Journey to the Shore Screen 74 of 17 reviews

Journey to the Shore

2015

Journey to the Shore Poster
  • Call it THREE YEARS OF MAGICAL THINKING / a ghost story without horror--which, for some viewers, is itself a kind of horror... I've remarked numerous times on the preponderance of contemporary genre cinema that gradually unveils grief as a motivating force; this one pushes the revelation of grief up front and spends the remaining two hours exploring how the self processes the tail of emotions that come from rational knowledge.

  • I’m stumped when it comes to describing the film except to call it, tentatively, a realistic Japanese ghost story—that is to say, a lyrical and serious film about how to negotiate past regrets and deceased partners. I’m not even confident that I fully understand it, but it’s an excellent example of a film whose unsolved puzzles remain seductive and, yes, haunting, in the best ghost-story sense. And it certainly does gorgeous things with light in the pursuit of these mysteries.

  • There are passages in this film that are so exquisitely tuned and delicately heartbreaking that they seem to have been experienced and remembered rather than seen on a movie screen.

  • Cinema has always been a ghostly business. I didn’t do a count, but this year, every day brought at least one movie about death and mourning. The standout was Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Journey to the Shore (a flat-footed title compared to the French translation Vers l’autre rive, “Toward the Other Side”).

  • “Journey to the Shore” is more wistful and plaintive than strictly unnerving, with an emotional force that edges in like an afternoon shadow. One of the most meaningfully beautiful and moving images that I’ve seen in the festival so far is of a darkened bedroom wall that slowly brightens to reveal a mural of vibrantly hued flowers.

  • +

    Sight & Sound: Tony Rayns
    April 29, 2016 | June 2016 Issue (pp. 80-81)

    What Kurosawa is reaching for is the profundity of such films as Ugetsu Monogatari and Obayashi Nobuhiko's The Discarnates (Ijintachi tono Natsu, 1988), which bring ghosts and people together to explore very human delusions and griefs. Journey to the Shore can't compare with those classics, but the film's imitation of life gains from spot-on casting and from its commitment to a largely visual aesthetic.

  • Journey to the Shore, though the schmaltziest film of his I’ve seen by some margin, is not unlike other Kurosawa films in its tendency toward the schematic... By the end, Yusuke may have crossed over, but Mizuki seems released as well... To most, these eventualities might have been predicted from the film’s outset, but just because you know where it’s going doesn’t mean that there aren’t pleasures to be had along the way.

  • The lax pace and tone become so diffuse and diaphanous that the finer points of its story are obscured. What lends Journey to the Shore some authenticity and richness is the way it allows troubled memories to be mirrored through light, colour, emptiness or silence, echoes dwelling within the forces of nature. In the end, the real ghost is the filmed space itself.

  • There aren’t many horror directors who suddenly shift their style towards slow-moving romances, however, Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s change of tune is an anomaly that deserves the warm praise it’s been receiving. While Journey to the Shore, the director’s latest, isn’t his strongest film, nor without flaw; it remains a convincing and sentimental meditation on the states between life and death.

  • It’s a really different, interesting thing, this whole question of “mystery”…there’s a certain quality that we all look for when a film sort of touches us, where we don’t just see events that are being staged in front of a camera and filmed in a particular way and edited in a particular way—where it becomes something else.

  • This episodic structure recalls Kurosawa's last excellent work, the miniseries Penance, and as in that film he here displays a incredibly subtly tonal range, segueing almost imperceptibly from intonations of melancholy art house to horror film, comedy, low key rural drama, and sentimental romance. The overall sensibility is sweetly unsettling, a fitting result for this rare heir to Georges Franju (Eyes without a Face), especially during the eerily climatic resolution to each of the hauntings.

  • Journey has a de-saturated, very digital look, which only underscores the theatricality of Kurosawa’s direction, which often focuses on two characters traipsing around a room as though it were a bare stage. And yet no one could ever accuse this weird, slow-going movie of being filmed theater. Kurosawa goes for creepy and jagged, slipping in bits of gentle humor, and getting a lot of mileage out of the old trick of panning back to reveal a character who wasn’t there before.

  • Traversing East Japan from small towns to remote hamlets, the film’s winding, episodic form ultimately conveys a blindingly obvious message, but the way in which its motley characters work through feelings of loss, regret and acceptance have a hushed, timorous sentiment that’s uniquely Japanese.

  • Hate to ask for more exposition under almost any circumstance, but I suppose this is the exception... As is, there are several pretty compelling versions of this movie competing for attention--my favorites involving an anxious/living-casual/dead relationship dialectic between Mizuki and Yusuke, and Yusuke navigating the situation of being dead with greater ease than others, apparently because he's fortunate enough to look like Tadanobu Asano--that just don't collectively make much sense.

  • Journey to the Shore, by the hilariously prolific Kiyoshi Kurosawa, tells a between-worlds ghost story that stands with his most tedious supernatural thingamabobs. This one’s got the very handsome star Tadanobu Asano as the long-dead husband who returns to take his wife (Eri Fukatsu) on a series of trips so that she can get to know who he was. Romantic? Sort of, but also at least three journeys too long.

  • The lethargy sets in quickly with a prolonged and largely incident-free road trip... Clichés of wrestling with grief and accepting the fate of deceased lovers are ushered in as trite answers to the questions that haven’t been asked, the film’s deathly dull second half suggests that the director had given up on trying to make things interesting.

  • I’d planned to write at least a few words about Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s almost surreally boring Journey To The Shore, which multiple critics here have dubbed Journey To The Snore. Trouble is, just thinking about the film makes me nod off, making it difficult to formulate any thoughts.

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