Blu-ray review: Gate of Hell

December 6, 2012

Gate of Hell

Kinugasa’s 1953 film is at the opposite end of the spectrum from Ozu. A rip-roaring, medieval melodrama filmed in gloriously saturated colour, it focusses on Morito, a samurai warrior, who falls in love with a women from the Emperor’s court. After being granted anything he desires by the Emperor, Morito requests Lady Kesa’s hand in marriage. However, Kesa is already married to a fellow samurai…

The film is a brilliant depiction of sexual obsession which feels like a straight version of opera complete with its tragic ending. Looking at this beautifully restored high-def transfer you can see why Martin Scorsese named Gate of Hell as one of the ten greatest colour achievements in world cinema.

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