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Face

Overview

Junji Sakamoto spins this tale of a socially inept yet indomitable woman searching for freedom and self-respect. Set in Kobe at the beginning of 1995, the film introduces Masako (Naomi Fujiyama), a withdrawn, middle-aged woman living above her mother's dry cleaning shop. She rarely leaves the house and is often tormented by her pretty younger sister. After their mother suddenly dies, the sisters' sibling rivalry takes a rather nasty turn. Immediately after the funeral, Masako strangles her sister in an explosion ...
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Overview

Junji Sakamoto spins this tale of a socially inept yet indomitable woman searching for freedom and self-respect. Set in Kobe at the beginning of 1995, the film introduces Masako (Naomi Fujiyama), a withdrawn, middle-aged woman living above her mother's dry cleaning shop. She rarely leaves the house and is often tormented by her pretty younger sister. After their mother suddenly dies, the sisters' sibling rivalry takes a rather nasty turn. Immediately after the funeral, Masako strangles her sister in an explosion of rage and humiliation. Just as she stumbles into life on the run, the Kobe earthquake strikes. Terrified that the disaster is some divine retribution for her crime, she flees willy-nilly to Osaka, where, after losing her virginity to a rape, she finds shelter and eventually employment at a "love hotel." When the owner of that establishment hangs himself to escape a mountain of bad debt, Masako flees to Beppu on the southern island of Kyushu. There she falls in love with a down-and-out salesman and finds camaraderie with a world-weary bar owner. In spite of the constant air of violence and the occasional rape, Masako blossoms in her new surroundings until her past -- and the police -- start to catch up with her. This film was screened at the 2000 Toronto Film Festival.
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Special Features

New digital transfer, enhanced for 16:9 televisions; Dolby Digital 5.1; Theatrical trailer; Liner notes by film critic Chuck Stephens
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jonathan Crow
Junji Sakamoto's extraordinary character study Face is subtle, poignant, and even during its blackest moments, funny. Masako's character seems cut from the same cloth as the women in Shohei Imamura's works: stubborn, amoral, instinctive, and indomitable. After living most of her life in the cloistered isolation of her mother's laundry business, she is hellbent on fulfilling her modest goals: to learn to swim, to learn to ride a bike, and to hide from her past. Her singled-mindedness coupled with her social ineptitude seems to in turns baffle and endear those she meets on her fugitive journey. Masako encounters almost every stripe and flavor of Japan's disenfranchised, victims of that country's decade-long economic malaise -- down-sized salarymen, hard-up yakuza, and debt-wracked hotel owners -- all of whom seem just as desperate for redemption as Masako. Thanks to Sakamoto's adept direction and keen attention to tone, this potentially depressing tale stays light and engaging while never trivializing the protagonist's dreams or plight. Thanks to Naomi Fujiyama's tour-de-force performance, Masako is a remarkably complex and fascinating character capable of murder, love, and joy.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/4/2005
  • UPC: 037429211328
  • Original Release: 2000
  • Rating:

  • Source: Homevision
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Theatre Wide-Screen (1.85.1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Language: Japanese
  • Time: 2:03:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Naomi Fujiyama Masako
Etsushi Toyokawa
Jun Kunimura
Kankuro Nakamura
Ittoku Kishibe
Michiyo Ookusu
Riho Makise
Shungiku Uchida
Koichi Sato
Ai Saotome
Misako Watanabe
Technical Credits
Junji Sakamoto Director, Screenwriter
Coba Score Composer
Toshihide Fukano Editor
Mitsuo Harada Art Director
Fumio Hashimoto Sound/Sound Designer
Norimichi Kasamatsu Cinematographer
Yukiko Shii Producer
Isamu Uno Original Story, Screenwriter
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Face
1. Sewing and Singing [3:06]
2. Provocation [3:54]
3. I Am Not Sick [1:53]
4. Socks on Snow [2:57]
5. So Tired [3:21]
6. Sisters [3:04]
7. Becoming a Woman [7:36]
8. Tremors [4:08]
9. Car Sick [4:21]
10. How It Was [1:59]
11. Love Hotel [3:29]
12. Wanted [3:48]
13. Learning to Ride [3:09]
14. Collision [3:01]
15. Ghost of Guilt [2:06]
16. Mask [5:11]
17. End of the Line [3:50]
18. Second Try [3:22]
19. Designer Shirt [2:38]
20. Tambourine [1:59]
21. A Special Someone [3:25]
22. Even Steven [2:57]
23. I'm on Fire [3:02]
24. Ashes [4:18]
25. Blackmail [2:52]
26. Bank Hours [5:29]
27. Yakuza [6:20]
28. Swimming Lessons [2:12]
29. Like Ducks [4:31]
30. Sayonara [4:01]
31. Another Face [3:19]
32. Found [1:41]
33. Festival [2:40]
34. The Search [1:41]
35. By Sea [5:26]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Face
   Play
   Scenes
   Trailers
      Face
      Fall Guy
      Ronin Gai
   Set-Up
      Optional English Subtitles: On
      Optional English Subtitles: Off
      Dolby Digital 2.0
      Dolby Digital 5.1
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