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Criterion is bringing us Zatoichi – The Blind Swordsman in a twenty-five film box-set

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The colossally popular Zatoichi films make up the longest-running action series in Japanese history and created one of the screen’s great heroes: an itinerant blind masseur who also happens to be a lightning-fast swordsman. As this iconic figure, the charismatic and earthy Shintaro Katsu became an instant superstar, lending a larger-than-life presence to the thrilling adventures of a man who lives staunchly by a code of honour and delivers justice in every town and village he enters. The films that feature him are variously pulse-pounding, hilarious, stirring, and completely off-the-wall. This deluxe set features the string of twenty-five Zatoichi films made between 1962 and 1973.

INCLUDES 25 FILMS:
THE TALE OF ZATOICHI • THE TALE OF ZATOICHI CONTINUES • NEW TALE OF ZATOICHI • ZATOICHI THE FUGITIVE • ZATOICHI ON THE ROAD • ZATOICHI AND THE CHEST OF GOLD • ZATOICHI’S FLASHING SWORD • FIGHT, ZATOICHI, FIGHT • ADVENTURES OF ZATOICHI • ZATOICHI’S REVENGE • ZATOICHI AND THE DOOMED MAN • ZATOICHI AND THE CHESS EXPERT • ZATOICHI’S VENGEANCE • ZATOICHI’S PILGRIMAGE • ZATOICHI’S CANE SWORD • ZATOICHI THE OUTLAW • ZATOICHI CHALLENGED • ZATOICHI AND THE FUGITIVES • SAMARITAN ZATOICHI • ZATOICHI MEETS YOJIMBO • ZATOICHI GOES TO THE FIRE FESTIVAL • ZATOICHI MEETS THE ONE-ARMED SWORDSMAN • ZATOICHI AT LARGE • ZATOICHI IN DESPERATION • ZATOICHI’S CONSPIRACY

BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

  • Digital restorations of all twenty-five films, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks
  • The Blind Swordsman, a 1978 documentary about Zatoichi portrayer and filmmaker Shintaro Katsu, along with a 2013 interview with its director, John Nathan
  • Interview from 2013 with Asian-film critic Tony Rayns
  • Trailers
  • PLUS: A book featuring an essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien; synopses of the films by critic, novelist, and musician Chris D.; “The Tale of Zatoichi,” the original short story by Kan Shimozawa; and twenty-five illustrations inspired by the films, by twenty-five different artists

The Box-Set is out in the UK on 19th November 2018.

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