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Journey to the Shore (2015) [Masters of Cinema] Dual Format (Blu-ray & DVD)
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Delicate, supernatural love story from Japanese master, Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Winner of the Un Certain Regard Best Director award in Cannes, Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Journey to the Shore confirms the director's place as a contemporary auteur.
Mizuki's husband, Yusuke, drowned at sea three years ago. When he suddenly comes back home, she is not that surprised, instead, Mizuki wonders what took him so long. Together they embark on a journey to meet the people who helped him on his journey in a world where the living and the dead coexist in an almost normal manner.
Starring two of Japan's biggest actors, Tadanobu Asano and Eri Fukatsu, Kurosawa's film is a beautifully shot love story that challenges our usual conceptions of life, death and half-life. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present the film to UK audiences in this special edition Dual Format release.
- Stunning 1080p transfer of the film in its original aspect ratio
- Optional English subtitles
- Stereo and 5.1 soundtrack options (uncompressed on the Blu-ray)
- Theatrical trailer
- 24-page booklet containing a statement from Kurosawa on the film, production images and a new essay by Anton Bitel
''Exquisitely tuned and delicately heartbreaking'' --Film Comment
''In the vein of Tokyo Sonata... heartfelt'' --Variety
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The story revolves around a woman whose presumed dead and lost-at-sea husband returns home after three years and the 'journey' that ensues. She is played by the plain Eri Fukatsu whose only previous work of fifty odd films this reviewer had watched was the fun Sutekina Kanashibari. It is worth noting this because that drama also featured Tadanobu Asano who plays the role of the husband. This film features quite a few well-known Japanese screen cast and crew members.
How is it? Given the plot, it is clear that Journey To The Shore is not a simple romantic flick. Yet, let us not drift too far from the category either. While the spirituality and fantasy aspects obviously exist, given what ensues the movie is indulgent. There are a few splendid shots of Japanese scenery; alas there are not enough of them. This is one of the film's failings. There are others however. To start, Fukatsu is almost stoic for a wife who is witnessing the return of her missing husband. She lets out a small gasp, he asks, "did I surprise you?" and we are off. It is reminiscent of the scene In The Girl Who Leapt Through Time when the male friend finds out Akari is from the future and essentially shrugs and goes with it. More likely, the director may have been inspired by the Japanese art-house film Empire Of Passion, which sees a deceased husband return home. Asano can apparently do and recall everything he once did including having sex and getting motion sickness, etc. save a mundane thing like remembering to take his shoes off before entering the house. Only a few subsequent questions ensue. The audience does soon question whether it is the husband who has returned or the wife merely believes it however. The film is patient and as contemplatively slow as the next Japanese film, but the core mushy middle is overplayed.
The wife is content now that she is on a voyage with her returned husband, but the loneliness and isolation remain even after the couple hit the road. We do understand more as the journey progresses. One of my pet peeves about Asian cinema is on full parade, namely no explanation is offered as to the mechanics of the 'what' or the 'how' of all this. The 'why' is the most clear of the elements. The film talks to the need for closure and tying loose ends, but makes no attempt to do so in its own scheme. Still, this is a couple's excursion unlike any other.