Well, I’ve heard rumblings of this for a little while, but it’s just been confirmed … Toshiaki Toyoda’s Blue Spring is coming to DVD in North America and the UK in June. I’m one happy boy. Anybody that’s read this thing for, oh, a day or so has probably clued into the fact that I have a major fetish for Japanese films and Blue Spring is a major reason why. This is just a flat out incredible film. Director Toyoda adapted the film from a manga by the same artist responsible for Ping Pong – another brilliant Japanese film unavailable in the western world – and just nailed it. A perfect blend of style and substance Blue Spring is the story of disaffected youth in a Japanese high school struggling to find any sort of meaning or purpose in their lives. It generated a lot of press due to the violence – which actually occurs mostly off screen – but it’s the depth of the characters, strong performances, insightful script and vibrant direction that makes this film a keeper.
The company releasing the film – Artsmagic – has a mixed reputation in their native UK thanks to some substandard releases but they’ve promised to clean up their act and judging from the specs listed here they’ve kept their word. An enhanced anamorphic widescreen transfer, an interview with the director and commentary by stellar Japanese film critic Tom Mes – the man behind Midnight Eye and author of a book on cult director Takashi Miike – has this looking to be the best release this film has yet received worldwide. There are rumors that Artsmagic is after Toyoda’s Nine Souls as well and based on this I’m hoping they get it … You can see a trailer for Blue Spring here.