Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Cure in Japan Foundation Touring Programme
This year’s Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme focuses on the marked resurgence of Japanese cinema from the mid-1990s onwards. Including established names such as Kiyoshi Kurosawa as well as up-and-coming talent Yuya Ishii, the featured directors have carved a new path for the future and contributed to the recent success of Japanese cinema around the world. Showcasing a great breadth of creativity, the 2011 line-up offers UK audiences an insight into a pivotal period which changed the landscape of Japanese cinema and provided the industry with a new lease of life.
Don’t miss the fantastic Cure, which we previously wrote about in an article on director Kiyoshi Kurosawa:
In Cure, murder victims are found with an X slashed across their throats. But in each case the killer is a different person. Soon Inspector Takabe (played by Kôji Yakusho) comes to believe that the link between the killings may be the enigmatic Mesmer student Mamiya who is seemingly able to suggest murderous thoughts through hypnosis to whomever he encounters. [...]
A supremely ambiguous figure, Mamiya is a potent creation whose mere presence on-screen is enough to give the viewer goose bumps. ‘Tell me about yourself,’ he says to everyone he meets, answering all questions that are put to him with another question, never disclosing anything personal. Is it possible that Mamiya should be truly empty, as he claims, and that by having emptied himself of everything that made him what he was, he has become the ultimate seducer, a sheer void that reflects their own selves back to people, enabling him to exert total control over them? Whatever the answer, evil in Cure is not limited to one character but is a diffuse phenomenon, an atmosphere that pervades everyone and everything, buildings too. Mamiya’s former haunt, a grimy warehouse partitioned by plastic sheets hanging from the ceiling and filled with caged animals and books on hypnotism, exudes an unwholesome, malign air; the same atmosphere of occult malevolence pervades a derelict building that was the venue for mysterious experiments in hypnotism decades previously. Building up throughout the film, it is all this that comes to be invoked in each re-appearance of the X, the profound enigma of evil, the contagion of the malefic through the air, through invisible waves that circulate between people and places.