Dead by Dawn Report: Haze Review

Founder and Editor; Toronto, Canada (@AnarchistTodd)
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Once again, here's Richard Brunton checking in from Dead by Dawn with a look at Shinya Tsukamoto's latest.

'm a big Asian film fan, I really enjoy the subtler side of their cinema and the way they understand the art of putting the viewer at unease, something in Western cinema we seem to have lost the art of, preferring big visuals and loud bangs.

So I was interested to see some of the latest Asian offerings and this one sounded particularly intriguing. The shorter IMDB blurb provides much mystery: "A man wakes up to find himself locked in a tiny, cramped concrete room, in which he can barely move..."

...and that's where the film began, a man trapped in a darkened series of connected torturous traps.

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More about Haze

Burnt GlassMay 23, 2006 10:39 PM

Released May 22nd in a region 0 Pal format

logboyJune 3, 2006 4:53 PM

not watched the film yet (staying lighter later around here) but did sit to watch the extras on the UK DVD last night. several key pieces in there, adding up to about an hours worth of viewing, two of which are interesting (tsukamoto at locarno film festival in a solo interview with brief clips, and kaori fuji in a section also at locarno which shows her return visit there 10 years after 'tokyo fist'). the third of the largest sections (lating 30 minutes alone - entitled the 'making of') is a disjointed collection of snippets shot during production which shows the small team, confined space, and the mucking-in-together atmosphere of his productions (tsukamoto painting sets?!)...

so you see discussions, set building, filming. you get to hear some dialogue, but its the least interesting of the insights into the film unfortunately, feeling as though it has no direct aim or elements up for discussion. as for the two locarno sections, its interesting to hear tsukamoto clarify and talk about the origins of the story (relates to the same theme pre-'Vital' and comes as one of the key concepts he had been thinking of for some years) and explains that its about mental torture / discomfort but later turns to scenes which also include physical pain - if it returns to the pre-'Vital' themes, he explains, it was accidental. mentions also that this is his first DV film, a good format for a quick production and for shooting in the confined spaces / limited lighting of the film : he say he wishes he had shot Vital this way, and that it may be his format of choice in the future (he mentions the possibility of working in america also). i suspect the films production style is a direct result of his shimizu film 'marebito' (shot in 2004) as 'haze' was planned at the same time as 'Vital' and was shot over just 13 days during january 2005 and then took about a month to edit together... pretty much the same time as 'Vital' all round? in an overall fashion, the extras are a japanese-produced detailed insight that's useful for a film thats a little more intentionally narrative-free and collects disjointed-but-connected scenarios which span across the themes... theres also a couple of trailers on here, the usual picture galleries and biographies. nicely done disc, hoping that when i get a late-night slot to watch the film, that the transfer does it justice. btw, spotted some brief technical flaws in the subtitles - they scatter or fall apart, very odd, never seen a comparable problem before...
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