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While The Women Are Sleeping (2016) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region 3

Kitano Takeshi (Actor) | Nishijima Hidetoshi (Actor) | Oyamada Sayuri (Actor) | Kutsuna Shiori (Actor)
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YesAsia Editorial Description

Chinese-American filmmaker Wayne Wang (Snow Flower and the Secret Fan) heads to Japan for the psycho thriller While the Women Are Sleeping, which screened in the Panorama section of the 66th Berlin International Film Festival. Based on Spanish writer Javier Marias's same-titled short story, the intriguing noirish drama stars Kitano Takeshi, Kutsuna Shiori, Nishijima Hidetoshi and Oyamada Sayuri as two couples whose chance encounter evolves into a mysterious tangle of voyeurism and dreamlike dangers.

While vacationing at a beach resort, novelist Kenji (Nishijima Hidetoshi) and his wife Aya (Oyamada Sayuri) come across another pair of guests, Sahara (Kitano Takeshi) and his much younger girlfriend Miki (Kutsuna Shiori). Kenji, who is suffering from a serious case of writer's block, is immediately drawn to the couple and begins to obsessively stalk them. Sahara, meanwhile, befriends Kenji and reveals that he has a habit of videotaping Miki every day while she sleeps in order to have a record of her last day.

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Technical Information

Product Title: While The Women Are Sleeping (2016) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) 女人熟睡時 (2016) (DVD) (香港版) 女人熟睡时 (2016) (DVD) (香港版) 女が眠る時 While The Women Are Sleeping (2016) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)
Also known as: Onna ga Nemuru Toki 女人沉睡時/當女人沉睡時 女人沉睡时/当女人沉睡时 Onna ga Nemuru Toki Onna ga Nemuru Toki
Artist Name(s): Kitano Takeshi (Actor) | Nishijima Hidetoshi (Actor) | Oyamada Sayuri (Actor) | Kutsuna Shiori (Actor) 北野武 (Actor) | 西島秀俊 (Actor) | Oyamada Sayuri (Actor) | 忽那汐里 (Actor) 北野武 (Actor) | 西岛秀俊 (Actor) | Oyamada Sayuri (Actor) | 忽那汐里 (Actor) 北野武 (Actor) | 西島秀俊 (Actor) | 小山田サユリ (Actor) | 忽那汐里 (Actor) Kitano Takeshi (Actor) | Nishijima Hidetoshi (Actor) | Oyamada Sayuri (Actor) | Kutsuna Shiori (Actor)
Director: Wayne Wang 王穎 王颖 ウェイン・ワン Wayne Wang
Release Date: 2016-09-01
Language: Japanese
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese
Place of Origin: Japan
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1
Sound Information: Dolby Digital 2.0, Dolby Digital 5.1
Disc Format(s): DVD, DVD-5
Region Code: 3 - South East Asia (including Hong Kong, S. Korea and Taiwan) What is it?
Rating: IIB
Duration: 102 (mins)
Publisher: Deltamac (HK)
Package Weight: 100 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1052720817

Product Information

Director: Wayne Wang
Starring: Kitano Takeshi
Hidetoshi Nishijima
Shiori Kutsuna
Sayuri Oyamada

The 67th Berlin International Film Festival Panorama Special
The 40th Hong Kong International Film Festival Invitation Exhibition

Novelist Kenji Shimizu and his wife, Aya, are set to enjoy a relaxing week-long vacation at a seaside resort. Kenji has been in a creative slump, despite the success of his first novel a few years ago. His doubts have coerced him to accept a corporate job at summer's end. Aya, an editor, pushes him to write, but her ambition begins to create a rift in their marriage. While lounging at the pool, Kenji notices a couple composed of sexy young woman Miki and older man Sahara. Kenji becomes even more facinated, luring him to peep into the couple's room late at night. He is suprised to see Sahara methodically filming Miki while she sleeps. The young man's fixation with the mysterious couple spirals. Kenji becomes a stalker, even sneaking into the couple's room in search for answers. But the more he discovers, the less he understands, except for an escalating sense of danger...
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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "While The Women Are Sleeping (2016) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)"

November 10, 2016

This professional review refers to While The Women Are Sleeping (DVD) (Limited Edition) (English Subtitled) (Japan Version)
Chinese-American director Wayne Wang has had a very interesting and varied career, from his award-winning 1982 indie breakthrough Chan is Missing through to Hollywood schlock like the Jennifer Lopez vehicle Maid in Manhattan and the big budget China – US coproduction Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. For his latest he takes on something different again in the form of Japanese psycho drama While the Women Are Sleeping, adapted from Spanish writer Javier Marias' short story of the same name. Having screened in the Panorama section of the 66th Berlin International Film Festival, the dark film has a top-drawer cast, headlined by Kitano Takeshi (Ryuzo and His Seven Henchmen), Kutsuna Shiori (125 Years Memory), Nishijima Hidetoshi (Creepy) and Oyamada Sayuri (Key of Life).

The film begins with Nishijima Hidetoshi as Kenji, a frustrated novelist who has failed to live up to the promise of his acclaimed debut and who is questioning his calling as a result, considering taking on an everyday salaryman job. Hoping to spur him back into writing, his literary agent wife Aya (Oyamada Sayuri) takes him on holiday to a beach resort, where they meet fellow guests Sahara (Kitano Takeshi) and his considerably younger girlfriend Miki (Kutsuna Shiori). Kenji becomes intrigued by the mysterious Sahara, even more so when he confesses that he videotapes Miki while she sleeps, for the strange and creepy reason of wanting to have a record of her last day.

While the Women Are Sleeping certainly is a strange one, and though its premise might sound like a reasonably straightforward modern noir or Hitchcockian suspenser, Wayne Wang takes things in a more ambiguous direction. Certainly, the film's influences are clear, its themes of voyeurism and sexual obsession recalling Rear Window, Lolita and others, though Wang steers clear of going down the same paths, instead aiming for creepy suggestiveness and vague menace. The film succeeds to an extent, having an unsettling and stifling atmosphere throughout, events unfolding from the perspective of the increasingly paranoid Kenji in a way which keeps the viewer very much on edge and expecting the worst. Though the four main characters are sketched rather than fully developed, there’s an effective tension to their shifting relationships and Wang mines their uncomfortable dynamics for some engagingly taut confrontations. Things escalate in an unexpected way, and while the film never gets particularly explicit, there’s a definite air of threat and looming violence, and it does shock in places.

At the same time though, While the Women Are Sleeping is a determinedly arthouse offering, and may frustrate some viewers with its increasing obscurity and lack of logic. While anxiety and bewilderment do seem to be what Wang was angling for, the film during its later stages becomes borderline incomprehensible, going overboard as it blurs the line between reality, dreams and the novel Kenji may or may not be writing, only to wrap things up in surprisingly conventional fashion. The lack of character emotion doesn’t help, and the film wilfully lacks any kind of grounding or anchor, and quite understandably may come across to some as pretentious and lacking in narrative drive or focus. The film definitely isn't one for audiences looking for clear meaning or traditional genre thrills, and though his direction is appropriately clinical and artistic, as well as visually impressive, Wang never quite seems comfortable or confident enough to give things the edge or depth they would have benefitted from. None of this is really the fault of the cast members, all of whom do their best with their enigmatic roles, Kitano coming off best mainly due to the associations many will make with his usual violent onscreen persona.

Clearly, While the Women Are Sleeping isn't one for everyone, though it should go down well enough with patient viewers with a taste or tolerance for the cryptic, and who don't feel the need for answers or sense. Wayne Wang does a decent job of pulling things together, and the film achieves above average results in terms of atmosphere and mood at least.

by James Mudge -

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