Life isn't easy for a group of high school kids growing up absurd in Japan's pervasive pop/cyber culture. As they negotiate teen badlands- school bullies, parents from another planet, lurid... See full summary »
Nine convicts escape from prison; most are convicted murders. They commandeer a van from a strip club. Their plan is to find a stash of counterfeit money that a deranged cell mate told them... See full summary »
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 »
A spell of time in the life of a family living in rural Tochigi prefecture, north of Tokyo. Though her husband is busy working at an office, Yoshiko is not an ordinary housewife, instead ... See full summary »
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 »
A young man gets off the train in the morning and wanders the business districts aimlessly. He runs across some yakuza gangsters, whom he despises, and goes on a killing spree, but soon becomes involved with a subordinate gang.
In 1993 Kanao and Shoko are a Tokyo couple awaiting the arrival of their first child. Although both have studied art, Kanao works as a shoe repairman which doesn't stretch his rather ... See full summary »
In dreamlike mountain scenery, Toshiko makes a daring escape from her sexually warped Uncle Sonezaki. Fortunately, she met Samehada as she runs for her life, which is also escaping from ... See full summary »
Yasuo is a gangster just released from jail. Believing his boss double-crossed him, enraged Yasuo is on his way to find the boss. But before setting out for the dangerous trip, Yasuo asks ... See full summary »
A.D. 2015: A virus has been spreading in many cities worldwide. It is a suicidal disease and the virus is infected by pictures. People, once infected, come down with the disease, which ... See full summary »
Japanese screenwriter, composer and director Shinji Aojama's seventh feature film which he adapted from his own novel, edited and co-scored with composer Isao Yamada, is a Japan-France co-production which premiered In competition at the 53rd Cannes Film Festival in 2000, was screened in the Contemporary World Cinema section at the 25th Toronto International Film Festival in 2000 and produced by Japanese screenwriter and producer Takenori Sentô. It tells the story about Kozue Tamura and her brother Naoki Tamura who lives on the countryside in Kyushu, Japan with their father and mother. One day while they are on their way to school, their school bus is hijacked by an armed killer who goes mad. Though surviving with the local bus driver named Makoto Sawai, the siblings are traumatized by the tragic incident. As life goes on, they try to get back to normal and so does the bus driver who is as traumatized as them, but all of the sudden Kozue and Naoki are abandoned by their parents.
Distinctly and acutely directed by Japanese filmmaker Shinji Aojama, this quietly paced and reflective voyage which is narrated from various point's of view, draws a deeply humane and heartrending portrayal of a singular relationship between three individuals who are struggling to regain their faith in life and the parts of themselves that they lost after having witnessed a horrendous massacre. While notable for it's naturalistic milieu depictions, profound sepia and black-and-white cinematography by Japanese cinematographer Masaki Tamura, production design by Japanese production designer and art director Takeshi Shimizu and use of sound, this nuanced and character-driven road-movie which depicts three internal studies of character contains a fine score by the director and composer Isao Yamada which emphasizes it's lingering atmosphere.
This perceptive, universal and poignant psychological drama which examines themes like interpersonal relations, interpersonal communication, identity, survival and redemption, is impelled by it's cogent narrative structure, mindful dialog and the remarkable acting performances by Japanese actors Koji Yakusho, Ken Mitsuishi and brother and sister Masuru Miyazaki and Aoi Miyazaki. A compassionate, insightful and epic story which gained, among other awards, the FIPRESCI Prize and the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury at the 53rd Cannes International Film Festival in 2000.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?