Harada is a successful scenario writer, and his best buddy has just announced an intention to propose to Harada's ex-wife. Recovering from the shock, Harada indulges in melancholy, mainly ... See full summary »
Lonely and love-struck, high-school student Hiroki pursues one girl but another one mysteriously appears in his life. Is she a figment of his lonely psyche, or real? An intricate triangle ... See full summary »
People from all walks of life (a high-school student, a middle-aged businessman, a yakuza chief, etc.) all receive mysterious messages from loved ones who were killed 3 months earlier in a ... See full summary »
Experimental short film depicting the life, perhaps real, perhaps a dream, of a young girl named Emi. Emi travels to the city where she encounters her counterpart, Sari, and falls in love with...a vampire?
This cartoon, based on a popular manga (Japanese-style comic), centers on an 11-year-old boy who goes to Africa with his father in 1941. Because he is Japanese, the father is detained by ... See full summary »
Perhaps Kobayashi's most sordid film, Black River is an exposé of the rampant corruption on and around U.S. military bases following World War II. Kobayashi spirals out from the story of a ... See full summary »
Harada is a successful scenario writer, and his best buddy has just announced an intention to propose to Harada's ex-wife. Recovering from the shock, Harada indulges in melancholy, mainly on his failure as a husband and father, and goes to a 'Rakugo' (sit-down comedy) show, where a friendly man in the audience invites him home. Harada is puzzled at the strong resemblance of this man and his wife to his own parents, who were killed nearly 30 years ago when he was twelve. He visits the couple repeatedly, and greatly enjoys the happy atmosphere there, which was much like his childhood, and such a contrast to his current existence, which is lonely and tortured. But he is no longer alone. The same night his buddy confessed, Harada was visited by Kei, a beautiful woman from the third floor, who is also the only other occupant of their apartment building. She offers champagne and company. Furious with women, he rudely rebuffs her, but she persists, and he later invites her in. That they ... Written by
A difficult book to adapt, but done surprisingly well
Although 'discarnate' was a new word to me, I see it is defined in the dictionary as, 'disembodied', so although seeming a little clumsy as a film title, not totally inaccurate, although they probably should have stuck to the singular. I read 'Strangers' by Taichi Yamada, earlier this year and pondered how difficult it might be to film, not aware that it had indeed already been so filmed twenty years ago. The splendidly spooky book (Ijin-tachi to no Natsu, in the Japanese) was originally published in Japan in 1987 but only translated into English recently. The film itself is very faithful to the book and overcomes the difficulties I foresaw fairly creatively but mainly with the use of shadow. The middle section of the film seems a little flat, whereas in the book we are in the midst of deeply disturbing images both of the main character's deterioration and his friend's 'scars', the film plays this in a more straightforward manner. Nevertheless the film is well paced, has a warmth as well as worry to it and nobody could be disappointed by the rousing ending. A difficult book to adapt, but done surprisingly well.
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