Blu-Ray Review: Execution in Autumn

Lee Hsing sadly passed away last year at the ripe old age of 91. The godfather of Taiwanese cinema made over thirty films in a career spanning over four decades. As well as being popular with audiences in his homeland, he was nominated for, and won, a number of awards at the national Golden Horse Film Festival. Not to mention a regular on festival circuits. Not only was Execution in Autumn his favourite film, it was also the most successful.

Growing up, Pei Gang (Ou Wei) was the very definition of a spoilt brat. After the death of his parents, he’s raised by his grandmother. The rich ‘madam’ doted on him and gave him everything he wanted. This bad behaviour continued into adulthood until one day, in a fit of rage, he murders three people. Sentenced to death, he believes she will save him before the autumn, the traditional time for executions.

Execution in Autumn is a richly drawn character drama which charts the rehabilitation of a bad apple. Central to this transformation is his relationship with the Stockade Governor (Hsiang-Ting Ko) and a young orphan (Tang Pao-yun) adopted by the family who is made to marry him in order to produce a male heir. The way they all grow in each other’s company is enthralling to watch. Execution in Autumn is a minor gem.

Special features:

  • Limited Edition O-Card slipcase [2000 copies]
  • 1080p presentation on Blu-ray from a stunning 2K restoration of the original film elements undertaken by the Taiwan Film Institute
  • Original Mandarin audio (uncompressed LPCM)
  • Optional English subtitles, newly revised for this release
  • New video piece by film critic Tony Rayns
  • A collector’s booklet featuring new and archival writing

Execution in Autumn is released on Blu-ray by Eureka Entertainment as part of their Masters of Cinema collection on 20 June.

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