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Kotoko [DVD]

4.2 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Cocco, Shinya Tsukamoto
  • Directors: Shinya Tsukamoto
  • Format: Anamorphic, PAL, Surround Sound
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Third Window Films
  • DVD Release Date: 8 Oct. 2012
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008ACGLVW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 71,991 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Kotoko (pop star Cocco in her first starring role) is a young mother struggling to raise her young son Daijiro. Her grip on reality is shaky at best. Through her narration we quickly learn she see s double of everyone, one good and one evil. The problem is she can t tell which one is real, and is constantly moving from apartment to apartment as she assaults neighbours she fears are out to harm her or her baby. Every moment of her life devolves in to paranoid induced state, where she worries what tragedy awaits her son. She cuts herself in an effort to remind her that she is real, and what she s experiencing is not a dream or delusion. The only time she feels at peace, when all her anxiety melts away and she feels whole, is when she sings. Soon Daijiro is taken from her, as authorities believe she is in fact abusing her child, and place him in the custody of her sister. At the same time, a famous author (played by Tsukamoto) who hears Kotoko s singing on a bus begins to stalk her, mesmerized by what he hears. He follows her around, desperate to strike up a relationship with her, no matter what the emotional or physical cost it may have on him or her.

EXTRAS
Interview with Shinya Tsukamoto
Trailer

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Kotoko is an intensely disturbing and powerful film by Shinya Tsukamoto one of the most important and bold filmmakers working today. His previous films include Tetsuo, Vital, Nightmare Detective, Tokyo Fist and A Snake of June. In this film, Kotoko (played by Cocco) is a very disturbed woman with a baby who experiences double vision and paranoid fantasies. She cannot tell reality from fantasy and as a result is a threat to her self and her child. She self-harms and becomes hysterical and very violent at everyday challenges such as her baby crying or strangers approaching her in the street. As a result of this her baby is taken away from her. She then meets a writer (played by the director) devoted to her whom she begins a masoschistic relationship with. When she eventually gets her son back Kotoko only spins more out of control than ever.

What Tsukamoto does so well is use visual techniques and the performance of Cocco to immerse you in her world. As a viewer you feel like you are inside her head rather than an observer and its a very scary place to be. Between the outbursts of screaming and crying, bloody self harm and fantasy there are moments of serenity and beauty such as when she sings and dances in the rain. There is also humour as when she repeatedly stabs men in the hands with forks. There is one scene of extreme violence against her son towards the end of the film which I found hard to stomach. The performance of Cocco is excellent and natural. She weaves her own experiences into the performance and Tsukamoto shows how well he can direct actors and evoke the emotions he wants from them. The themes of violence, alienation, fear and transformation from his previous films are all present.
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Format: Blu-ray
Let me nail this down for you, if you don't like esoteric, unstructured cinema which doesn't make use of classic character archetypes, you're simply not going to like this film. It isn't about a girl meeting a guy and trying to make sense of the world, it isn't about a hero and a damsel in distress. This is a complex selection of finely flawed characters whose interactions can both baffle and confuse as well as thrill and amuse.

I was lucky enough to see the première of Kotoko at the Edinburgh film festival, and what I saw brought back such wonderful memories of Tsukamoto's early work, whilst stamping a new clarity of image, and hollowness of sound. The story is honestly a little too hard to nail down for a text review, but I will purely say that it involves a mother who suffers from double vision, and this ailment ultimately influences the rest of her life, in some cases tragically. She finds some respite, but ultimately the nature of this respite is possibly more dangerous than the affliction itself.

Don't expect love, hugs, and belly-rubs here, people. Expect a heady mix of dark and brutal imagery as well as ridiculous and light hearted set pieces. It is, put simply, a journey that I loved to take, and would recommend anyone else with a passing interest to do the same. Just please don't expect a Woody Allen movie.
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By Keris Nine TOP 500 REVIEWER on 14 Nov. 2013
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
What happens when you combine a distinctively unnerving filming technique with a character who is more than a little mentally off-balance? Well, obviously you have a Shinya Tsukamoto film and everything that that entails, which means a deeply unsettling film that becomes even more unnerving as the horror deepens, but that can also include a deep, dark vein of black humour in that and perhaps less predictably in the case of Kotoko, even a surprisingly almost uplifting ending.

For most of the film however, the viewer shares a very disturbing view of the world through the eyes of Kotoko, a mentally disturbed and self-harming woman, a mother who is probably paranoid-schizophrenic and consequently a danger to herself and her baby. She sees people as doubles, one of whom she considers a potential threat to the baby, but she isn't able to separate the reality from the threat, and this leads to some considerable problems with sociability. Eventually, much to the relief of the viewer, her baby is taken away from her, but this inevitably only leads to a rise in violence and self-harm against herself. For a brief while, a man (played by Tsukamoto himself) helps her out of her dark place, a writer who seems inured to the extreme violence Kotoko inflicts on both of them. And Kotoko wields a pretty mean fork. It seems fairly certain however that all this is not going to end well.

Kotoko is pretty gruelling stuff then, and it makes for a deeply uncomfortable 90 minutes viewing, but a lot of the reason why this is so horrific is because Tsukamoto makes it so disturbingly realistic. The technique is brilliant, achieving an immediacy through the use of hand-held digital cameras, with jumpy edits and a familiar unsettling use of lighting and sound.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It's an uneasy film to watch it starts off quite shaky and gets worse as her sanity drops when it builds back up the shakiness is gone and it seems quite pleasant and happy it has quite surreal elements and some uneasy imagery but the movie has a relieving conclusion not the happiest but the best possible outcome the acting is top notch and you really feel for the character. I didn't understand some things so I may need to re-watch not your average tsukamoto film but definitely a good drama about a devoted mother with a mental disorder.
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