Always - Sunset On Third Street (2005) (Japan)

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Always - Sunset On Third Street (2005) (Japan)

Postby hengcs » Fri Jul 13, 2007 1:21 am

Director: Takashi Yamazaki
Cast: Hidetaka Yoshioka, Shinichi Tsutsumi, Maki Horikita

The film garnered 12 (out of 13) awards in Japan Academy Awards in 2005

Set in 1958, more than a decade after the World War, the film revolves around the lives of various characters living across one another on a street in Tokyo ...

My thoughts

-- Piqued by curiosity (as to why it could have swept nearly all the awards that year) and two years of anticipation, the film still has not made it to our local big screen. Yes, I still think it is a film that should be watched on the BIG screen ...

-- Superficially, one can appreciate the film from its plot. However, it deserves more scrutiny than that, as it is a film about humanity and hope ... It is as much about the past as well as the future ... It is about dream vs reality ... Life is seemingly so simple, and yet so complex ... It is about the old and the young ... It is about abandonment as well as reunion ... It is about loss and found ... It is about family and friends ... It is about love ... Well, one can actually probe and dig real deep ... I can corroborate my arguments with details on the plot, but I guess you are wonderful enough to unravel them yourselves ...

-- And if you have heard negative comments for this film, from those who may not have liked it as much, it is not difficult to hazard a guess ...

(i) the acting ... if you are more accustomed to subdued emotions, the exaggerated expressions may be over the top; however, if you have watched substantial japanese films, you will be able to accept and credit the cast for their style of acting and expressiveness ...

(ii) the story ... some may find the initial half lack of "dramatic" elements and the second half too full of "melodramatic" moments; but to others, the initial half actually sets the stage and the second half sets our tearducts to work ... yup, the winning formula of FIRST LAUGHTER, THEN TEARS ... hee hee

Highly recommended, as it gets better as the film progresses. Maybe you will be touched, maybe you will not be ... However, if you are willing to re-watch it and re-analyze it beyond its basic plot, a lot can be unravelled ...

If all else fail, at least give the film two big CLAPS ... one for all its technicalities (both visual and audio) ... and one for its naunces and nostalgia ...

PS: For those who are interested, here is an interview with the director

Re: Always - Sunset On Third Street (2005) (Japan)

Postby trevor826 » Fri Jul 13, 2007 7:41 am

The only thing I've seen from the director is Ritana (2002), which was interesting but in all honesty, a bit daft. At least Anne Suzuki and Takeshi Kaneshiro raised it above the norm for a low budget scifi flick.

I see this is yet another manga adaptation and they're already making a sequel. Hengcs, do you think this will do well with a western audience?

Cheers Trev.

Re: Always - Sunset On Third Street (2005) (Japan)

Postby hengcs » Fri Jul 13, 2007 8:07 am

The film does NOT feel like a sci-fi nor CGI film nor "manga/comic" at all (less the CGI portion or exaggerated facial expressions). In fact, if I were not told that a lot of scenes and backdrops were CGI created, i would have thought that they were reconstructed physically specifically for the film.

Answering your question more directly (i.e., would it interest a western audience)?

My answer is a YES ... but probably the adults more than the young ... also, it is more mainstream/commercially viable rather than cryptic or film fest kind of "art" film ...

In essence, it would interest those who like a family oriented drama, or those who are nolstagic about the good old days, or those who like uplifting films ... its themes typically cut across all culture and generation ... in particular, it is about HOPE ...

But some words of caution:

(i) if you expect it to be another Titanic (sweeping away many awards), you may find some difficulty reconciling ... you may feel that it is a GREAT film, but you may not have it sweeping all awards ... I like the cinematography, its rather interesting soundtrack and some of its later scenes ...

(ii) you must buy their acting (which are "too expressive" at times, but common in Japanese films) ... you must also buy its story ... it works slowly, and by the end, I think you will like it ... although it does not feel like Titanic, I think it is worth watching ...

Re: Always - Sunset On Third Street (2005) (Japan)

Postby hengcs » Thu Oct 18, 2007 1:27 am

Always - Sunset On Third Street 2

It will premiere in Japan on 3 Nov.

Apparently, this shld be the "last" installation ... no more 3 ...

Re: Always - Sunset On Third Street (2005) (Japan)

Postby hengcs » Tue Dec 11, 2007 5:17 am

I am anticipating this sequel too ...
wow ...

Online review ...

While many sequels only evoke nostalgia for their predecessors, "Always: Sunset on Third Street 2" shines brighter on almost all fronts.

Re: Always - Sunset On Third Street (2005) (Japan)

Postby hengcs » Tue Mar 18, 2008 8:02 am

Always 2
The Japanese DVD version has no English subtitles ... sigh

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