7.6/10
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36 user 35 critic

Maborosi (1995)

Maboroshi no hikari (original title)
A young woman's husband apparently commits suicide without warning or reason, leaving behind his wife and infant. Yumiko remarries and moves from Osaka to a small fishing village, yet ... See full summary »

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Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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9 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Yumiko
Takashi Naitô ...
Tamio
...
Ikuo
Gohki Kashiyama ...
Yuichi
Naomi Watanabe ...
Tomoko
Midori Kiuchi ...
Michiko
Akira Emoto ...
Yoshihiro
Mutsuko Sakura ...
Tomeno
Hidekazu Akai ...
Master
Hiromi Ichida ...
Hatsuko
Minori Terada ...
Detective
Ren Ôsugi ...
Hiroshi, Yumiko's Father
Kikuko Hashimoto ...
Kiyo, Yumiko's Grandmother
Shuichi Harada ...
Cop
Takashi Inoue ...
Driver
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Storyline

A young woman's husband apparently commits suicide without warning or reason, leaving behind his wife and infant. Yumiko remarries and moves from Osaka to a small fishing village, yet continues to search for meaning in a lonely world. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Release Date:

21 March 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Illusion  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Was released on DVD in France in 2010, 11 years after its 1999 theatrical release in the country. See more »

Quotes

Yumiko: [Recalling her first husband's unexplained suicide] I just... I just don't understand! Why did he kill himself? Why was he walking along the tracks? It just goes around and around in my head. Why do you think he did it?
Tamio: [after giving it some thought] The sea has the power to beguile. Back when dad was fishing, he once saw a maborosi - a strange light - far out to sea. Something in it was beckoning to him, he said... It happens to all of us.
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User Reviews

Full, full, full of painterly light
5 February 2001 | by (new york city) – See all my reviews

Steeped in the traditions of the lush visual beauties of Japanese cinema, and influenced by the likes of Taiwanese (?) director Hsiao Hsien Hou (I believe there are several fairly direct quotes) or the luminous cinematography of Bergman's long time cameraman, Sven Nykvist. This film directly mines the visual effects of some of the most glorious European painters of light like Vermeer, Caravaggio, and Georges de la Tour. From the subtitles it seems that MABOROSI means 'strange light' and Kore eda uses almost nothing but strange, rich luminosity to tell his story (although he also gets a fine, somber perfomance from his female lead). Each shot is deeply thought out and composed to the maximum. Literally, every single shot. The results are tranquil and beautiful. The story is as quiet as the light, and probably if you require your film to have a strong direct narrative you should stay away from this as the story is told very subtly using light and almost subliminal sound (it seemed to me there were ocean waves in the sub background even in the city shots, for example). It works great as cinema. I would suggest that you watch at least the first 20 minutes or so again, after watching the whole film. The same motifs cross and criss cross all through the film and it really builds a wonderful texture.

I would recommend this as a double bill with something like the Actor's Revenge by Ichikawa- also deeply steeped in lush visual beauties and light. Or else Angel Dust by Sogo Ishii-a very opposite film full of passion, madness and violence, but where you see that meticulous, relentless search for supercomposition on almost a frame for frame basis. Or lastly, the tranquil, and beautiful, and very painterly Why Has Bodhidharma Left For The East- a Korean film by Bae Yong Kyun and something of a successful Zen meditation. Well one more, Mystery of Rampo-by Kazuyoshi Okuyama- very offbeat with bewitchingly lush visual beauty. (Rampo is Japanese for Edgar Allen Poe and the first Japanese mystery writer adopted Rampo as his nom de plume)


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