Third Window Films are releasing a series of films by Takeshi Kitano on Blu-ray since Office Kitano are updating their titles with 2K masters. Regular readers will know that I have reviewed Hana-bi and Kikujiro and Dolls, and the latest release is A Scene at the Sea which comes out on September 12th.
I saw this one for the first time around five or six years ago and was bowled over by it. The story is simple but profound as it looks at the love and problems of a unique set of characters, especially the two leads. It has some of that comedy and tragedy present in all of Kitano’s films minus the director himself who usually takes a star role. This one features another great score by Joe Hisaishi.
Here’s some info from a press release!
A Scene at the Sea
あの夏、いちばん静かな海「Ano natsu, ichiban shizukana umi」
Release Date: October 19th, 1991 (Japan)
UK Release Date: September 12th, 2016
UK Distributor: Third Window Films
Running Time: 101 mins.
Director: Takeshi Kitano
Writer: Takeshi Kitano (Screenplay),
Starring: Claude Maki, Hiroko Oshima, Sabu Kawahara, Susumu Terajima, Naomi Kubota, Toshio Matsui,
This is a trailer for an older Japanese release.
When deaf garbage man Shigeru (Claude Maki) finds a broken surfboard on one of his runs, it piques his curiosity, even though he has no experience with surfing. So he repairs the board and, with loyal girlfriend Takako (Hiroko Oshima), who also is deaf, he sets out to learn how to ride the waves. He goes through mishaps and the locals mock him. But, with the help of a shop owner who once was a surfing legend, Shigeru may finally have a chance to become one with the sea and the surfing community.
Featuring a new 2K remaster from Office Kitano!
The first time the film has been available on bluray in the world!
The first 1000 copies feature a limited cardboard slipcase with new illustrated artwork by Marie Bergeron
Featuring a new audio commentary by film critic Jasper Sharp
Takeshi Kitano – Biography
The success of HANA-BI has confirmed Takeshi Kitano as a leading figure of international cinema. Among its numerous awards, HANA-BI won the Golden Lion at the 1997 Venice Film Festival and was named Best Non-European Film at the 1997 European Film Academy Awards. HANA-BI was cited on numerous “Best Films of the Year” lists, often in the premiere position.
Whether as director, actor, writer, artist, TV personality or stand-up comic, Takeshi Kitano has not simply sought out to challenge his audiences. He has always sought out challenges for himself.
With 1989’s VIOLENT COP, Kitano made his directorial debut unexpectedly. When the scheduled director dropped out, Kitano, the project’s leading actor, was signed on for replacement. Without previous directorial experience, Kitano revised the script entirely and imposed a sharp and ironic style, later acclaimed for its maturity and its sense of space and framing.
VIOLENT COP, and other Kitano-helmed films such as BOILING POINT (1990) and SONATINE (1993), centred around yakuza gangster characters. Although they became international cult favourites, they also branded the director-writer with a burdensome trademark for graphic violence and Kitano cool. In retaliation with A SCENE AT THE SEA (1991), GETTING ANY? (1995) and KIDS RETURN (1996), however, Kitano earned praise for his daring changes in directorial style and subject.
With A SCENE AT THE SEA, Kitano’s on-screen presence was absent, as well as the violence which had highlighted his first two films. The poignant story of a deaf adolescent and his passion for surfing showed other facets of Kitano’s talent — a discreet emotional sense and a tender point of view toward young people, innocence and marginal existence. A SCENE AT THE SEA also marked the debut of what was to become a long-time collaboration with musician-composer Joe Hisaishi, whose haunting melodies perfectly complement the filmmaker’s universe.