Eureka

Overview

One of the leading voices in the new Japanese cinema, Shinji Aoyama directs this saga about memory, grief, and redemption. Shot in stark black and white, the film opens with the sudden and inexplicably bloody hijacking of a bus in rural Kyushu. The crazed gunman (Riju Go) shoots two passengers in the back as they try to flee. Stepping out of the bus for some fresh air, the hijacker drags bus driver Makoto (played by the ubiquitous Koji Yakusho) along for cover. When the driver faints and falls to the ground, ...
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Overview

One of the leading voices in the new Japanese cinema, Shinji Aoyama directs this saga about memory, grief, and redemption. Shot in stark black and white, the film opens with the sudden and inexplicably bloody hijacking of a bus in rural Kyushu. The crazed gunman (Riju Go) shoots two passengers in the back as they try to flee. Stepping out of the bus for some fresh air, the hijacker drags bus driver Makoto (played by the ubiquitous Koji Yakusho) along for cover. When the driver faints and falls to the ground, police snipers shoot the terrorist. In his last dying effort, the hijacker stumbles back on board the bus, where he murders an old lady and tries to kill a pair of shocked schoolchildren, Naoki (Masaru Miyazaki) and Kozue (Aoi Miyazaki). Two years later, the experience has wreaked havoc on the lives of the three sole survivors. Distanced and easily distracted, Makoto's weird behavior -- particularly his habit of wandering off unannounced for days at a time -- finally takes its toll on his marriage. Meanwhile, Naoki and Kozue are left mute from the event, though they can communicate. The silent siblings' mother soon walks out of her marriage, and their father kills himself in a car wreck, leaving them alone in a large house with a substantial insurance check. Having found work at a construction company, Makoto's strange behavior starts to raise a few eyebrows, especially when he utterly ignores the advances of a comely office worker. Soon the village is rocked by news of murdered women washing up on a nearby river bank; Makoto's brother suspects him and asks him to leave their family house. He shows up on the doorstep of Naoki and Kozue's house, which has devolved into utter disrepair, and the trio forms a family of sorts. Their relative peace and order is upset by Akihiko (Yohichiroh Saitoh), the bumptious cousin from Tokyo on vacation from college who is insensitive to the trauma that the trio has endured and increasingly suspicious of the kids' ersatz guardian. His disapproval of Makoto grows when that same comely office work turns up dead, and Makoto is the prime suspect. Looking to break out of their routine, and cleared of murder charges, Makoto purchases an old bus and converts it into a camper. Taking his three housemates on an odyssey that begins at the site of the hijacking, they slowly start to reconcile the grief and pain that so destroyed their lives. Unfortunately, the killing seems to follow them along their way. A poignant, emotional journey clocking in at just under four hours, Eureka won the prestigious FIPRESCI Award at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival and was screened at the 2000 Toronto and New York Film Festivals.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jonathan Crow
Eureka is a nuanced tale about the lingering emotional cost of sudden, inexplicable tragedy, told on an epic scale (think The Sweet Hereafter merged with The Searchers). Director Shinji Aoyama, who has been consistently responsible for some of the most interesting works to come out of Japan, was reportedly inspired to write this tale in the wake of religious cult Aum Shinrikyo's 1995 nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subway. Indeed, the film's dour desperation nails the zeitgeist of Japan during the mid- to late 1990s, when the country's economic recession and repeated freak crimes contributed to an overall sense of malaise. As with earlier works such as Helpless, Aoyama's sense of character is remarkably acute and, for Eureka, he bravely uses the film's much noted four-hour length to allow the emotions of the characters to evolve from shock and grief to a slow and painful acceptance of that violent episode, in a manner that never seems forced or cliched. Koji Yakusho is, as always, excellent as a man who is haunted by his past and struggling to regain sense in his life. Aoi Miyazaki and Masaru Miyazaki -- first-time actors and real-life siblings -- are remarkably assured as mute twins who struggle for a reason to live. Renowned cinematographer Masaki Tamura's black and white cinematography gives the film a stark, wintry feel that deftly evokes the internal worlds of the film's characters. Eureka is a brave work of pain and redemption by one of world cinema's new shining lights.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/24/2008
  • EAN: 4895033736769
  • Original Release: 2000
  • Source: Panorama
  • Region Code: 3
  • Presentation: Black & White / Letterbox
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo
  • Language: Japanese
  • Time: 3:38:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Koji Yakusho
Ken Mitsuishi
Go Riju
Yutaka Matsushige
Sansei Shiomi
Kimie Shingyoji
Miyazaki Aoi
Karen Shenaz David
Marcel Faber
Riju Go
Miyazaki Masaru
Aoi Miyazaki
Tim Teunissen
Sattoh Yohichiroh
Technical Credits
Shinji Aoyama Director, Score Composer, Editor, Original Story, Screenwriter
Philippe Avril Co-producer
Nobuyuki Kikuchi Sound/Sound Designer
Tamra Masaki Cinematographer
Takenori Sento Producer
Takeshi Shimizu Production Designer
Masaki Tamura Cinematographer
Isao Yamada Score Composer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Eureka
1. Chapter 1 [15:52]
2. Chapter 2 [16:56]
3. Chapter 3 [13:31]
4. Chapter 4 [14:49]
5. Chapter 5 [14:24]
6. Chapter 6 [15:19]
7. Chapter 7 [18:45]
8. Chapter 8 [18:19]
9. Chapter 9 [14:11]
10. Chapter 10 [28:09]
11. Chapter 11 [23:26]
12. Chapter 12 [23:18]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Eureka
   Play
   Chapters
   Subtitles
      Chinese
      English
      Subtitles Off
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