Pulse

Pulse

3.0 1
Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Cast: Haruhiko Kato, Kumiko Aso, Koyuki

     
 

As one of the most cutting-edge Japanese filmmakers, Kiyoshi Kurosawa once again wraps a lowbrow, much-maligned genre -- in this case horror flicks (which were the rage in Japan at the time of this release) -- around some decidedly highbrow philosophical concepts. At the film's outset, Michi (Kumiko Aso) and her cohorts at a rooftop nursery cannot get ahold of their… See more details below

Overview

As one of the most cutting-edge Japanese filmmakers, Kiyoshi Kurosawa once again wraps a lowbrow, much-maligned genre -- in this case horror flicks (which were the rage in Japan at the time of this release) -- around some decidedly highbrow philosophical concepts. At the film's outset, Michi (Kumiko Aso) and her cohorts at a rooftop nursery cannot get ahold of their co-worker, Taguchi (Kenji Mizuhashi), who has an important floppy disk. When she ventures over to his apartment, she finds him pale, listless, and unusually quiet -- that is until he suddenly hangs himself. While the suicide is disconcerting, what really freaks Michi out is that Taguchi's body seems to dissolve into the wall, leaving a sickly black stain. Meanwhile, college slacker Ryosuke Kawashima (Haruhiko Kato) logs onto the Internet for the first time even though he is not particularly fond of computers. Instead of stumbling into a porn site or a chat room, he finds himself in a most peculiar site -- he just sees ghostly images of other people going about their everyday life. Then the computer prompts him, asking, "Would you like to meet ghosts?" Even though he eventually pulls the plug, the machine still on occasion springs to life. He eventually consults a comely computer maven named Harue (Koyuki), who is also utterly baffled. As more and more Internet users seal themselves into their rooms with red duct tape and melt into black splotches, Kawashima and Michi independently come to discover that the Internet has become portal for an increasingly crowded afterlife. As Tokyo becomes increasingly depopulated, Kawashima and Michi cross paths. This film -- which also features cameos by Kurosawa regulars Koji Yakusho, Jun Fubuki, and Sho Aikawa -- was screened at the 2001 Cannes and Toronto Film Festivals.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jonathan Crow
Kiyoshi Kurosawa grabbed worldwide attention with his 1997 masterpiece Cure, a horror film that was actually horrifying. Sandblasting away all the campy clichés of 1970s quickies, Cure employed intelligent camera work, lighting, sound design, and a good story -- and very little special effects -- to prove that horror flicks can also be art. Kurosawa shows that he has lost none of his abilities to scare in this film. The first 30 minutes of Kairo is perhaps some of the most unnerving, frightening sequences to come down the pike in a long time. And Kurosawa accomplishes this with admirable economy, using little dramatizing music or flash camera trickery. Computers, cell phones, and other forms of technology play a central role in this film. Unlike in some tech horror flicks, technology in this film is not an evil in itself. Rather the horror of Kairo comes from how this technology separates and divides humanity from itself. Photographed in browns and icy whites, Tokyo is portrayed as a city of lost and lonely souls bracing itself for impending doom. As the film progresses, it shifts gears from a straight-up horror flick into something weirder and more existential -- as if Andrei Tarkovsky directed The Omega Man. Some might be put off by the change, while others will be dazzled by such an audacious move. Overall, Kairo is an astonishing work that cements Kiyoshi Kurosawa has one of the masters of the media.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/21/2006
UPC:
0876964000055
Original Release:
2001
Rating:
NR
Source:
Magnolia
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:59:00
Sales rank:
15,315

Special Features

Closed Caption; The making of Pulse; Behind-the-scenes footage; Theatrical trailer

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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Haruhiko Kato Ryosuke Kawashima
Kumiko Aso Michi Kudo
Koyuki Harue Karasawa
Kurume Arisaka Junko Sasano
Masatoshi Matsuo Yoshio Yabe
Shun Sugata The Boss
Kenji Mizuhashi Taguchi
Masayuki Shionoya Ghost
Jun Fubuki Michi's Mother
Shinji Takeda Yoshizaki
Koji Yakusho Boat Captain
Sho Aikawa The Worker
Takumi Tanji Man With Bag
Hassei Takano Student
Atsushi Yuki Student
Go Takashima Student

Technical Credits
Kiyoshi Kurosawa Director,Screenwriter
Toshio Hagiwara Associate Producer
Takefumi Haketa Score Composer
Junichiro Hayashi Cinematographer
Ken Inoue Producer
Junichi Kikuchi Editor
Tomoyuki Maruo Art Director
Seiji Okuda Producer
Seiji Ono Associate Producer
Shun Shimizu Producer
Atsuyuki Shimoda Producer
Tsutomu Takano Associate Producer
Yasuyoshi Tokuma Executive Producer
Yohji Yamamoto Associate Producer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Pulse
1. How It Began [8:38]
2. Toguchi's Disk [5:15]
3. Welcome To the Internet [8:05]
4. Help [7:08]
5. The Forbidden Room [5:16]
6. Ghost in the Machine [4:55]
7. What Did You See? [5:10]
8. How Many Ghosts? [9:11]
9. The Passage Is Open [8:31]
10. Ghosts and People [15:00]
11. Alone [12:23]
12. The Missing [5:45]
13. Eternal Loneliness [11:07]
14. Death Comes [9:00]
15. End Credits [3:38]

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