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Bright Future

4.0 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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(Mar 08, 2005)
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Editorial Reviews

Two young men try to acclimate jellyfish to fresh water.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Tatsuya Fuji, Tadanobu Asano, Takashi Sasano, J Odagiri, Marumi Shiraishi
  • Directors: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Palm Pictures / Umvd
  • DVD Release Date: March 8, 2005
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007GADX6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,090 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Martin Wagner on June 6, 2005
Format: DVD
Many viewers look at Bright Future and throw up their hands in

confusion, even those who admire Kurosawa's style. I've thought a lot

about this movie and I don't think its intentions are that obscure,

though I confess it can be inaccessible. It's just that Kurosawa's

approach is VERY contrary to how Westerners understand film.

Bright Future examines the disillusionment of Japanese youth towards

their parents' generation, and, in turn, their parents' feelings of

failure towards their children. Throughout, a poisonous red jellyfish

symbolizes disaffected youth, drifting along silently, not threatening

unless you cross their path.

Namura and Arita are two 20-somethings working at an industrial

laundry. Namura is apathy itself. He cherishes his dreams of a "bright

future," but in his daily life, he barely registers much more than a

blank stare. He's such a loser he even sucks at his few hobbies; the

one time he goes out to an arcade with his upwardly-mobile sister and

her yuppie boyfriend, the boyfriend casually kicks Namura's ass at

games Namura plays constantly. On his lone trips to a nearby bowling

alley, Namura rolls mostly gutters.

Arita, Namura's only friend, is more mysterious, with a placid surface

underneath which lurks hints of menace. Arita's sole hobby is the care

of his pet jellyfish, which he is trying to acclimate to fresh water.

Arita gives the clueless Namura hand signals (thumb inward means

"wait," finger pointing means "go ahead") so he'll avoid doing anything

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Kiyoshi Kurosawa is becoming one of my favorite current filmmakers, and the further he gets from by-the-book J-horror (preferring to reach further into less categorizable reaches of his own cinematic imagination), the better I think he is.

Deeper meanings mingle with absurdist humor, and the kind of chance occurrences that enliven the fiction of Paul Auster and Haruki Murakami also figure heavily in Kurosawa's films; cinematically, everything from Lynch or Fellini to "Dirty Harry" can be a touchstone for further exploration.

BRIGHT FUTURE is like an improved CHARISMA - more refined, less loony, and considerably more poetic, but Kiyoshi Kurosawa's many thematic concerns - trashing of the environment, a sense of depersonalization (and discreet nihilism) in younger/future generations, the erosion of a society's cohesiveness (especially when that erosion originates within, and not from some external source) - are handled very well - the last shot offers his darkest and most ironic humor, with the cross-generational understanding becoming something quietly heroic evoking certain past masters of Japanese film. A sense that - if younger generations have drifted towards a nihilism that could destroy them or you, it is balanced by an equally withering take on the older generations that somehow let them down; this film in many ways visualizes the idea of getting over it, and moving on with life (after presenting some of the consequences for not doing so).

Tadanobu Asano's presence here is somewhat hyped (definitely on the DVD cover), undoubtedly due to his ascendant global stardom, but his performance here is eclipsed by co-stars Joe Odagiri and Tatsuya Fuji, who both deliver dynamic performances of great range and control.

Mysterious, poetic, beautifully shot (on DV), open to many interpretations, and one of Kiyoshi Kurosawa's finest.

-David Alston
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Format: DVD
"Bright Future" fascinated the Japanese. It was named Best Film and its director Kiyoshi Kurosawa, (who is not related to the classic director Akira Kurosawa), won Best Director from the Japanese Professional Movie Awards (JPMA). The film was nominated for the Golden Palm @ Cannes in 2003. Tadanobu Asano who was interesting in Last Life in the Universe plays Mamoru Arita. His buddy is Yuji Nimura, played by Jo Odagiri who tied with Tatsuya Fuji for the Best Actor Award from the JPMA. Mamoru' father is played by Tatsuya Fuji.

"Bright Future" is a mystical film. I use that term in the sense that something other than logic is driving events. The film has a contingent plot structure with Mamoru's murder of his former boss seemingly coming abruptly and without explanation. The visual effects with the iridescent jellyfish are visually stunning. Perhaps Mamoru identifies with the jellyfish because they are beautiful & lethal. The ending sequence raised questions for me.

This film is well-paced, visually stunning, with strong performances and relationships between the main characters. Enjoy!
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Format: DVD
Best known for films like 'Cure' and 'Pulse' that chill the spine more than warm the heart, Kurosawa is the dark prince of the Japanese new wave.After the series of horror quick videos,he emerged onto the film scene with the psycho-thriller, Cure(1997),then made this film before the state-of-the- nation masterpiece, 'Tokyo Sonata'.Dilapidated buildings,cold barren landscapes,the disaffected,drifting young with no future,shot on digital video by Kiyoshi Kurosawa.The use of luminous symbolism,the acclimatising of a pet red glowing jellyfish to fresh water.This is a movie about a charismatic killer,Mamoru, who through his friend sends a swarm of home-bred mutant beasts into the world to continue doing his murderous bidding after he sheds his mortal coil.Characters that are bored to death,who have nohope. They have inherited miserable lives.Mamoru(Asano Tadanobu) having been imprisoned for killing his complacent boss's family and his boss, advances Yuji(Joe Odagiri) towards his destiny.Yuji's acclimatization of the jellyfish to freshwater is symbolic of Yuji's adjustment to the world and coming to grips with it,finalized by the accidental release of the jellyfish into the city system of sewers and waterways.They metaphorically force their environment to accept their demands instead of the other way around.Some beautiful imagery here.

Sometimes the narrative surface, aided by long takes and a static camera,is submerged by the subtext,where interesting ideas and effective moments do not quite gel into a fully satisfying whole.The representation of the generation gaps as well as the dreary disillusionment captured by the cinematography are excellent.
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