Japon (2003)


Critic Consensus: A slow-moving, visually impressive debut.


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Movie Info

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.


Martin Serrano
as Juan Luis
Bernabe Perez
as The Singer
Carlos Reygadas
as The Hunter
Ernesto Velázquez
as Hunter Unloading
Pablo Tamariz
as Puzzled Hunter
Alex Ezpeleta
as Hunter with Beer
Fran Castillo
as Walking Hunter
Luis Amador Moreno
as The Butcher
Noe Barranco
as Fat Boy at Butcher's
Ángel Flores
as Boy with a Slingshot/Football Boy
Jesus Escamilla
as Boy's Father
Fernando Tellez
as Fernando, Man without the Use of His Hands
Jazmin Acosta
as Fernando's Daughter
as Peasant with Hoe
Silvia Duran
as Peasant Drinking Pulque
Patricia Perez
as Peasant Drinking Pulque
Claudia Rodríguez
as Woman in Dream
Juan Ocatvio Serrano
as Juan Luis' Son
Jose Luis Najera
as Juan Luis' Thin Son
Gregorio Hernandez
as Drunkard in Bar
Reynaldo Barrios
as Drunkard in Bar
Leobardo Hernandez
as Drunkard in Bar
Juan Lopez
as Drunkard in Bar
Felix Chavez
as Drunkard in Bar
Rolando Marin
as Drunkard in Bar
Ruben Duran
as Drunkard in Bar
Socrates Ferretis
as Football Boy
Eder Acosta
as Football Boy
Esteban Acosta
as Football Boy
Antonio Acosta
as Football Boy
Jose Luis Flores
as Football Boy
Aaron Denius Garcia
as Football Boy
Lucia Mendoza
as Woman with Flock
Victorino Hernandez
as Man Shaking Hands in Mass
Paula Hernández
as Woman Shaking Hands in Mass
Basilio Valderrama
as Peasant Knocking Down Barn
Norberto Flores
as Peasant Knocking Down Barn
Gonzalo Acosta
as Peasant Knocking Down Barn
Benito Montiel Guinifais
as Peasant Knocking Down Barn
Marcial Jarillo
as Peasant Knocking Down Barn
Gaspar Mohedano
as Peasant Knocking Down Barn
Emilio Casanas
as Peasant Knocking Down Barn
Raymundo Cortes
as Peasant Knocking Down Barn
Goyo Acosta
as Peasant Knocking Down Barn
Marcos Hernández
as Tractor Driver
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Critic Reviews for Japon

All Critics (25) | Top Critics (10)

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.

Nov 7, 2003 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Unfolding at an elliptical pace that feels like a revelation, or tedium, or both, Japon recalls the glory days of 1970s art-house filmmaking.

May 9, 2003 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
Boston Globe
Top Critic

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.

Apr 24, 2003 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…

Reygadas grapples with the most elemental of issues ... and the result is sly, touching and more than a little loony.

Apr 24, 2003 | Full Review…

It is the work of a remarkable new talent.

Apr 17, 2003 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Reygadas has an impressive eye for otherworldly landscapes and an impressive ear, too.

Mar 23, 2003

Audience Reviews for Japon

A terribly boring last journey to death. Frankly, I lacked patience with this film.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

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?

Dimitris Springer
Dimitris Springer

Super Reviewer

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