A man on the brink of suicide regains the will to live under decidedly unusual circumstances in this drama from Mexico. A quietly despondent man (Alejandro Ferretis) leaves behind the city for a journey into a quiet village in the valley, telling anyone who cares to know that once he's settled in, he intends to kill himself. The man takes a room with Ascen (Magdalena Flores), and elderly woman who lost her husband some years ago. Keeping to himself, the man paints, thinks, and prepares himself for death, while Ascen slowly becomes aware of the depth of his depression. As Ascen's nephew attempts to rob her of her share of the family estate, the man feels a desire to live waking inside him again -- as well as the desire for a woman. Improbably, the man turns to Ascen for physical affection, and sensing his need for comfort, she complies, though the seduction lacks a great deal in the way of romance. The first feature film from writer and director Carlos Reygadas, Japon received an enthusiastic response when it was screened as part of the Directors' Fortnight series at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival. … More
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Critic Reviews for Japon
If you're in synch with its heartbeat, and with Reygadas' tendency to pursue visual detours that intensify the film's sensual impact, this is a remarkable first effort that is equal parts disturbing, bold, mysterious and primal.
Unfolding at an elliptical pace that feels like a revelation, or tedium, or both, Japon recalls the glory days of 1970s art-house filmmaking.
Unlike a lot of young filmmakers, the 31-year-old Reygadas takes his ideas about the world and our place in it as seriously as his filmmaking ambitions.
Reygadas grapples with the most elemental of issues ... and the result is sly, touching and more than a little loony.
Reygadas has an impressive eye for otherworldly landscapes and an impressive ear, too.
obese in length and overflowing in pretension like so many prototypical art films
Its pretensions have the ring of, if not exactly a vanity project, a strictly personal obsession.
The sacrificed female body is used to resurrect a condemned soul and with her ascension comes the spiritual renewal of (The) Man.
All these references, though, form a jambalaya that doesn't go down so easy.
The one thing that is clear from Japón is that a major new visual stylist has hit the screen and that Reygadas' first film represents the beginning of an auspicious career.
It's not a movie to see if you're in a hurry, but its deliberate pace and thoughtful mood are refreshing antidotes to the hyperactive speed of most Hollywood pictures.
Should do for Mexican existentialism what Love Liza and Leaving Las Vegas did for good old American gluttony.
Audience Reviews for Japon
Nothingness is the path to victory and in any constant public reactions,this would be the doomsday of most motion pictures.I will admit that Reygadas uses no script whatsoever,but why should i erase his ability to project a serene environment in a hostile manner?More
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