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Tokyo Sonata is the ultimate expression of this quality of Kurosawa's cinema. Kurosawa's first domestic drama is music to general audience's ears. At times, Tokyo Sonata feels like a Bergman film: blond-wood interiors, classical-music soundtrack, family resentments ticking down to explosion. A horror film of a different sort from director Kiyoshi Kurosawa, who made his reputation as a "J-horror" director of intelligent supernatural thrillers ... Japanese horror maestro Kiyoshi Kurosawa applies his offbeat approach to the uniquely Japanese brand of dysfunctional family comedy in this droll satire. By creating an account, you agree to the Privacy Policy January 19, 2020. Much like E1 Entertainment's presentation of Departures, Tokyo Sonata arrives in a 1.85:1 widescreen-enhanced image that grasps onto the film's visual tone nicely. "Tokyo Sonata" is as good a chance as any to discover him. At the end, they feel the same tensions as at the beginning, but the facade has been destroyed, and they will have to proceed unprotected. REELING IS A PROUD MEMBER OF… Laura and Robin's reviews are also featured on Rotten Tomatoes , the Movie Review Query Engine , and the IMDB . Please enter your email address and we will email you a new password. Is there a happy ending? Read More Despite his reputation as a leading J-Horror auteur, Kiyoshi Kurosawa has tended to eschew the grisly thrills and spectral manifestations of his peers for a more diffuse atmosphere of mystery and dread. The entrance of a completely unexpected character results in an instinctive acceptance of the new situation, providing a sad payoff to what at first seems merely arbitrary. His humiliation is underlined when all maintenance workers must change into one-piece coveralls at lockers in full view of passing customers. There is a soup kitchen. Panos Kotzathanasis. Additional Physical Form: Also available online. Ultimately, this may seem like a typical family where father works, mother nurtures and children study. We analyze millions of used cars daily. Ryuhei is a salaryman in a management job. Copyright © Fandango. Kagawa does the heavy dramatic lifting in Tokyo Sonata, convincingly portraying a good man flailing against reality. In the opening scene, Ryuhei (Teruyuki Kagawa) is fired. What we seem to have are the outlines of a traditional family drama, in which tensions are bottled up, revelations will occur and a crisis will result in either tragedy or resolution. His wife, Megumi, is a source of predictable domesticity, centering on cleaning, sewing and the preparation of meals. Now, with Tokyo Sonata, Kurosawa has moved from not-quite-horror to not-quite-satire. I admit that when I received the DVD in the mail I thought the title was "Tokyo Santa" so maybe anything would have been Kurosawa's film tells us a great deal about contemporary Japan without being overtly political. At the same time, Kurosawa observes the agony of unemployment in Japan, which, like the United States, has been beset by outsourcing to cheaper labor pools. Eureka’s Masters of Cinema series presents Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Tokyo Sonata in the aspect ratio of 1.85:1 on this dual-layer disc. The father, Ryuhei Sasaki (Teruyuki Kagawa), is a successful businessman who finds himself suddenly downsized as part of widespread company cutbacks. Kurosawa is the rare director who simply lets his film dissolve into music, allowing the plot to take the film naturally to a musical conclusion. Unable to lose face by admitting his job loss, Ryuhei leaves "for the office" every day and lingers in a cheerless concrete oasis with other jobless men. He almost misleads us in the early scenes, by framing the family dinners in sedate and orderly compositions. Of course, Kurosawa is incapable of directing a straightforward picture, and TOKYO SONATA is no exception. Just as the economic crisis has jolted everyday life, so it shakes up "Tokyo Sonata," which begins as a well-behaved story and takes detours into the comic, the macabre and the sublime. Despite his reputation as a leading J-Horror auteur, Kiyoshi Kurosawa has tended to eschew the grisly thrills and spectral manifestations of his peers for a more diffuse atmosphere of mystery and dread. The conclusion does not resolve them; instead, we return to look at them, knowing what we know now. Direction and acting are workman like although Kurosawa has inserted numerous (sometimes subtitle) messages and philosophical points of view (both harrowing and humorous). He comes home, hands over his week's wages, says nothing. Panos Kotzathanasis panos.kotzathanasis pkotzathanasis PKotzathanasis. [H]ere, perhaps more urgently than ever before, it's about what happens when people confront the world outside, and what new, fragile connections they might begin to forge. Tokyo: Yuseido, 1988: 236-50. Nothing is for sure. Powered by JustWatch Just as the economic crisis has jolted everyday life, so it shakes up "Tokyo Sonata," which begins as a well-behaved story and takes detours into the comic, the macabre and the sublime. Unemployment is the catalyst -- an unspoken reality that makes everyone in the family angrier than they already are. . Etsuko Terasaki's review in Journal of the Association of Teachers of Japanese 33.2 (1989): 175-76. (The day when China and India begin outsourcing will be a historical turning point.) A highlight of the Cannes Film Fest, Tokyo Sonata should broaden Kurosawa's appeal in the U.S. The sonata has two sets of stars: actors and Tokyo venues (the latter may be both familiar and novel for frequent visitors to and, perhaps, residents of the city). The family is just one of the nuclear units on the brink of systemic collapse in Kurosawa's mordant contemporary opus, which... builds up an edifice of wit around tragedy. His expertise and quick service with a smile made a hole experience very pleasant. We are wrong. Save $4,470 on a 2009 Hyundai Sonata near you. Tokyo Sonata is the ultimate expression of this quality of Kurosawa's cinema. An extended passage is held in a medium-long shot in which nobody moves, and the effect is uncanny. Direction and acting are workman like although Kurosawa has inserted numerous (sometimes subtitle) messages and philosophical points of view (both harrowing and humorous). Reviews: Kentaro Miyazawa in his Review of James Morita, ed., Kenji somei (A Kenji Sonata) in Kaishaku to kansho (Interpretation and Appreciation) (June) 1991: 168. As mentioned, it contains no supernatural elements, no ghosts, killers, or monstrous flora and fauna. Ed. But that's not what we're given by director Kiyoshi Kurosawa, best known for upscale horror films. All of the performances have perfect pitch; the young son engages us in the same way as the hero of Truffaut's "The 400 Blows.". Though far from flawless, it's an adventurous work that is both disturbing and ultimately moving. Mr. Rudy was very generous with his time answering all my questions. A skilful and continually surprising drama, Tokyo Sonata depicts the gradual deterioration of an ordinary Japanese family after its breadwinner loses his job owing to corporate downsizing. Watch it play out. DVD Review: TOKYO SONATA. James Morita. ... TOKYO SONATA is the story of the Sasakis, an average middle class family living in Tokyo. The "themes" in this movie are the father and his family. Get the freshest reviews, news, and more delivered right to your inbox! Facebook Twitter Reddit. and to receive email from Rotten Tomatoes and Fandango. Kagawa does the heavy dramatic lifting in Tokyo Sonata, convincingly portraying a good man flailing against reality. His older son, Takashi, and younger son, Kenji, are filled with unhappiness but seemingly well-disciplined, although Kenji gets in trouble at school: The teacher unfairly blames him for passing along a manga, or graphic novel, and Kenji defiantly says he saw the teacher reading a porno manga on the train. At the 2008 Cannes Film Festival it won the Jury Prize of the Un Certain Regard section. Though his latest to hit the American big screen, “Tokyo Sonata,” looks like a family melodrama — if a distinctly eccentric variant on the typical domestic affair — there is … Rated PG-13 Rudy!!!! Dates or Sequential Designation: Ryūhei has a good office job, but is suddenly fired because Chinese workers are cheaper. 3:30 JAPANESE PRESS REVIEW - Japan's perspective on international issues in a program for Radio Japan 3:45 LONDON ECHO - a BBC magazine of the Arts . All you know about three-act structure is going to be useless in watching this film, even though, like many sonatas, it has three movements. Read, review and discuss the entire Tokyo sonata movie script by Kiyoshi Kurosawa on Scripts.com There's a lesson in Tokyo Story. A sonata is a classical form in which two musical ideas are intercut. Debris has been cleared. As such, the appeal of “Tokyo Sonata” should translate to audiences anywhere who can identify with the family’s dilemma – and many will. Kiyoshi Kurosawa made his reputation with offbeat horror films like Cure and Pulse, which emphasized creeping dread over overt shock. Share This! Tokyo Sonata is such a beautiful movie. for thematic elements and brief strong language, CW Reboots Walker but Forgets to Give Him a Personality, Something as Extraordinary as Birth Itself: Kornél Mundruczó and Kata Wéber on Pieces of a Woman, 10 Upcoming Films That Could Shake Up Oscar Season, Leslie Odom Jr., Aldis Hodge, Eli Goree, and Kingsley Ben-Adir on the Brotherhood of One Night in Miami. Tokyo Sonata centers on the Sasaki household, a middle-class family in Tokyo firmly entrenched in the stagnant routine of daily life. Perhaps he feels so inadequate he's threatened by any success involving his family. In the beginning, they are introduced. Yet it is without doubt the most terrifying film Kiyoshi Kurosawa has ever made. His wife sees him there, knows everything, stays quiet. Noah Griffin’s review published on Letterboxd: Riffing on crippling conformity, dysfunctional family dynamics, and economic desperation, Tokyo Sonata is a film of a restrained, peculiar tone that varies from feeling like exaggerated satire to biting commentary. and the Terms and Policies, He is an autocratic father, filled with anger. A film that effectively examines both the familial conflicts in Japan's transitioning society and the wondrous avenues each individual within the family explores. Many men in Japan do the same, no big deal, but hypocrisy is the point. His father forbids him. Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer. Riffing on crippling conformity, dysfunctional family dynamics, and economic desperation, Tokyo Sonata is a film of a restrained, peculiar tone that varies from feeling like exaggerated satire to biting commentary. REELING IS A PROUD MEMBER OF… Laura and Robin's reviews are also featured on Rotten Tomatoes , the Movie Review Query Engine , and the IMDB . Search over 28,600 listings to find the best Gainesville, FL deals. Although I feel a slight dishonesty to Kurosawa's capabilities by even saying that as the man has proven even before this point his range as director with such superb films like Charisma and Bright Future Tokyo Sonata (トウキョウソナタ, Tōkyō Sonata) is a 2008 Japanese film directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa.It won the award for Best Film at the 3rd Asian Film Awards and received 2008 Asia Pacific Screen Awards nominations for Achievement in Directing and Best Screenplay. repeat of Wednesday program 4:00 MUSIC FROM GERMANY - by German composers and performers: … As such, the appeal of “Tokyo Sonata” should translate to audiences anywhere who can identify with the family’s dilemma – and many will. The directions the films takes I should not reveal. ‘Tokyo Sonata’ looks at the gradual dismantling of the nuclear family and, as intentionally underplayed as it is, hides a powerful undercurrent. … Tokyo Sonata reminded me a little of two French movies about salaryman-delusion: Laurent Cantet's Time Out (2001) and Nicole Garcia's The Adversary (2002), both based on … This was my 4th Sonata lease from Parks Hyundai of Gainesville in last 9 years. 4 Min Read. In 1975, he won the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism. Freedom has been asserted. Now along comes Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Tokyo Sonata, which takes a look at unemployment and family woes from a decidedly Japanese perspective. The film centers around a seemingly normal Japanese family. By Genevieve Yue in the March-April 2009 Issue. Ryuhei joins hopeless queues at an employment office. We are blindsided by its beauty. All you know about three-act structure is going to be useless in watching this film, even though, like many sonatas, it has three movements. It is terrifying because it is about us. Tokyo Sonata shifts between various narratives of a family in turmoil, as each person struggles to find happiness and solace in what has become a life … The sonata has two sets of stars: actors and Tokyo venues (the latter may be both familiar and novel for frequent visitors to and, perhaps, residents of the city). Review: Tokyo Sonata T okyo Sonata is yet another of Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s chilling portraits of micro and macro alienation, a family drama as chillingly controlled and despondent as the horror films that gained him international recognition. The Blu-ray disc is region free and will play in all Blu-ray players (or should anyways.) The high-definition transfer is presented in 1080p. It is terrifying because it is about us. Forgot your password? But notice how Kurosawa (no relation the the great filmmaker) permits his train to leave the tracks. Review: Tokyo Sonata. Don't have an account? Young Kenji (Kai Inowaki), no longer attending school, spends his money on piano lessons with the beautiful Kaneko (Haruka Igawa). Sign up here. The characters misplace their belief in etiquette, politesse, dignity, and propriety - or they struggle to maintain it. Taking a break from his regular diet of fantasy and horror, Japan's Kiyoshi Kurosawa delivers here a fierce indictment of modern-day Japan. Takashi (Yu Koyanagi) announces he has enlisted in the U.S. Army as a way to gain citizenship, as he sees no future for himself in Japan. The lesson has to do with kindness and human interaction. "Tokyo Sonata" is microcosm of Japan's "Lost Decade" that uses an average middle-class family to tell a story that challenges tradition and extols renewal and discovery. At times, Tokyo Sonata feels like a Bergman film: blond-wood interiors, classical-music soundtrack, family resentments ticking down to explosion. somei (A Kenji Sonata). Citations: We believe we know where "Tokyo Sonata" is going. Why? His father, breaking with the Japanese tradition of encouraging children to study, has already forbidden piano lessons. Roger Ebert was the film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times from 1967 until his death in 2013. Plot Tokyo Sonata is about a middle-class family in Tokyo, the Sasakis, which consists of Ryūhei Sasaki, his wife Megumi, and their two sons Takashi and Kenji. From this perspective, Tokyo Sonata is a bit of a gem, showing me how ordinary Japanese people live and think. He has an encounter at work that is bizarre. Review: Tokyo Sonata. And then the film finds a form of release in another unexpected scene. Yet it is without doubt the most terrifying film Kiyoshi Kurosawa has ever made. A skilful and continually surprising drama, Tokyo Sonata depicts the gradual deterioration of an ordinary Japanese family after its breadwinner loses his job owing to corporate downsizing. It's his most ostensibly accessible film, which is to say that much of what happens … I was helped by Mr. Rudy Porter. When Ryuhei (Teruyuki Kagawa) is laid off from his job as … No, it doesn't turn into another horror film or a murder-suicide. Old tapes have been destroyed. The movie slides into a kind of bizarre hyperreality that makes its desperation slightly hallucinatory but, paradoxically, more moving. All rights reserved. It simply shows how lives torn apart by financial emergencies can be revealed as being damaged all along. Japanese Reviews • Reviews Film Review: Tokyo Sonata (2008) by Kiyoshi Kurosawa. Kurosawa's relaxed pacing and lack of concern for explaining every last thing will be a welcome relief if you've wearied of blockbusters... Director Kiyoshi Kurosawa cut his teeth on horror movies, and his flattened, formal style mines the horror in everyday urban life. Y et another of Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s chilling portraits of micro and macro alienation, Tokyo Sonata is a family drama as chillingly controlled and despondent as the horror films that gained him international recognition. The film transcends conventions of genre and cultural boundaries, and turns out to be one of the most compelling, finely orchestrated and oddly enchanting films of the year so far. Nothing as simple as that. He finds work cleaning toilets in a shopping mall. There is the family, standard issue of father, mother and two children, and there are the roles: head of the family, respectful housewife, rebellious teenager and confused child. Best known in the United States for bizarre and unsettling horror films like PULSE and CURE, Kiyoshi Kurosawa ventures away from that category with TOKYO SONATA. Tokyo Sonata centers around the travails of the Sasaki family, beginning with the day that father Ryuhei (Kagawa Teruyuki) is laid off from his white collar position in favor of cheaper Chinese labor. It is hard to find as well, so this was a great deal for the blu-ray/DVD combo pack. Thank you, Mr. Kyoko Koizumi, Kai Inowaki, Teruyuki Kagawa, and Yu Koyanagi portray a dysfunctional, middle-class Japanese family in director Kiypshi Kurosawa’s TOKYO SONATA. Tokyo Sonata marks his turn at a different type of cinema focusing on the drama of a family unit rather than his usual horror forays. But underlining the conventional image of a family, is a broken bond; each struggling on their own. Dramatic events occur that demonstrate how a routine, once broken, cannot easily be repaired. Storyline The wind of change is blowing as a family grapples with unemployment, alienation, mistrust and a lack of communication. But Koizumi is similarly effective, and the brooding child actor Kai is also top-notch. Read full review Picture 9/10. When a Japanese salaryman loses his job to outsourcing to China, it is just the beginning of a series of family shattering incidents leading to the implosion of the family unit. It opens on a note of routine, of a family so locked into their lives that they scarcely know one another. Tokyo Sonata depicts a traditional family: father works, mother is a housewife and sons are studying. By Genevieve Yue in the March-April 2009 Issue. Tokyo Sonata, in so many senses, is about an allergic reaction to the very idea of what it means to be Japanese. Tokyo Sonata reminded me a little of two French movies about salaryman-delusion: Laurent Cantet's Time Out (2001) and Nicole Garcia's The … Given the current economic situation in America, the themes of Tokyo Sonata resonate even more. Notes Additional Physical Form: Also available on microfilm from the University of Florida. 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