, in the rollicking and wistful first feature from maverick writer-director JUZO ITAMI (Tampopo). In the wake of her father’s sudden passing, a successful actor (Itami’s wife and frequent collaborator, NOBUKO MIYAMOTO) and her lascivious husband (Kagemusha’s TSUTOMU YAMAZAKI) leave Tokyo and return to her family home to oversee a traditional funeral. Over the course of three days of mourning that bring illicit escapades in the woods, a surprisingly materialistic priest (Yasujiro Ozu regular CHISHU RYU), and cinema’s most epic sandwich handoff, the tensions between public propriety and private hypocrisy are laid bare. Deftly weaving dark comedy with poignant family drama, The Funeral is a fearless satire of the clash between old and new in Japanese society in which nothing, not even the finality of death, is off-limits.
SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
- High-definition restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
- New interviews with actors Nobuko Miyamoto and Manpei Ikeuchi
- Creative Marriages: Juzo Itami & Nobuko Miyamoto, a short program produced by the Criterion Channel
- Commercials for Ichiroku Tart by director Juzo Itami
- New English subtitle translation
- PLUS: An essay by author Pico Iyer and, for the Blu-ray, excerpts from Itami’s 1985 book Diary of “The Funeral” and from a 2007 remembrance of Itami by actor Tsutomu Yamazaki