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New label Radiance Films launches with two Blu-ray titles in January

15 September 2022

Francesco Simeoni, drawing on over two decades worth of experience in the world of film distribution, has launched the new Blu-ray label Radiance Films, in a bid to release films that otherwise might not see the light of day. Utilising his expert knowledge of where and how to source visionary filmmaking, some of it ultra-rare, and driven by a desire to shine a light on these wonderful, and sometimes wonderfully-obscure titles, Radiance Films is an idiosyncratic and adventurous new label. As Fran himself says, “Why can’t these films be released, if done properly? I want to explore lesser trodden paths, areas of cinema that have never been touched before.”

At the start of next year, Radiance Films will launch with the great Palme d’Or winning film The Working Class Goes to Heaven, starring Gian Maria Volonte, making its UK Blu-ray debutand the outstanding Yakuza film Big Time Gambling Boss, that Paul Schrader thinks is best of its genre, and that Yukio Mishima called a masterpiece, presented for the first time ever on Blu-ray with a brand new restoration. Both titles are packed with thoughtfully curated extras featuring passionate cineastes, with stylish packaging (with a removable OBI strip allowing the cover to be free of text and certification), superbly designed new covers and collectable booklets, and will be available from 2nd January 2023.

Forthcoming films from the label in 2023 includes a never-before released French sensation A Woman Kills, a Franco Nero rarity, Alec Baldwin in Miami Blues, an acclaimed Swedish policier, Todd Solondz’s Welcome to the Dollhouse, and more. To find out more about forthcoming titles visit the Radiance Films website.

Label boss Francesco Simeoni says about Radiance Films: 

“Every film is a journey into the unknown. I find it thrilling to explore new areas of cinema. Different periods, tropes, styles, politics, sensibilities, I find it all absolutely fascinating -  it’s art, history, biography, and lots of emotion. With Radiance Films I want to encompass the whole of cinema.”


The Working Class Goes to Heaven Blu-ray cover art


Gian Maria Volonté (A Fistful of Dollars), stars in one of provocative filmmaker Elio (Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion) Petri's most politically charged films as factory worker Lulu: a man on the verge of a nervous breakdown, following an accident at work. Too tired to sleep with his girlfriend, cut out of his son’s life by his ex, humiliated and disrespected, The Working Class Goes to Heaven is an oftentimes surreal and darkly comic look at the life of an everyday Italian trying to find a sense of purpose in a world where he is only allowed to be a tool for industry. A savage takedown of capitalism and industrial corruption, the film was recipient of the prestigious Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or and features a gloriously unhinged, award-winning performance from Volonté, accompanied by an exceptional score by Ennio Morricone and stunning cinematography by Luigi Kuveiller (Deep Red).


  • 2K restoration of the film
  • Original uncompressed mono PCM audio
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • Archival interview with Elio Petri from the Cannes Film Festival
  • Career-encompassing archival interview with Gian Maria Volonté from French TV
  • Archival interview with actor Corrado Solari
  • Appreciation of Gian Maria Volonté and the film by filmmaker Alex Cox
  • A visual essay by scholar Matthew Kowalski on Petri and politics 
  • The Working Class Goes to Heaven - Background to a Film Shot in Novara (2006), by Serena Checcucci and Enrico Omodeo Salé; an unconventional making-of documentary, exploring the real-life factory location where the film was shot and the story behind the film’s production there, as told by the staff, film extras and crew
  • Trailer
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Time Tomorrow
  • Limited edition booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic Eugenio Renzi, Elio Petri Investigation of a Filmmakerauthor Roberto Curti on Petri and Volonté's collaborations and relationship, archival writing and reviews to be confirmed 
  • Limited edition of 2000 copies, presented in full-height Scanavo packaging with removable OBI strip leaving packaging free of certificates and markings 


Big Time Gambling Boss Blu-ray cover art


Tokyo, 1934. Gang boss Arakawa is too ill and a successor must be named. The choice falls on Nakai, but being an outsider he refuses and suggests senior clansman Matsuda instead. But Matsuda is in jail and the elders won’t wait for his release, so they appoint the younger and more malleable Ishido to take the reins. Clan honour and loyalties are severely tested when Matsuda is released, resulting in an increasingly violent internal strife.

An atmospheric tale of gangland intrigue written by Kasahara Kazuo (Battles Without Honour and Humanity) and starring Wakayama Tomisaburo, (Lone Wolf and Cub, The Bounty Hunter Trilogy) and genre legend Tsuruta Koji, Big Time Gambling Boss is one of the all-time classics of the yakuza genre. Paul Schrader called it the richest and most complex film of its type, while novelist Mishima Yukio hailed it as a masterpiece. Radiance Films presents this crucial re-discovery for the first time ever on Blu-ray.


  • High Definition digital transfer of the film
  • Uncompressed mono PCM audio
  • Visual essay by genre expert Chris D on the film and its place within the period and genre (2022)
  • Ninkyo 101: A masterclass with Mark Schilling, author of The Yakuza Movie Book (2022)
  • Trailer
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by maarko phntm
  • Limited edition booklet featuring new writing on the film by author Stuart Galbraith IV, and critic Hayley Scanlon
  • Limited edition of 2000 copies, presented in full-height Scanavo packaging with removable OBI strip leaving packaging free of certificates and markings 

The Working Class Goes to Heaven
and Big Time Gambling Boss are released on Blu-ray on 2nd January 2023, and can be pre-ordered here