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on November 14, 2002
Kitano is a strange director. He knows how to come up with the unexpected and likes to surprise people. Nobody could ever imagine a comedian like him to become an art house director that good. He knows how to touch peoples' feelings with the movies he make.
Shigeru is the main character of the film. He is a young garbage collector who is deaf and mute. One day he finds a broken surf board in the garbage. After watching the surfers he starts to feel an uncontrolable desire for the sea. He takes the board home and fixes it as much as he can. After that point, surfing becomes the main thing in his life.He is ignored and laughed by the young & ignorant local surfers. But he gets all the support he needs by his symphatetic girlfriend who is also deaf and mute.
In this film, kitano tells us about the surf scene in Japan. It is a western import in Japanese society which is favoured by the youth in sea shore parts of the country. Kitano portrays the surf in a pure and realistic way but not without the the poetic and emotional camera work. Maybe waves are the best way to describe the shigeru's inner feelings which shigeru is unable to express to the out side world fully. He seems calm and relaxed on the outside but inside, a big fire burns for surfing and freedom.
Shigeru is a good example of the people around us whom we unfortunately pay no attention. With the cold inner world of ever growing individulity , disabled are mostly forgotten. Shigeru's story is a good example of If given a chance they too can also come up with extraordinary results in life.It is expressed brilliantly when Shigeru misses to perform in one championship due to his unability to hear the announce. Local instructor asks the rest of the group that why they did not warn Shigeru.
Personally , I believe that this film is among Kitano's finest.
It is also a very unusual Kitano movie because there is no sign of yakuza. It is a very emotional as well as a bit sad film like the rest of his filmography. Kitano does nt like happy or common endings so he surprises the viewer by letting their characters flow out of certain rules of a common scenario.
Beach and surf shots, shigeru's innocent, heartwarming and sometimes funny relationship with his girlfriend are all good tastes.Camera is the typical Kitano camera which loves nature and hates speeches.
Fans of the Yakuza films of Kitano may be bored with this film. But with its emotional and soulful flow, viewer will be sooner or later touched by it.Kitano knows exactly how to interact with the viewer's feelings. After all, hearts have no east and west but they all do have cores.
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on August 30, 2001
Third movie of japanese writer-director Takeshi Kitano, A SCENE AT THE SEA, directed in 1992, is a superb surprise for the curious movie lover. If you are tired of today movie production, so superficial and stupid, try this movie for a change.
I love Kitano's unique cinematographical world and the themes treated in his movies. The japanese director is interested in the problems of communication between human beings, his characters live in their own peculiar worlds without feeling the need to share their experiences with others. Hence, the long silences ot the sudden aggressivity of the characters that characterize the movies of the director.
In A SCENE AT THE SEA, the main characters happen to be two young hearing-impaired. Shigeru, a young employee of the local sanitation service, finds a surfboard in a garbage can and suddenly feels the urge to master this watersport. He will spend the whole summer improving his skill at the city beach. We will observe how this passion will affect those who surrounder the young couple.
I've also appreciated very much the sense of humor of takeshi Kitano who always presents in his movies three or four scenes worthy to be compared to the best Chaplin or Keaton afforts. Incredibly subtle and amazing. Enjoy also the great musical scoreof A SCENE AT THE BEACH.
Just a scene access and english subtitles with this Image DVD release. Not even the minimum. Average sound and image quality.
A DVD zone Tommy.
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on March 9, 2001
Ok, things you should know:
The edition I received from Japan last year was not subtitled, but as the story revolves around a deaf mute, the language barrier isnt much of an issue.
Its the story of a young man, clearly doomed to something of a limited existence as a deaf and mute garbage man, who finds a surf board and simply decides pretty much right then and there to learn how to surf, with a degree of compulsion and commitment that could be considered detrimental, or at the very least anti social.
And yet, his love of surfing is so pure, and so honest, that those around him, even those who deride him at first are eventually won over.
This is a extraordinarily well shot movie, and the nature of his relationships with those around him is enticing and complex despite the near total absense of dialog.
It is when he is enveloped wholly in his passion that he develops true friendships, and the sacrifices that he makes for his passion clearly are justified by not only his own obvious sense of fulfillment, but the way he affects those who come to know him. It is as if his freshly discovered love of surfing imbues his youthful innocence with vitality and perminance, so much so that it is almost impossible for anyone to find fault in his nature, as if he is like a still lake that reflects the best in the onlooker only, magnifying their own patience and passion and vitality and good nature.
(It is noteworthy that the concept of a man of exeptionally good nature providing those around him with epiphanies regarding their own nature through his presense alone is not an uncommon theme among Japanese movies, myths, and even religion.)
All in all, a lovely and touching film, refreshingly berift of the classic Hollywood formulaic morality that condemns so many otherwise outstanding efforts to the obscurest tombs of indipendant film history.
Its one of those films that is so unique and personal in its treatment that it defies conventional criticism to a certain extent, and ultimately becomes something of a meditative experience more than a straight narrative film... but then again, who could expect less from Takeshi Kitano?
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on May 22, 2001
While I would actually put this film toward the bottom of Kitano's body of work, the subject matter of the film is unique and engaging. This movie requires an extreme amount of attention and concentration, or certain facts will be missed by the viewer.
The story unfolds around the main character (who is deaf) as he develops an obsessive love for surfing. He pushes himself to develop his skills even in the face of adversity. The underlying intuition would be that he felt his life had no meaning, a sort of "life crisis" (although I just read that into the film), and that he needs to prove to himself that he is able to meet this challenge that he has set for himself. And while he suceeds in many ways, his life begins to falter as he loses his way.
This movie is a strong contrast to his other films, while there is certainly a lot of introspective and personal turmoil in this film, the subject matter is non-violent and has a lot of trademark misplaced comedy. Many people that I talk to describe this film as 'awkward', but it is awkward for a reason.
The score by Hisaishi adds a lot to this film.
Kitano's use of montage is somewhat confusing and certain scenes seem rather cornball, but overall its a good movie if you're willing to pay close attention. And as with most Kitano movies, the ending could have taken place four to five times before you actually reach it.
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on May 22, 2001
While I would actually put this film toward the bottom of Kitano's body of work, the subject matter of the film is unique and engaging. This movie requires an extreme amount of attention and concentration, or certain facts will be missed by the viewer. The story unfolds around the main character (who is deaf) as he develops an obsessive love for surfing. He pushes himself to develop his skills even in the face of adversity. The underlying intuition would be that he felt his life had no meaning, a sort of "life crisis" (although I just read that into the film), and that he needs to prove to himself that he is able to meet this challenge that he has set for himself. And while he suceeds in many ways, his life begins to falter as he loses his way.
This movie is a strong contrast to his other films, while there is certainly a lot of introspective and personal turmoil in this film, the subject matter is non-violent and has a lot of trademark misplaced comedy. Many people that I talk to describe this film as 'awkward', but it is awkward for a reason.
The score by Hisaishi adds a lot to this film.
Kitano's use of montage is somewhat confusing and certain scenes seem rather cornball, but overall its a good movie if you're willing to pay close attention. And as with most Kitano movies, the ending could have taken place four to five times before you actually reach it.
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on August 27, 2014
I lived in Japan and surfed a lot so I enjoyed the movie.. But the story was really about true love and genuine relationship. You don't have to say anything to show your love for someone. It's a lesson about life. Story was interesting and acting was excellent. I enjoyed it and would watch it again.
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on May 27, 2007
This is the epitome of takeshi kitano; this is the reason to experience his work. the silent mood of his films are never more expressed than in this masterpiece about a hearing-impared garbage collector named shigeru who dreams of being a surfer. the relationship between he and his also hearing-impared girlfriend takako is decribed wonderfully by the soundtrack provided by joe hisaishi who lets the viewer understand how beautifully sad love and dreams can be. this, above all other kitano films has made me want to cry and laugh at the same time. thank you, mr kitano.
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on January 2, 2005
I'm a big fan of Takeshi Kitano's work, and I feel this film is his best. Whilst films like Hana-bi, Kids return, and Sonatine may have all the idiosyncratic traits that have made Takeshi so critically acclaimed, they all rely on extremities to convey their message. In the case of 'Ano natsu, ichiban shizukana umi', the director has excelled himself by retaining all the interesting and original traits of his more graphic films, yet managing to tell a story that is just as deep and provocative, only to a more subtle degree.

The story tells of a young, deaf, disenchanted garbage-collector who one day finds a ruined surf-board lying amidst some rubbish. This inspires the boy to become a great surfer, and with the help of a young deaf girl, he gradually becomes more skillful as time progresses, their love blossoming during the course of the movie.

The camera work is extremely sedate and eveloping, managing to capture the calmness of the sea. The characters do not speak, yet the story never seems to drag at all, with each scene drawing the viewer steadily into this very attractive and insular world that they inhabit. The music, scored by Joe Hisiashi, has a very static, timeless quality to it - a mixture of marimba, synthesizers, piano & string instruments manage to convey the atmosphere of the film exceedingly well, with the main theme song capturing the extremely meloncholy feel of the film.

This is one of the most beautiful, haunting films you will ever see.
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on February 26, 2006
maybe not as good as dolls but definitely one of the master's best works
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on March 4, 2016
Well done and whimsical. Enjoyed it all the way through.
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