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Radiance Films

Elegant Beast (LE)

Elegant Beast (LE)

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Elegant Beast

In their humble two-room apartment, the Maeda family seem ever so self-effacing - but their modest façade hides another truth. Daughter Tomoko is the mistress of a bestselling author with well-lined pockets. Son Minoru embezzles funds with his lover Yukie (Ayako Wakao, Red Angel), who has her own hidden agenda. And father Tokizo (Yunosuke Ito, Ikiru, Lone Wolf and Cub) is a former military man who swears he will never return to the poverty he knew during the war, no matter what the cost. One after another, those affected by the Maedas’ schemes show up on their doorstep. But these visitors all have their own duplicitous agendas. With each knock on the door, the gamesmanship reaches a whole new level. Elegant Beast was adapted by Kaneto Shindo (Onibaba, Naked Island) from his own stage play. Director Yuzo Kawashima, mentor of Shohei Imamura and a major influence on the Japanese New Wave, makes magnificent widescreen use of the single apartment setting to deliver a ferocious satire on Japan’s post-war economic miracle.


  • New 4K restoration
  • Uncompressed mono PCM audio
  • Interview with film critic Toshiaki Sato (2023)
  • Appreciation by filmmaker Toshiaki Toyoda (2023)
  • Visual essay by critic Tom Mes on post-war architecture in Japanese cinema (2023)
  • Trailer
  • New and improved English subtitles
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork
  • Limited edition booklet featuring new writing by Midori Suiren and contemporary archival writing
  • Limited edition of 3000 copies, presented in full-height Scanavo packaging with removable OBI strip leaving packaging free of certificates and markings 

Also available in USA/Canada from our partners MVDDiabolik, and others 

Year: 1962
Cert: TBC
Format: Blu-ray
Region: AB
EAN: 5060974680665
Release date: 18/12/23

Elegant Beast is a knock-it-out-of-the-park winner … rivals Rear Window in its rigorous exploration of one studio set” - Travis Mackenzie Hoover, Slant

★★★★★ “Nothing is off-limits when it comes to keeping the viewer on edge; expressionistic dream sequences; vertiginous camera setups; a frenzied, sexualized dance scene between Tomoko and her brother, staged against a sunset backdrop and set to pounding drums. Occasionally, however, Kawashima gives us a brief passage of disarming stillness.” Max Nelson, Film Comment

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