Warm Water Under a Red Bridge

Directed by Shohei Imamura
Film Movement Classics
2001
119 Minutes
Japan
Japanese
Comedy, Fantasy, Drama, Asian, Classics
Asian Studies, Sex & Sexuality, Literature
Not Rated
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PPR $200.00
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Brimming with magical realism, sensuality, and humor, the final film by revered filmmaker Shohei Imamura is "an enlightening, even liberating, experience" (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times) that tells the story of Yosuke Sasano, an unemployed salaryman who arrives in a remote fishing village following a rumor of hidden treasure. Instead, he meets Saeko Aizawa, a charming and unusual woman with a unique problem: a well of warm water inside her longing for release. Saeko faces both shame and adoration for her condition, which the local anglers believe feeds the river and its fish. Intrigued and enamored, Yosuke decides to take up a new life as a fisherman. Through their passionate affair, Imamura paints a picture of longing, fantasy, and the search for true happiness in the most unexpected of places that's both "nonchalantly freaky and uncommonly pleasurable" (Michael Atkinson, The Village Voice).

"To those who eschew religious and scientific explanations of life’s mysteries, and to those who lose themselves in them. Few of Imamura’s films are actually as bleak as they seem: although many end in death and/or madness, it’s usually also identified as an escape. With Warm Water Under a Red Bridge, an essential addition to any Japanese cinema collection, Imamura seems to be clarifying that these are even more accurately interpreted as moments of transcendence. Highly recommended." - EMRO

"The final feature from iconoclast Japanese director Shoei Immamura (1926-2006), WARM WATER UNDER A RED BRIDGE ("Akai hashi no shita no nurui mizu") is a leisurely sort of “body horror” lite sex comedy and social satire...Recommended for international/Far East cinema collections." - Video Librarian

Cast

  • Kôji Yakusho
  • Misa Shimizu
Blu-ray Features

BONUS FEATURES:

Messy and Juicy video essay by author and film curator Tom Vick

16-page booklet with new essay by film scholar and writer Hwang Kyunmin

Discs: 1

  • Highest Rating
    "An enlightening, even liberating, experience."
    Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
  • Highest Rating
    "Like its bizarre heroine, it irrigates our souls."
    Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
  • Highest Rating
    "Imamura has said that Warm Water Under a Red Bridge is a poem to the enduring strengths of women. It may also be the best sex comedy about environmental pollution ever made."
    Ella Taylor, L.A. Weekly
  • Highest Rating
    "A deep and meaningful film."
    Janice Page, Boston Globe
  • Highest Rating
    "Imamura's delight in the infinite oddity of men and women is goofy; it's also, at heart, reverent."
    Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly
  • Highest Rating
    "Nonchalantly freaky and uncommonly pleasurable, Warm Water may well be the year's best and most unpredictable comedy."
    Michael Atkinson, Village Voice
  • Highest Rating
    "Charmingly bizarre slice of magic realism."
    Tom Dawson, BBC
  • Highest Rating
    "A tasty slice of droll whimsy."
    Gene Seymour, Newsday
  • Highest Rating
    "A delirious celebration of the female orgasm."
    Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine
  • Highest Rating
    "A weird and wonderful comedy."
    Dave Kehr, Citysearch

Gallery

Awards & Recognition

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