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Tokyo Sonata [Masters of Cinema] (Dual Format Edition) [Blu-ray] [2008]


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Tokyo Sonata [Masters of Cinema] (Dual Format Edition) [Blu-ray] [2008] + Sunrise (Dual Format Blu-ray+DVD) [Masters of Cinema] [1927] + City Girl - Dual Format (Blu-ray+DVD) [Masters of Cinema] [1930]
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Product details

  • Directors: Kiyoshi KUROSAWA
  • Format: Import, Blu-ray, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Eureka Entertainment Ltd
  • DVD Release Date: 13 Feb. 2012
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0073GIDJ4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 34,801 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

SYNOPSIS: Kiyoshi Kurosawa the hugely acclaimed Japanese director famous for his groundbreaking, existential horror films such as Cure and Kairo [Pulse] set Cannes alight in 2008 with this highly topical film: an eerie, poignant reflection on the mass uncertainty sweeping the world.

When Ryuhei Sasaki (played by Teruyuki Kagawa) is unceremoniously dumped from his safe company job, his family's happy, humdrum life is put at risk. Unwilling to accept the shame of unemployment, the loyal salaryman decides not to tell anyone, instead leaving home each morning in suit and tie with briefcase, spending his days searching for work and lining up for soup with the homeless. Outstanding performances; serene, elegant direction; and Kurosawa's trademark chills are evident as he ratchets up the unsettling atmosphere and the grim hopelessness of Sasaki's unemployment.

Widely regarded as his finest achievement, The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Kurosawa s winner of the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize at Cannes in 2008, in a Dual Format Edition (DVD & Blu-ray)

SPECIAL DUAL FORMAT EDITION:
  • Gorgeous 1080p Blu-ray transfer in the original aspect ratio
  • Making Of documentary [61:00]
  • Q&A, Tokyo, September 2008 [12:00]
  • Première footage, Tokyo, September 2008 [15:00]
  • DVD discussion [9:00] UK trailer [3:00]
  • 28-page colour booklet with a new essay by B. Kite

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Ruth Ludlam VINE VOICE on 27 July 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I am buying this because I saw it at the cinema a few months ago, and haven't been able to get it out of my head since. I've seen other films by this director, who until now specialized in suspenseful, eerie "horror" films (although they were more unsettling really). This film has some of the same atmosphere of oppression, as the main character loses his job, and with it, his hope and his semblance of a normal life. The parody of a life that he leads to try to pretend everything is ok, has moments of wonderful humour amidst the oppressive hopelessness, especially when he meets someone else in the same situation.

Slowly, Ryuhei's life and those of his family unravel and reach breaking point. And around them, others in a similar position give up and succumb to fate. But throughout the rather depressing main plot, it is the little things that offer relief - moments of humour, a tiny bit of hope, and piano lessons. Somehow, the characters carry on. And then, things take a bizarre twist, when a similarly hopeless thief turns up.

This reminds me of the director's earlier film "Kourei", which, whilst being a ghost story, somehow spends more time reflecting on the relationship of a quiet middle-aged couple, as they come to accept that the dreams of their youth will never now come true. In this film, the couple are the central figures, who must both separately go off and find themselves by undertaking a journey that takes them far beyond their normal life. And the director draws the film to a close with the youngest son playing the piano, we are finally able to hear him for ourselves, and it seems to underline the conclusion to the film.

I highly recommend this film. But it is very understated, there is very little high drama, and all the tension is under the surface, in a way that is very Japanese.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By @GeekZilla9000 TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 19 Mar. 2010
Format: DVD
After losing his job as admin director for a large corporation, Ryûhei realises that he's not likely to get a similar job, and certainly not one with the same salary. It seems that the city is full of unemployed suited types desperately trying to give the impression that they are succesfully in work in an attempt to maintain dignity. As Ryûhei walks the streets and queues up for food hand-outs the the film brings us subtle scenes of dark humour, wherever he kills time in the city there are plenty of other jobless well dressed men milling about.

He meets an old friend in a similar situation, he provides something of a masterclass in how to convince those around you, including family, that you're still in work. For all the humour in his eccentric habits it is he who eventually provides the most sobering reminder of the stress caused by unemployment. It's clear that the unemployed men in the film are suffering from a lack of self confidence, they simply can't face up to the fact that they can't provide for their families on the level they have become accustomed to.

Ryûhei's family are seemingly unaware of his situation and between scenes of watching him killing time we get to experience snippets from their lives. Each of their stories are just as interesting as the father's and are initially charming moments which become more involved.

When you start to think that the mother of the house is being somewhat overlooked by the film she then gets to steal the final scenes. Her devotion to the family and the way she represents the true strength underpinning the web of relationships in the house is clarified in a tense and dramatic series of events, we also see her not just as a mum and wife - but as a woman with her own aspirations, dreams and regrets.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By ANITA on 23 Sept. 2010
Format: DVD
If you want a brlliant two hour long study of modern-day urban life in Japan, look no further. You need to be patient with this one, but the tension mounts slow but sure. Really a memorable film that I would recommend to any intelligent viewer with a dark sense of humour. The essence of the story will stay with you for some time.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ruth Ludlam VINE VOICE on 8 Aug. 2009
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I am buying this because I saw it at the cinema a few months ago, and haven't been able to get it out of my head since. I've seen other films by this director, who until now specialized in suspenseful, eerie "horror" films (although they were more unsettling really). This film has some of the same atmosphere of oppression, as the main character loses his job, and with it, his hope and his semblance of a normal life. The parody of a life that he leads to try to pretend everything is ok, has moments of wonderful humour amidst the oppressive hopelessness, especially when he meets someone else in the same situation.

Slowly, Ryuhei's life and those of his family unravel and reach breaking point. And around them, others in a similar position give up and succumb to fate. But throughout the rather depressing main plot, it is the little things that offer relief - moments of humour, a tiny bit of hope, and piano lessons. Somehow, the characters carry on. And then, things take a bizarre twist, when a similarly hopeless thief turns up.

This reminds me of the director's earlier film "Kourei", which, whilst being a ghost story, somehow spends more time reflecting on the relationship of a quiet middle-aged couple, as they come to accept that the dreams of their youth will never now come true. In this film, the couple are the central figures, who must both separately go off and find themselves by undertaking a journey that takes them far beyond their normal life. And the director draws the film to a close with the youngest son playing the piano, we are finally able to hear him for ourselves, and it seems to underline the conclusion to the film.

I highly recommend this film. But it is very understated, there is very little high drama, and all the tension is under the surface, in a way that is very Japanese.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
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