Sunday, July 21, 2019
Red Snow (2019) Japan Cuts 2019
The film is the story of what happens when a decades old murder case is reopened. A reporter comes nosing around looking into what happened when a young boy went missing and people died in a fire. No one was ever really clear as to what happened, and while there was a trial and a conviction no one was fully satisfied. As time passed it was forcibly forgotten and the people connected to the case wanted nothing to do with it. Unfortunately once a locked door is opened what was buried comes out…
A moody brooding thriller it has style to burn. Red Snow isn’t a film so much as a tactile drop into a place that fires up all your sense in ways that almost no film has ever done. Watching the film I was in not only the head space of the film but the physical one as well. Somehow director Sayaka Kai and his cinematographer have done the miraculous and created not so much a film but a sensory record of events. I am in awe of the way this film feels. The opening sequence is one of the most amazing I’ve seen all year as blurry images clear and we are dropped into a claustrophobic place. It has haunted me in the weeks since I saw it.
To be honest I’m not certain that the mystery and plot works all the way to the end. There is a point in the last half hour when, despite the things still being revealed that the film seems to be running more on the mood then the plot, but at the same time there is enough here that we still remain glued to the screen because we need to know how it all is going to end. ( To be honest I need to see again to see how it all plays out totally on its own terms)
My quibbles aside Red Snow is a must for anyone who loves the movies.