Seance

Overview

The Sixth Sense and A Simple Plan by way of Martin Heidegger, this genre-bending thriller is directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa. Katsuhiko (Koji Yakusho) is a mild-mannered sound-technician who is married to Junco (Jun Fubuki). While at first glance Junco seems to be an average hausfrau, she possesses great clairvoyant powers. Though she has slowly and quietly built a reputation as a medium, she proves to be completely incapable of working in a normal service industry job; she has the unfortunately tendency of being ...
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Overview

The Sixth Sense and A Simple Plan by way of Martin Heidegger, this genre-bending thriller is directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa. Katsuhiko (Koji Yakusho) is a mild-mannered sound-technician who is married to Junco (Jun Fubuki). While at first glance Junco seems to be an average hausfrau, she possesses great clairvoyant powers. Though she has slowly and quietly built a reputation as a medium, she proves to be completely incapable of working in a normal service industry job; she has the unfortunately tendency of being able to see the crimes of her patrons. Katsuhiko is aware of her unusual abilities but prefers to think of her as "normal." Young psychology graduate student Hayakawa (Teuyoshi Kusanagi) invites Junco to join his study on the paranormal. At the same time, the police are desperately searching for a young girl who was kidnapped by an ex-cop turned pervert. At Hayakawa's behest, the cops consult with Junco as to the child's whereabouts. Ironically enough, the girl escapes her captor and takes refuge in Katsuhiko's equipment case while he records sounds in the mountains. The next day, Junco's psychic sonar goes off and she discovers the missing child in their garage. This freak happenstance awakens a long-dormant ambition in Junco: convinced that her discovery was not a striking enough find, she hatches an ill-conceived scheme to make it seem more dramatic. While Katsuhiko tends to the unconscious girl, Junco scatters clues throughout the western suburbs of Tokyo and then informs the police of her psychic "insights." As the film progresses, their plan goes awry and the child meets a bad end. Junco's abilities boomerang on her, and soon she and Katsuhiko are haunted by the ghost of the girl. Noted stars Yukari Ishida and Show Aikawa make cameos. This film was screened at the 2000 Toronto Film Festival.
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Special Features

Interview with director Kiyoshi Kurosawa; Trailers for Séance, Charisma, and Cure
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jonathan Crow
While not as unnerving as Cure or as well-drawn as Charisma, Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Séance is, among other things, an exploration of free will versus fate, a questioning look at the paranormal, and a gripping thriller to boot. Kurosawa refines his already austere cinematic style into something graceful and elegant; few directors since Kenji Mizoguchi have used such devices as the pan with such aplomb. The result is a film that quietly overtakes the audience with its profoundly creepy atmosphere, rather than flogging viewers with cheap thrills. Kurosawa laces the movie with delicious irony: Junco is undone not by her role as a medium -- a generic refuge of a charlatan -- but by her ambition and vanity. As happens in several of his films, however, Kurosawa never quite pushes these ironies and philosophical questionings through to a satisfying conclusion. Koji Yakusho, who seems to be in every film to come out of Japan since 1997, convincingly plays Katsuhiko as a bumbling regular Joe who is pushed to his psychological limits, while Jun Fubuki is equally good as a fragile housewife turned accidental Lady MacBeth. While lacking the punch of one of Kurosawa's best works, Séance is a spooky film that lingers in the mind long after the lights have gone up.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/17/2005
  • UPC: 037429200827
  • Original Release: 2000
  • Rating:

  • Source: Homevision
  • Region Code: 1
  • Time: 1:37:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Koji Yakusho , Katsuhiko
Jun Fubuki , Junco
Ittoku Kishibe
Hikari Ishida
Technical Credits
Kiyoshi Kurosawa Director
Gary Ashiya Score Composer
Jun'ichi Kikuchi Editor
Takahide Shibanushi Cinematographer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Hypotheticals [7:03]
2. Home Office [2:30]
3. Home Life [6:19]
4. Kidnapped [2:40]
5. Lunch Guest [1:19]
6. Something Strange [:00]
7. Near Mt. Fuji [3:57]
8. Inquiry [2:22]
9. So Close [:00]
10. Opportunity [6:19]
11. The Plan [5:40]
12. Gone Awry [1:20]
13. It's Over [4:42]
14. Back to Living [5:06]
15. Hopeless [5:01]
16. Desperation [4:01]
17. Purification [3:39]
18. The Same [5:36]
19. Marked [:15]
20. Performance [2:37]
21. End Credits [6:00]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play
   Chapters
   Extras
      Interview with Kiyoshi Kurosawa
      Trailers
         Séance
         Charisma
         Cure
         Play All
   Subtitles
      English Subtitles: On
      English Subtitles: Off
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