Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Kiyoshi Kurosawa – Tokyo Sonata (2008)

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After a retreat to the atmospheric and spectral Loft and Retribution that reinforce Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s reputation as a horror filmmaker, Tokyo Sonata continues in the vein of his idiosyncratically personal (and arguably, more interesting), yet equally unsettling films that began with Bright Future. As the film begins, the family patriarch, middle-aged senior administrative manager, Ryuhei (Teruyuki Kagawa) has been notified that the company has outsourced his job to China (where his salary would pay for three language-fluent office workers) and, without portable skills that could be applied to another department, will be immediately laid off from work. Reluctant to tell his family for fear of undermining his authority, Ryuhei continues the pretext of leaving for work with his briefcase each morning, spending his days alternately lining up at a job placement office and a charity lunch service on the park. Read More »

Kiyoshi Kurosawa – Kurîpî: Itsuwari no rinjin AKA Creepy (2016)

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Takakura is a former detective. He receives a request from his ex-colleague, Nogami, to examine a missing family case that occurred 6 years earlier. Takakura follows Saki’s memory. She is the only surviving family member from the case. Meanwhile, Takakura and his wife Yasuko recently moved into a new home. Their neighbor, Nishino, has a sick wife and a young teen daughter. One day, the daughter, Mio, tells him that the man is not her father and she doesn’t know him at all. Read More »

Kiyoshi Kurosawa – Kanda-gawa inran senso aka Kandagawa wars (1983)

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Two sexually energized young women who live in a high-rise apartment building happen one day to spy from their window a mother and son making love in the apartment across from theirs. They decide to stage a rescue attempt to free him and in the process one of the young women ends up falling in love with the son despite having a boyfriend and enjoying sex with her female companion. Of course, the mother they are warring against has her own plans when she feels her privacy invaded. [imdb] Read More »

Kiyoshi Kurosawa – Rofuto AKA Loft (2005)

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This film was seen at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Film Comment Selects series, February 2006

Sloppy, silly, and incoherent writing mars writer/director Kurosawa Kiyoshi’s moodily detailed atmosphere in Loft, a story of mummies, cloying book editors, a haunted archeologist, and a hodgepodge of other, random horror paraphernalia. The film starts out with prize-winning novelist Reiko (Nakatani Miki) suffering not only from writer’s block but also from hallucinations and fits that involve coughing up viscous black mud. To help his famous protégé write a “popular romance novel,” Reiko’s editor rents her a house in the countryside, one that borders a creepy concrete building housing the local university’s head mummy researcher, Yoshioka (Toyokawa Etsushi). Reiko is not the only one suffering pressures of work and spirit. Yoshioka himself is experimenting on preserving a 1000-year old female mummy dredged up from the local lake, but is hounded by a colleague who wants him to present the find, and a spooky ghost-girl clad in black who peaks around corners at the most inopportune times. Read More »

Kiyoshi Kurosawa – Kairo AKA Pulse (2001)

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~ Jonathan Crow, All Movie Guide wrote:
Kiyoshi Kurosawa grabbed worldwide attention with his 1997 masterpiece Cure, a horror film that was actually horrifying. Sandblasting away all the campy cliches of 1970s quickies, Cure employed intelligent camera work, lighting, sound design, and a good story — and very little special effects — to prove that horror flicks can also be art. Kurosawa shows that he has lost none of his abilities to scare in this film. The first 30 minutes of Kairo is perhaps some of the most unnerving, frightening sequences to come down the pike in a long time. And Kurosawa accomplishes this with admirable economy, using little dramatizing music or flash camera trickery. Computers, cell phones, and other forms of technology play a central role in this film. Unlike in some tech horror flicks, technology in this film is not an evil in itself. Rather the horror of Kairo comes from how this technology separates and divides humanity from itself. Photographed in browns and icy whites, Tokyo is portrayed as a city of lost and lonely souls bracing itself for impending doom. As the film progresses, it shifts gears from a straight-up horror flick into something weirder and more existential — as if Andrei Tarkovsky directed The Omega Man. Some might be put off by the change, while others will be dazzled by such an audacious move. Overall, Kairo is an astonishing work that cements Kiyoshi Kurosawa has one of the masters of the media. Read More »

Kiyoshi Kurosawa – Akarui Mirai AKA Bright Future [Extra] (2003)


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A documentary was made during the production process of Bright Future, called Aimai Na Mirai (Ambivalent Future). It was released in theaters in Japan and it’s available on the Japanese DVD release of Bright Future. The documentary was not so much a making-of as an interpretation of your work, with Bright Future functioning as a case study. What did you think when you saw it?

I didn’t watch it so attentively, because I felt a bit embarrassed about watching myself. I kept thinking “What a liar this director is!” (laughs). And I understood the difference between documentary filmmakers and fiction filmmakers. Documentarists shoot elements of reality, and after that in post-production they try to turn it into a lie as much as possible. Directors like me who make fiction – and I’ve never made a documentary – we deal with fictional elements such as the script, but after that we try to make them as close to reality as possible, and try not to lie as much possible. It’s the complete opposite.

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