Japón (image 1)

Screened as part of NZIFF 2003

Japón 2002

Directed by Carlos Reygadas

Mexico / Spain In Spanish with English subtitles
130 minutes CinemaScope

Director, Screenplay

Photography

Diego Martínez Vignatti

Music

Arvo Pärt
,
Shostakovich

With

Alejandro Ferretis
,
Magdelena Flores

Festivals

Rotterdam, Cannes (Directors’ Fortnight), Edinburgh, Toronto, Vancouver 2002

Elsewhere

“Just in case we hadn’t already filed Mexico as a wellspring of great modern cinema, along comes Japón to drum home the fact. And yet where Amores perros and Y tu mamá también were giddying, adrenalised affairs, Carlos Reygadas’ sumptuous début proves altogether more meditative and soulful. The plot is folk-tale simple: relocating a depressed, disabled painter to a stark rural community, where he beds down in a peasant’s barn and begins – slowly, leisurely – to reconnect with nature. Beautifully acted, Japón is a startling, slow-burning beguiler of a movie.” — Xan Brooks, The Guardian 

“A no-holds-barred mix of the epic and the intimate, Carlos Reygadas’ gorgeous canvas on salvation recalls the gloriously faded landscapes of spaghetti westerns… The film combines a deliberate, painstaking attention to documenting the unfolding of life in a specific place with some elements out of left field (including helicopter shots, copulating horses, and a healthy dose of Arvo Pärt music). The visceral and hypnotic Japón is unlike any other Mexican film ever made…” — Mark Peranson