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A Bride for Rip Van Winkle (2016) (Blu-ray) (Director's Cut) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Blu-ray Region A

Iwai Shunji (Director, Writer) | Kuroki Haru (Actor) | Cocco (Actor) | Ayano Go (Actor)
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All Editions Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10 (1)

YesAsia Editorial Description

Over the past decade, Iwai Shunji has departed from his original style to expand his repertoire to documentaries, animation and English-language efforts. The auteur finally returns to the filmmaking style and themes that first made him famous in the long-awaited A Bride for Rip Van Winkle. Starring award-winning actress Kuroki Haru (The Little House), Ayano Go (Shinjuku Swan) and singer Cocco (Kotoko), Iwai's first Japanese live-action narrative feature in 12 years is adapted from his own novel about a lonely young woman who is shaken awake from her placid life and thrown into a journey guided by her yearning to make a connection.

Timid part-time teacher Nanami (Kuroki Haru) has little going on for her in life besides spending too much time on her favorite online network. Through social media, she meets Tetsuya (Jibiki Go), and the two begin dating and quickly get engaged. Uneasy about her lack of guests to invite to the wedding, Nanami seeks the help of online fixer Amuro (Ayano Go) to hire extras to pose as relatives. Soon after the wedding, she begins to suspect that her husband is having an affair, but her mother-in-law accuses her first of cheating. Her marriage broken, Nanami suddenly finds herself without a husband or a job, but Amuro is again on hand to arrange odd jobs for her. Nanami eventually takes up a job as a live-in maid at a strange unoccupied mansion where she develops a close bond with fellow housekeeper Mashiro (Cocco).

This edition comes with the 179-minute Director's Cut of the film and a 12-minute Iwai Shunji interview (English subtitled). It also comes with two postcards and an owl origami.

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Technical Information

Product Title: A Bride for Rip Van Winkle (2016) (Blu-ray) (Director's Cut) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) 夢之花嫁 (2016) (Blu-ray) (導演剪輯版) (香港版) 梦之花嫁 (2016) (Blu-ray) (导演剪辑版) (香港版) リップヴァンウィンクルの花嫁 A Bride for Rip Van Winkle (2016) (Blu-ray) (Director's Cut) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)
Also known as: The Bride of Rip Van Winkle The Bride of Rip Van Winkle The Bride of Rip Van Winkle The Bride of Rip Van Winkle The Bride of Rip Van Winkle
Artist Name(s): Kuroki Haru (Actor) | Cocco (Actor) | Ayano Go (Actor) | Mariya Tomoko (Actor) | Wada Soko (Actor) 黑木華 (Actor) | Cocco (Actor) | 綾野剛 (Actor) | Mariya Tomoko (Actor) | 和田聰宏 (Actor) 黑木华 (Actor) | Cocco (Actor) | 绫野刚 (Actor) | Mariya Tomoko (Actor) | 和田聪宏 (Actor) 黒木華 (Actor) | Cocco (Actor) | 綾野剛 (Actor) | 毬谷友子 (Actor) | 和田聰宏 (Actor) Kuroki Haru (Actor) | 코코 (Actor) | Ayano Go (Actor) | Mariya Tomoko (Actor) | Wada Soko (Actor)
Director: Iwai Shunji 岩井俊二 岩井俊二 岩井俊二 이와이 슌지
Writer: Iwai Shunji 岩井俊二 岩井俊二 岩井俊二 이와이 슌지
Blu-ray Region Code: A - Americas (North, Central and South except French Guiana), Korea, Japan, South East Asia (including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) What is it?
Release Date: 2016-09-15
Language: Japanese
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese
Place of Origin: Japan
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1, Widescreen
Widescreen Anamorphic: Yes
Sound Information: Dolby Digital 5.1
Disc Format(s): Blu-ray
Duration: 180 (mins)
Publisher: Panorama (HK)
Package Weight: 120 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1053131621

Product Information

* Special Features:
- Interview With Director Shunji Iwai
- Trailer

Nanami is an apathetic, part-time junior high school teacher, whose only solace comes from connecting with others on “Planet”, a new social network service. One day, a young man named Tetsuya messages her and asks to meet in person. The two begin dating and quickly become engaged. When Testuya begs nanami to increase her guest list for the wedding, Nanami reaches out to online-friend, Amuro, a self-proclaimed jack-of-all-trades, who hires actors to play Nanami’s guests on her big day.

A few weeks following the ceremony, Tetsuya’s mother confronts Nanami with allegations of lying and cheating. Heartbroken and despondent, Nanami checks herself into a hotel and manages to get hired there as a maid. One day, Amuro offers Nanami a housekeeping job in an old mansion, whose sole resident’s infectious spirit helps Nanami to let joy into her heart. However, Nanami soon realizes that Amuro, the mansion, and its occupant aren’t what they seem – and even dreams have limits.
Additional Information may be provided by the manufacturer, supplier, or a third party, and may be in its original language

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "A Bride for Rip Van Winkle (2016) (Blu-ray) (Director's Cut) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)"

November 10, 2016

This professional review refers to A Bride for Rip Van Winkle (2016) (Blu-ray + DVD) (Special Director's Cut Edition) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)
Japanese director Iwai Shunji has tried his hand at a variety of styles during his career, from features to documentaries and even animation, films like Love Letter, All about Lily Chou-Chou, Vampire and most recently The Case of Hana and Alice winning him acclaim as one of Japan’s most individual helmers. Adapted from his own novel, Iwai’s latest offering A Bride for Rip Van Winkle sees him returning to themes of loneliness, isolation and the struggle to form human connections in the modern age, starring Kuroki Haru (The Little House), Ayano Go (Shinjuku Swan) and singer Cocco (Kotoko).

Kuroki Haru plays Nanami, a part-time teacher who loses her job due to being too quiet and meek with her pupils. Retreating into her online life, she meets a man called Tetsuya (Jibiki Go, Unforgiven) on social media, and after a brief period of dating the two get engaged. Not having many guests to invite to the wedding, Nanami engages the services of mysterious online fixer Amuro (Ayano Go), who hires a collection of extras to act as relatives on the big day. Sadly her happiness doesn't last, and after she starts to suspect Tetsuya of cheating, an odd series of events sees her being accused of infidelity by his mother. On her own again, Nanami allows Amuro to set her up with a job working as a maid at a large, empty mansion, where she meets fellow housekeeper Mashiro (Cocco), and the two form a close relationship.

A Bride for Rip Van Winkle has been screened in several different versions – the 118 minute theatrical version, the 180 minute Director's Cut, and the four hour long full edition. This review refers to the Director's Cut, which at three hours may well sound intimidating for some viewers. Thankfully, though it does meander, the film covers a great deal of ground, and even at this length, Iwai Shunji manages to hold the interest and engage throughout. While it deals with Japanese society, the film's themes are universally applicable, focusing on isolation, loneliness and angst, examining how people connect, or more importantly, how they don't. The struggle to form a personal identity in the internet age is a key concern here, and through Nanami Iwai does a fascinating job of exploring the different ways in which people define themselves and allow themselves to be defined and controlled by others. Avoiding melodrama, the film has a cynical, at times bleak feel, though still finds humour in it at least some of its situations, in way which compliments rather than undermining its drama.

It’s not always an easy watch, Iwai clearly aiming for poetry rather than a narrative drive in the traditional sense, and the film does wander along at a leisurely pace, with long stretches that really don't add up to much – patience is definitely required. Similarly, Nanami is likely to prove a frustrating protagonist for many, being submissive and passive to a fault, spending most of the film seeming to accept being pushed around by other characters, happy to have her life orchestrated for her by Amuro. However, the way in which she sleepwalks through life fits precisely the point Iwai is making, and the various trials and humiliations she undergoes as a result are clearly down to her inability to be more assertive – whether or not this is her fault is left up to the viewer to decide, Iwai never being judgemental or harsh. It helps that Kuroki Haru is excellent in the role, managing to make Nanami sympathetic and interesting, suggesting a depth beneath her placid exterior and making her interactions and relationships with the other characters compelling. The film is surprisingly and powerfully moving during the last third, her bond with Mashiro yielding substantial emotional rewards, all the more so thanks to Iwai's subtle approach.

The film also impresses visually, being quietly gorgeous and benefiting from some great soft focus camera work and skilful use of light. This gives things an at times surreal feel, in particular during the scenes in the gothic-looking mansion, its rooms filled with strangely arranged collections of items. Filled with pale colours which match its themes well, the film features classical music throughout, and though this does become a bit repetitive in places, it fits well enough.

Due to its length and almost abstract temperament, A Bride for Rip Van Winkle probably isn't a film for everyone, and viewers looking for a more traditional cinematic experience need not apply. However, fans of Iwai Shunji will find a great deal to enjoy and obsess over, and the film's length never feels bloated or unnecessary, being more than justified by its understated richness and profound ruminations on modern life.

by James Mudge - EasternKicks.com

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This original content has been created by or licensed to YesAsia.com, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of YesAsia.com.

Customer Review of "A Bride for Rip Van Winkle (2016) (Blu-ray) (Director's Cut) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)"

Average Customer Rating for All Editions of this Product: Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10 (1)

Kevin Kennedy
See all my reviews


August 20, 2021

This customer review refers to A Bride for Rip Van Winkle (2016) (DVD) (Director's Cut Special Edition) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)
1 people found this review helpful

Nanami journeys through the looking glass Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
Director Iwai Shunji's 'A Bride for Rip Van Winkle' is among the strangest viewing experiences I've had recently. It is as if Alfred Hitchcock had conceived and directed a film version of 'Alice in Wonderland'.

Teacher Nanami (Kuroki Haru) is plagued by extreme timidity. It affects her choice of marriage partner, her lying to her future in-laws about her parents' relationship, her hiring a group of fake friends and relatives to be her wedding guests... Her shyness has her time after time putting up a false front to guard herself from hurt.

All those false fronts come back to bite her. She seems to enter an existence in which no one and nothing are as they seem; they are instead false fronts which cut her comfortable world out from under her. Lying behind it all is the mysterious fixer Amuro (Ayano Go), who is always there to assist Nanami, but his assistance always seems to be a guise for something else.

Over the three hour running length of this director's cut, this continual toying with one's expectations becomes a deeply unsettling experience. Director Iwai takes the viewer on a journey which is alternately lovely and shocking. One is always on edge wondering what will be the next veil pulled away, and what will be revealed behind that veil.

Kuroki Haru was a perfect choice for the naive and vulnerable Nanami; in the hands of a less skilled actress, this film's story might seem preposterous. Miss Kuroki, however, keeps the viewer worrying over what lies ahead for this sweet young woman, and wishing that she would stop making such unfortunate decisions. Brace yourself; this is a film which will haunt you.
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