- Enjoy £1.00 reward to spend on movies or TV on Amazon Video when you purchase a DVD or Blu-ray offered by Amazon.co.uk. A maximum of 1 reward per customer applies. UK customers only. Offer ends at 23:59 GMT on Wednesday, December 20, 2017 Here's how (terms and conditions apply)
Japon  [DVD] 
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Special offers and product promotions
Frequently bought together
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
A man leaves Mexico city for the remote countryside where he intends to end his life. There he finds lodging with an old Indian woman, Ascen, in her ramshackle home overlooking a desolate canyon. In the vastness of this wild, breathtaking natural landscape, the old woman's infinite humanity reawakens his dulled senses and desires. Inspired by the visionary cinema of Andrei Tarkovsky, Carlos Reygadas' extraordinary debut feature - stunningly shot in panoramic cinemascope - is an enigmatic and mesmerising meditation of the themes of death and rebirth, human strength and frailty, and love and faith.
From the Back Cover
A man leaves Mexico City for the remote countryside where he intends to end his life. There he finds lodging with an old Indian widow, Ascen, in her ramshackle home overlooking a desolate canyon. In the vastness of this wild, breathtaking natural landscape, the old womans infinite humanity reawakens his dulled senses and desires. Inspired by the visionary cinema of Andrei Tarkovsky, Carlos Reygadas extraordinary debut feature stunningly shot in panoramic cinemascope is an enigmatic and mesmerizing meditation on the themes of death and rebirth, human strengths and frailty, and love and faith.
Customers who bought this item also bought
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
This was his first feature film. Seems to have divided responses on IDMB: ranging from a haunting meditation ... beautifully crafted... to wannabe artsy film... and... absolute garbage.
Initially I was noticing how the widescreen seemed to be overly stretching images, giving a crampy letterboxed effect - not good. Then i was noticing how moving images appeared to wobble and bobble about (apparently the hand held camera was very heavy to walk around with) Also not good. Then i was noticing how bleached some of the panoramic shots looked, or over-exposed, or out of focus. Noticing all of these deficiencies - deliberate or otherwise - was getting in the way of feeling involved in the film. And some of the editing seemed distinctly - again, perhaps deliberately - slap-dash: disjointed cuts, jumpy colour co-ordination. Not greatly impressed with this at all so far.
Didn't seem to be much in the way of a story either: painter escapes from big city to remote canyon to kill himself. No idea who he is, or what he was, or any kind of back story at all. He seems like a broody moody intellectual who's got too tired of his brains. Had enough. Limping about on a stick but we don't know how that's happened either.
He limps up the hill to stay at the remote farmstead of old Ascen. Old means old enough to be your great grandmother. Definitely not somebody you'd be remotely interesting in having sex with. Unless you were pervily disturbed. Or suicidally depressed. Cue painter; he needs some of Ascen's life-affirming sacrificial loving. It'll redeem him back into life. I don't know why it will - but lets just take it at face value shall we. And not go down the snidey cynical route.
This sex scene will be viewed - i suspect - with varying degrees of distaste, disgust, and disbelief. I didn't watch feeling disgust cus its too sensitively shot to be the slightest bit pornographic. Reygadas wants to get across the compassionate feeling of the act not its sexual content; he's not going to expose Ascen to any kind of gross indecency; her dignity remains in tact. If anything, the scene is a bit too tactful: how the painter is positioning and manoeuvring her body around at the beginning seemed fussily contrived.
I suppose this sex scene is what will get the film talked about, and remembered for.
Interview extra with Reygadas is illuminating. Not only for what he says but for how he says it. There's a puppyish zeal about him that comes across as vaguely half-baked. More like a pseudo student of film than a fully fledged film director.
But it helps explain his working method as director. The over extended shots (don't cut too soon), the roaming around with the camera to see what is around, what is there, what is in situ to be seen - so as to be present for what is present (rather than contrived or added extraneously in - as aids to the plot, as superficial story stimulus) How transient - as opposed to plot-driven or story-derived - his filmed narrative is. Reygadas wants to get to what is there, what is real to the place, the people; he wants to fashion his form (of film) from the surrounding ambient context so as to represent actual lived life (in this case, the actual lived life of that part of Mexico, that bit of canyon)
I admire all of that, can applaud its aspiration. I'd want to do something similar myself if i had a film to direct.
But none of this makes Japon a particularly good film. What Reygadas might have aspired to do and what he actually achieved doesn't quite add up here. In Silent Light it may have done.
And like many commentators have said Japon does seem derivative of Kiarostami and Tarkovsky. Sticking Bach into a sweeping panoramic shot of painter laid next to dead horse over vertiginous mighty canyon - total Tarkovsky rip off that; attempting to sanctify or lift up into Tarkovskian grandiosity at its most grandiose. Don't do it! It's beyond pretentious.
I won't be watching this film again. I'll try Silent Light again instead.
The title is symbolic: Japón could be the land of metaphors or miracles. Clearly inspired to Tarkovsky's cinema (especially Stalker, Nostalghia and Sacrifice), whose Reygadas admitted to be a great fan, the film is however original, thanks to a stunning and elaborated style.
The story: a painter decided to kill himself and arrived from the city to the Hidalgo's canyon. Here he met Ashen, a very old and religious woman, who convinced the man to continue his life. The film ends with an accident, or, maybe, a miracle, that opens a new prospective to the two characters. But, in the Reygadas' poetic, this final event is caused by the force of nature that, as mankind, takes part of the miracle of life.
Using the stunning photography of Diego Martinez Vignatti, Reygadas films the nature, and his mystery, as a strange and unknown force. The relationship between the weak characters and the strong Mexican landscape is visually amazing: the images, at the same time physical and mental, are often very beautiful. Moreover, Reygadas' superb eye films also characters' ugly bodies, but not because the director wants to shock the viewer: he wants to convey the physical emotions of the world in order to suggest a deep need of human transcendence.
So, the scene of sex between the painter and the old Ashen isn't useless or morbid, because it expresses the desire of communication and love of film's characters.
Reygadas said in one of his interviews that men "long for things and love: (...) hope is the most important feeling we can have". Japón's masterful ending confirms these words: thanks to the mystery of nature and sex, mankind can discover not their meaning, but their proximity to the sacred. So, like the main character of Japón, mankind gain a new vision of the world and, once understood his mystery, they can revive.
Most recent customer reviews