In future Japan, a dangerous pollen falls upon Tokyo, endangering its populace. Two people volunteer to become tests subject for a drug that could possibly provide a cure.

Director:

Reviews

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A man enlists a friend to help him identify and exact revenge upon his daughter's murderer.

Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Stars: Shô Aikawa, Teruyuki Kagawa, Shirô Shimomoto
Loft (2005)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Reiko, a prize-winning writer, moves to a quiet isolated house to finish up her new novel. One night she sees the man next door transporting an object wrapped in cloth. She finds out he is ... See full summary »

Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Stars: Miki Nakatani, Etsushi Toyokawa, Hidetoshi Nishijima
Drama | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Yoshi, aged 24, awakes after 10 years in a coma, goes on to start a new life and rebuild his family.

Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Stars: Hidetoshi Nishijima, Shun Sugata, Lily
Bright Future (2003)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Two young guys work in a plant that manufactures oshibori (those moist hand-towels found in some Japanese restaurants). Their weird bond is based on uncontrollable rage--something neither ... See full summary »

Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Stars: Joe Odagiri, Tadanobu Asano, Tatsuya Fuji
Doppelganger (2003)
Comedy | Fantasy | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Hayasaki is an inventor working on an Artificial Body. It is not going well and he is stressed out and on the verge of being fired from the research division of his company. His ... See full summary »

Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Stars: Kôji Yakusho, Hiromi Nagasaku, Yûsuke Santamaria
Real (2013)
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A man decides to use a new technology to go inside the mind of his comatose lover.

Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Stars: Takeru Satô, Haruka Ayase, Joe Odagiri
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A man discovers a darker side of himself after exacting revenge on his daughter's killer.

Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Stars: Shô Aikawa, Duncan, Ren Ôsugi
Charisma (1999)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A seasoned detective is called in to rescue a politician held hostage by a lunatic. In a brief moment of uncertainty, he misses the chance for action. Leaving his job and family without ... See full summary »

Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Stars: Kôji Yakusho, Hiroyuki Ikeuchi, Ren Ôsugi
Penance (TV Series 2012)
Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The murder of Emili, a young girl, leaves the inhabitants of a small Japanese village in shock. The body of Emily is found by the four classmates with whom she was playing. The murder is ... See full summary »

Stars: Hazuki Kimura, Manatsu Kimura, Kyôko Koizumi
Sakebi (2006)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A detective investigates a series of murders. A possible serial killer might be on a rampage, since they all are in the same vicinity and by the same method, but as the evidence points ... See full summary »

Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Stars: Kôji Yakusho, Manami Konishi, Tsuyoshi Ihara
Seventh Code (2013)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Akiko travels to Vladivostok Russia to meet Matsunaga who she first met in Tokyo and is unable to forget. Even though Akiko meets Matsunaga again, Matsunaga does not remember her. Matsunaga... See full summary »

Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Stars: Atsuko Maeda, Ryôhei Suzuki, Aissy
Tokyo Sonata (2008)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An ordinary Japanese family slowly disintegrates after its patriarch loses his job at a prominent company.

Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Stars: Teruyuki Kagawa, Kyôko Koizumi, Yû Koyanagi
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Shinji Aoyama
Shirô Atami
Shingo Ichizawa
Kazushige Inami
Takeshi Ishizumi
Yûichirô Izumi
Shunpei Kawaguchi
Taeko Kobayashi
Reiko Kondo
Yae Konishi
Masamichi Matsumoto
Shôgo Motomiya
Yôko Muranushi
Miki Nakata
Yôko Oguchi
Edit

Storyline

In future Japan, a dangerous pollen falls upon Tokyo, endangering its populace. Two people volunteer to become tests subject for a drug that could possibly provide a cure.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Sci-Fi

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 December 1999 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Barren Illusion  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in Demonlover (2002) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Contemporary filmmaking at its best
27 February 2002 | by (Astoria, NY) – See all my reviews

Kiyoshi Kurosawa's 1999 masterpiece, Barren Illusion, is a razor-sharp dissection of contemporary Japanese culture which depicts its subject as being so devoid of its own identity that it's almost completely co-opted by mundane Western artifacts. In scene after scene--sometimes subtly, sometimes not so subtly--Kurosawa shows objects with obvious English language markers as critical components of required activity in day-to-day lives. And an all-Japanese music group intermittently shows up pounding on an assortment of Brazilian drums to emphatically demonstrate their (read, the culture's) need to immerse themselves in something completely different from what they are.

To emphasize this more dramatically, Kurosawa has the male lead, a sometime musician, occasionally fade in and out of his surroundings, as though a being who senses intelligently and who, at the same time, is an integral component of his culture, could not (or, perhaps, should not) exist if the culture itself has so little identity. In Woody Allen's Deconstructing Harry a character becomes blurred on screen, but that was a psychological observation linked to the individual's personality. Kurosawa's disappearing act is quite different, much more emphatically connecting the individual to his culture.

There is no real plot in the film, but the intelligence Kurosawa brings to bear is so powerful, a plot is not necessary--nor would it work. He frequently has his characters repeat the same banal action in the same scene (stamping postal documents, kicking a balloon around), indicating much more than a lack of imagination. It is, Kurosawa says, the sterility of a culture that engenders repetitive, non-thinking (i.e., sterile) behavior.

The female lead, a postal worker, is shown involved in activities (in two different scenes) which surely would result in her death--jumping off a building and being severely beaten by a gang of thugs. Yet in each case, she's shown in the immediately following scene alive and whole. How can one die when one does not really live?

This is a brilliant work, very highly recommended. It's a shame that none of Kurosawa's work is available in the U.S. on DVD or video. Rumor has it that Cure, another superb film, will be available in Summer 2002 domestically on DVD.


18 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Great, somewhat depressing film. KenMishima
DVD with english subtitles eddymondo
Discuss Ôinaru gen'ei (1999) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page