STILL THE WATER starts as TOP OF THE LAKE.
By a body floating in the water, which is not in his place.
By the introduction of beautiful scenery – a small island of Japan.
With the face of a young girl, as beautiful as it is disturbing.
The similarities with the mini-series of Jane Campion are initially striking. Yet, it is just something else to excite the sympathy of the president of the jury of the Cannes film festival that aims to Naomi Kawase.
The film does not penetrate easily. It begins by presenting its main characters, Two teenagers Kaito and Kyoko, drawn inexplicably to each other ; the environment in which they operate : the tiny island of Amami. A presentation that does not bode well exciting because of the cultural barrier causes a certain lack of understanding of these particular habits which constitute the rhythm of the island… Misunderstanding, combined with the framing just still shots and large landscapes, and this pseudo-crime story that never starts.
And then, after a small half hour, one begins to see beyond the envelope of japanese-ly hermetic, and Naomi Kawase starts to welcome us into his universe.
It starts when Kaito goes to Tokyo, to meet her father ; he asks him why he left his mother….
His response (the destiny, the difference of characters, basically), is so sincere, that Kaito is completely disturbed. One sees totally through the game very poignant actors, what has caused this simple discussion : a domestic upheaval for the moment unmanageable, in this young man’s solitary and withdrawn which is just beginning to open up to the world.
What Kawase began with this scene, it is a journey that will realize the importance of nature in the course of Men.
The following times will be located exclusively on the small island of Amami, With the same force, Naomi Kawase filmed the small moments still important for the internal development of our two teenagers.
The gradual discovery of one another, and then of the world ;
Kyoko who watches his mother be “reborn” in the disease.
Kaito, himself, does not understand the behavior of his mother… This has an influence on his own vision of the woman, and men, creates a lack of confidence that only Kyoko manages to contain it.
The difference with the scene from Tokyo, is that Kawase place these moments in a natural environment, and am able to capture the interactions : a nature which reacts literally to the emotional swings of the characters.
The director succeeded in shaping the image and sound of the film in such a way, that it creates a bubble that could straightforwardly represent the soul of the characters.
We see the concrete world, life, people ; we perceive the abstract, emotions, feelings.
“Naomi Kawase manages to convey something indescribable, a communion between Man and Nature.”
Every conversation, every moment, allows us little by little, to get into a intimate particularly strong. These time very specific, are placed at the heart of the environment is very sensory and precisely, is not magnified, as in Malick, but underscores the mood of the characters.
A huge difference, that gives it all its charm and reason for being in the film, because it shows a form of communion, first of all between the characters (Kaito and Kyoko, their mother, their fathers (?))
then, above all, between the latter and the Nature.
This communion is reinforced by some of the rituals are impressive, like this diving Kyoko naked in the sea, a slaughter goat, or the family that observes the tree on the porch ;
Little by little, we realize that nature responds to, reflects, and transmits the troubles of the characters : a few rays of the sun emphasize the melancholic mood of Kyoko in the face of his dying mother.
The wind then seems to marry a nature quick-tempered, or rather these emotions ineffective against the destiny.
Like Kaito, or the sadness of Kyoko…
Feelings and atmosphere cataclysmic end up subtly overlaid at the delicate end, between revelation and rebirth.
Naomi Kawase opens up a whole new dimension when you get to transcribe a dialogue between Man and Nature.
Gradually, his camera captures the link very powerful which unites the one to the other…
The Man in this Nature, the more than reflect the mood of the characters, expresses, even he can not tell.
A Nature that accompanies each in different stages of life, transition to adulthood and the acceptance of death.
• Achievement : Naomi Kawase
• Screenplay : Naomi Kawase
• Main actors : Nijirô Murakami, Jun political and development agenda, Miyuki Matsuda
• Country of origin : Japan, France, Spain
• Released : September 17, 2014
• Duration : 1h59mn
• Distributor : Haut et Court
• Synopsis : Following the discovery of a corpse floating in the water, the people, and especially Kaito and Kyoko are starting to ask questions.