Ningen Johatsu (A Man Vanishes) (1967)
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One of the giants of Japanese cinema, Shohei Imamura (1926-2006),helmed this unique, stylistically groundbreaking picture that erodes the barriers between truth and invention, fact and myth. Initially, we're handed a seemingly straightforward documentary - an investigation into one of many missing persons ases that populate Japan every year. An on-camera commentator informs us that Tadashi, a Japanese businessman, has vanished into thin air and, for all he knows, "may be hiding in a hole somewhere." From there, Imamura and his crew begin to systematically interview those with a connection to Tadashi, including his fiancée, Yoshie. As the movie rolls forward, however, numerous uncertainties come to light - regarding their relationship, Tadashi's business per se, his relationship with his sister-in-law, and much more - until finally, even the motivations and the honesty of the director himself are thrown into doubt. A Man Vanishes suffered from unrectifiable technical issues in post-production, that kept lengthy portions of the audio out of synch with the image, and that have lingered until the present day. Despite this fact, it is considered a classic of world cinema, and received critical raves on both sides of the Atlantis during its UK reissue in 2011 and its U.S. reissue the following year. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for Ningen Johatsu (A Man Vanishes)
The explosively provocative film progressively and aggressively blurs distinctions between documentary and fiction.
A part-fact, part-fiction narrative that challenges the very notion of whether true documentary can even exist.
Seemingly banal in its conceit, wildly startling in its execution, it tracks a film crew that, like a detective squad, investigates what became of an ordinary man.
Remains a primo example that cinema actually traffics in truthiness 24 frames per second.
Messy experimental pic that starts out as a documentary but changes to fiction.
Even for those who have seen the kind of productions since inspired by this daring experiment, A Man Vanishes should not be missed-or forgotten.
The earthiest of Japanese New Wave directors, Shohei Imamura goes fascinatingly meta in this 1967 hybrid of investigative tract and ruminative experiment.
Audience Reviews for Ningen Johatsu (A Man Vanishes)
a pretty fascinating experimental film that starts as a documentary and becomes something else. imamura sets out to investigate one of the thousands of missing persons cases that occur in japan each year by interviewing friends, family and co-workers. i can't help having a suspicion he got a bit bored when this line of inquiry seemed to lead nowhere and wanted to inject some drama into the film, leading to something much more interesting...More
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