Stanford Mail

A Cinematic Journey That Will Leave You Breathless and Reflecting on Life

MOVIE REVIEW
Still the Water (Futatsume no mado)

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Genre: Drama, Romance, World Cinema
Year Released: 2014, North America premiere 2023
Runtime: 2h 1m
Director(s): Naomi Kawase
Writer(s): Naomi Kawase
Cast: Nijirô Murakami, Junko Abe, Miyuki Matsuda, Tetta Sugimoto, Makiko Watanabe
Where To Watch: making its North American premiere on VOD & digital on March 3, 2023


RAVING REVIEW: Naomi Kawase is a contemporary Japanese director who can tell a story subtly without the interference that others may include. She has won international recognition for her work in the field, with her debut feature, SUZAKU, earning her the Camera d'Or award at Cannes Film Festival. Her latest cinematic triumph, STILL THE WATER, is set on a breathtaking subtropical island in Japan, and it's a film that will leave you in awe with its subversive storytelling and gorgeous cinematography.


The film follows Kaito and Kyôko as they journey to uncover a mystery they discover in the sea. Along the way, they learn about life, death, and love and mature into adulthood. Kawase's artistry combines traditional Japanese culture, nature, and spirituality to enrich her storytelling.

The movie looks into fundamental questions about love, commitment, and mortality. The natural imagery of the film provides a sense of refuge and freedom—the sea serves as a dreamlike space that intermingles with the outside world.

While some may find the film's pace too slow, Kawase's cinematic vision is a beautiful tribute to the cycles of life. The film captures the essence of human emotions with artistically beautiful shots that give you time to take in the experience.

Overall, STILL THE WATER is a visual experience while keeping the story at heart, appealing to anyone who loves cinema. It is a testament to Kawase's remarkable talent as a director, storyteller, and cast who delivers stoic performances that will stick with you. The film is an ode to the human condition, a celebration of life and nature's exquisite beauty and incredible power, and an unforgettable cinematic experience.

In conclusion, Naomi Kawase's STILL THE WATER is a must-see film for anyone who appreciates cinematic art. It's a film that will leave you feeling enriched and deeply moved long after you walk away from it.

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[photo courtesy of FILM MOVEMENT]