Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Scene At The Sea Review 1991 Japan Takeshi Kitano あの夏、いちばん静かな海。

A very deep yet extremely subtle film from Kitano which keeps you captivated without any Yakuza, guns or action.

Shigeru(Kuroudo Make) is a gloomy deaf rubbish collector whose life is changed when he stumbles across an abandoned surfboard. His dedicated girlfriend Takako(Hiroko Oshima) who also suffers from a hearing impairment, helps Shigeru on his mission to learn the sport of surfing.

A Scene At The Sea is one of Kitano’s finest works. Even though it is pretty much the polar opposite of his style and what he is known and loved for in the West. This is an example of why Takeshi Kitano really is a master of cinema.

A fantastic slice-of-life drama which doesn't feature much dialogue, yet you still deeply care for and understand the characters. There is also no fancy camera work with many long cuts and static shots but there are plenty of beautifully framed shots of the sea, beach and the lively cast.

The love story between the two leads is told beautifully. Without actually having any proper conversations between them, you still learn about their relationship and know exactly how they feel about one another. It's a real simple story, with wonderful characters, some light humour, and enough story to keep your attention but still being emotional and pure.

A Scene At The Sea also marked the first collaboration with director Kitano and composer Joe Hisaishi. Joe is renowned for his Studio Ghibli soundtracks, and in this film he delivers a stunning, sometimes haunting soundtrack which fits the film like a glove. The main theme is uplifting and catching and will be stuck in your head for days.

Third Window Films have done a tremendous job with this release. Like their other Kitano releases, this is another 2k remaster and the film looks better than ever. The tones and colours are faithful and the quality and clarity of detail looks stunning. This is a massive upgrade from the DVD release. A bonus of the TWF release is an all new audio commentary by film critic Jasper Sharp which is incredibly insightful and entertaining.

One of the most accessible Kitano films yet still quite unsual! Couldn't recommend this one enough.


Available here from Third Window Films

(Original trailer. Not remastered quality)

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