It is difficult to summarise Shohei Imamura's legendary 1967 film, the first picture produced by Japan's countercultural Art Theatre Guild (ATG). Is it a documentary that turns into a fiction? A narrative film from beginning to end? A record of improvisation populated with actors or non-actors (and in what proportion)? Is it the investigation into a true disappearance, or a work merely inspired by actual events? Even at the conclusion of its final movement, A Man Vanishes
, or The Unexplained Disappearance of a Human Being
] mirrors its subject in deflecting inquiries into the precise nature of its own being.
A middle-class salaryman has gone missing - possibly of his own accord - and a film crew has set out to assemble a record of the man and the events surrounding his disappearance. As the crew meticulously builds a cachet of interviews with the man's family and lovers, their subject and his motivations become progressively more elusive - until the impossibility of the endeavour seems to transform the very film itself.
Long unavailable anywhere on home video, Imamura's A Man Vanishes
remains a unique and crucial entry in a provocative filmmaker's body of work, daring as it does to ask the big questions: what is reality, and what is a man?
SPECIAL EDITION DVD FEATURES:
Directed by the great Japanese director Shohei Imamura, A Man Vanishes is one of the most requested, influential, and acclaimed pseudo-documentaries ever made.
- New high-definition restoration of the film
- New and improved English subtitle translation
- Exclusive new video interview with scholar Tony Rayns
- More extras to be announced closer to the release date.
- PLUS: A lavish booklet featuring rare archival imagery, and more!