“Akio Jissoji: The Buddhist Trilogy”

3-Disc Limited Edition

Amos Lassen

During his career, Akio Jissôji created a rich and diverse body of work during his fifty years in Japan s film and television industries. He is best-known for his science-fiction: the 1960s TV series Ultraman and 1998 s box-office success Tokyo: The Last Megalopolis. For others, it is his 1990s adaptations of horror and mystery novelist Edogawa Rampo. There are also his New Wave films for the Art Theatre Guild and three of them comprise this set— “This Transient Life”, “Mandara” and “Poem”. Taken together, they are known as The Buddhist Trilogy.

“This Transient Life” is among the Art Theatre Guild s most successful and most controversial productions. It is about a brother and sister from a rich family who defy the expectations placed on them: he has little interest in further education or his father’s business and obsesses  over Buddhist statues; she continually refuses a string of suitors and the prospect of marriage. Their closeness, and isolation, gives way to an incestuous relationship which brings about disaster.

“Mandara” is Jissôji’s first color feature and focuses on a cult who recruit through rape and hope to achieve true ecstasy through sexual release. It is radically stylized and experimental.

“Poem” is in black and white, returns to black and white and is centered on the austere existence of a young houseboy who becomes helplessly embroiled in the schemes of two brothers and continues the trilogy’s s exploration of faith in a post-industrial world.


  High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentations of This Transient Life, Mandara and Poem

  Original uncompressed LPCM mono 1.0 audio on all three films

  Newly translated optional English subtitles

  Introductions to all three films by David Desser, author of Eros Plus Massacre: An Introduction to the Japanese New Wave

  Scene-select commentaries on all three films by Desser

  Theatrical trailer for Mandara

  Theatrical trailer for Poem

  Limited edition packaging, fully illustrated by maarko phntm

  Illustrated 80-page perfect-bound collector s book featuring new writings on the film by Anton Bitel and Tom Mes




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