[critical] Shokuzai

A little girl, the little Emili, newly arrived in a school, binds friendship with the other four. One day, as they play together in the courtyard of the school, Emili follows a man to help her in her work. He murders them in the gym while her friends were waiting for him. In shock, they are all unable to remember the face of the assassin. The mother of Emili the then condemns them to penance. Fifteen years later, they are still deeply marked, each in their own way, by that episode of their childhood.

Author’s Note


Release Date : May 29 and June 5, 2013

Directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa

With Kyoko Koizumi, Yu Aoi, Eiko Koike, Sakura Ando, Chizuru Ikewaki

Film japanese

Duration : 2h00min + 2h30min

Original title : Shokuzai

Trailer :

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Kiyoshi Kurosawa-known international reputation, with Cure, in 1997. This is due to one of the screenings in festivals. This has allowed the japanese director of climbing up the ladder. Then get out Charisma and Cairo in the three years that followed. It makes party of these asian filmmakers that is very popular with moviegoers. And these can be happy, because Kiyoshi Kurosawa is back on the big screen. The tv channel Wowow has commissioned a series of filmmaker. Adaptation of a novel by Kanae Minato, the series consists of five episodes.

But Wowow has desired to present it at the Venice film festival. To do this, Kiyoshi Kurosawa made two films. The first two hours, and the second of two hours and thirty minutes. There has necessarily been cut. But the most important is that, in order to understand the second movie, it is absolutely necessary to have seen the first. This is logical. But here, the story is installed and introduced in the first film. The second film starts exactly where stopped the first. Damage. A summary would have been nice.

And I make a single criticism, for two movies. Since this is a series meeting in two films, this was not a matter. And most importantly, each episode is like in the treatment. I say this because both movies suffer from the same tv – movie. First, it can be seen in the narration. It is a silly speech-to-text, so the episodes are more than visible. Kiyoshi Kurosawa is not bothered, he has inserted chapters in his films. So the narration ends up with chapter one, chapter two… up to chapter six.

The speech-to-text tv – movie could have had more work, it would have been very valuable. The viewer comes not in a movie theater to see a series… As you can see it in the image also. All the chapters can be enjoyed, as much the image will be devalued. Not completely ugly, but heavy and stained by many pixels quite often. An expanded format for the big screen, probably the cause. But this does not prevent films from having a very beautiful setting in scene. Now let’s see how behaves the films by chapter.

Decomposition and redemption of a phantom company. Despite a beautiful performance, the films suffer from the same tv-film.

The first chapter serves as an introduction. I have included the prologue with this chapter. Because it remains on the same idea. Kiyoshi Kurosawa we installs quietly things. The viewer has a simple narrative in front of him, in order to grasp the basics. It is in the drama and thriller all at once. In the murder and the shock post-murder. The japanese director provides us with this staged calm. He does not want to cause tension from the beginning. It is to his honour, since it is a serial driver.

In the second chapter, the suspense, the twists arrive and the pace begins to quicken. This is very significant with this chapter, it is that Kiyoshi Kurosawa is having fun already around a puzzle. A mystery surrounding an event marking the first chapter. Even if we can relate that the truth emerges too quickly vis-à-vis the duration of the film, this mystery wasn’t more important. And as of this chapter, Kiyoshi Kurosawa that puts us in the scene of the characters in a kind of maze. A whole maze is both physical (the apartment is large, filled with objects of dubious) moral.

Just as in chapter three, young women are the victims of their neuroses. These neuroses allow Kiyoshi Kurosawa to properly break down his characters. This way to stun them in their guilt, to hurt them with their psychological disorders. Although many years have passed after the murder, the past brand still. And this is where everything that is contained within, will come out to the outside.. noting the great mastery of the filmmaker in the pool scene.

In chapter four, the first chapter of the second film, Kiyoshi Kurosawa is no exception to the rule. I speak here of the rule that it follows from the beginning of the series. Each episode has its own protagonist, his own intrigue. And what we can confirm is that the characters are installed in a particular society. In this society where everything is only an illusion, where any rule has disappeared, when the whole world is false. Kiyoshi Kurosawa we described here a phantom company.

Chapter five, the penultimate chapter. The last protagonist. A little more, the filmmaker we stigmatizes the thought of women. But also the way in which they are locked by men. These men, who are the sex superior, and believe they have the necessary power to dominate the woman. With its staging of anxiety, unruly, nervous, and dizzy, Kiyoshi Kurosawa did the trauma release that allows the redemption.

The last chapter is the conclusion of the story. The worst in this chapter, it is that the pace falls back little by little. Not totally gripping, this part remains a great moment of showmanship. In fact, the dialogues do not fly high, especially for a final confrontation. Twists and consequences, but a scenario too flat to really impress. This is fascinating, it is the restraint shown by Kiyoshi Kurosawa. Very far from the exciting previous chapters, it is nothing other than a season finale where it’s necessary to reveal everything. In this way, this chapter is very explanatory. There is so much to say, so we prefer to talk than actually take action. And it is in this final chapter returns to the guilt and penance.

Finally, the diptych Shokuzai is quite strange. As the four central chapters shows us what happened to the girls witnesses the murder, but Kiyoshi Kurosawa forget the penance and the guilt. This, however, is the theme of the story. But it remains not less fascinating, as well by his actresses, that by his treatment of the characters. The narration of each chapter is fully developed, everything is simple to follow correctly the decomposition of the characters. Characters in a phantom company, where neuroses, psychology, and redemption are made. A fascinating mise en scene, but an achievement that suffers too much rewriting of the television – cinema.

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