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Master filmmaker Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Cure, Tokyo Sonata) returns with this story of a man who uses an advanced neurological technology to enter the frightening mindscape of his comatose lover.
A mysterious journey into the human subconscious
for the origins of trauma and
true love, REAL marks acclaimed director
Kiyoshi Kurosawa's maiden voyage into the
realm of science fiction. Based on Rokuro
Inui's award-winning novel The Day of the
Perfect Plesiosaur, Real tells the strange
tale of two lovers, separated by coma, who
meet in some shared space deep within
Called "sensing," the innovative practice
performed by neurologist Dr. Eiko Aihara
(Miki Nakatani) allows entry into the subconscious
mind of a comatose patient so
as to stimulate memories and emotions
that could accelerate the recovery process.
Through this procedure, Koichi Fujita
(Takeru Satoh) enters the mind of the love
of his life, Atsumi Kazu (Haruka Ayase),
a manga artist who attempted suicide.
Koichi encounters all manner of weirdness
within Atsumi's subconscious, such as
philosophical zombies and subliminal fogs.
In a fascinating yet frightening experience,
he tries to decipher what pushed his lover
to try to take her own life.
While revisiting the timeless myth of
Orpheus and Eurydice, Kurosawa manages
to address important social themes
like environmental awareness, recurrent
suicides in Japanese society, and an artist's
freedom of expression.
Mesmerizing and wildly imaginative,
Real is at once a ghost story, a monster
movie, and a mind-boggling psychological
fantasy. Accompanied by the excellent
performances of young stars Ayase and
Satoh — who is enjoying the huge domestic
success of last year's Rurouni Kenshin —
Kurosawa's serene and powerful look at
this story of ultimate love locks the audience
in a quietly disturbing embrace.
Special thanks to The Japan Foundation, Toronto.
- Kiyoshi Kurosawa
- Kiyoshi Kurosawa was born in Kobe,
Japan and attended Tokyo's Rikkyo
University before studying filmmaking
under Kazuhiko Hasegawa and Shinji
Somai. Kurosawa was the featured
director in the Festival's Spotlight
program in 1999. His films include
Cure (98), Séance (00), Pulse (01),
Bright Future (03), Tokyo Sonata
(08) and Real (13), all of which have
screened at the Festival.