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Yama no Anata - Tokuichi no Koi (DVD) (Standard Edition) (English Subtitled) (Japan Version) DVD Region 2

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Yama no Anata - Tokuichi no Koi (DVD) (Standard Edition) (English Subtitled) (Japan Version)
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YesAsia Editorial Description

Acclaimed director Ishii Katsuhito returns to the silver screen with his first film since the force of nature that was 2005's Nice no Mori - The First Contact. Known for oddball genius works like The Taste of Tea, Shark Skin Man and Peach Hip Girl, and his recent animation projects, Ishii throws something of a curveball by playing it straight with Yama no Anata - Tokuichi no Koi (a.k.a. My Darling of the Mountains - Tokuichi in Love), a remarkably faithful remake of Shimizu Hiroshi's 1938 black-and-white classic Anma to Onna.

Playing for both laughs and pathos with its simple yet telling narrative, the film gently peeks in and out of the winsome life and burgeoning love of a blind masseur portrayed by Kusanagi Tsuyoshi (The Sinking of Japan) of SMAP. Maiko (In the Pool) plays the woman who brings love and trouble to Kusanagi, while Kase Ryo (I Just Didn't Do It) and Tsutsumi Shinichi (Always - Sunset on Third Street) co-star as a fellow traveling blind masseur and a troubled hotel guest, respectively. Taking a break from the frantic stories and offbeat pacing of Ishii's previous films, Yama no Anata is a pleasant, subtle, and handsomely shot film sprinkled with physical comedy and quiet sentiments, and beautifully backdropped by pastoral scenery and sets that epitomize the calm elegance and charm of the film.

Traveling blind masseurs Tokuichi (Kusanagi Tsuyoshi) and Fukuichi (Kase Ryo) are on the go from season to season, offering their services at hot spring mountain resorts and spas. Though unable to see, Tokuichi is extremely sensitive, able to deduce intimate details about people from sounds, scents, and touch. Arriving at his latest inn, Tokuichi takes an interest in two mysterious clients - Tokyo beauty Michiho (Maiko) who slowly steals his heart, and Omura (Tsutsumi Shinichi), also from Tokyo, who is accompanied by his bored, mischievous nephew Kenichi (Hirota Ryohei, A Tale of Mari and Three Puppies).

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Technical Information

Product Title: Yama no Anata - Tokuichi no Koi (DVD) (Standard Edition) (English Subtitled) (Japan Version) Yama no Anata - 德市之戀 (DVD) (Standard Edition) (通常版) (英文字幕) (日本版) Yama no Anata - 德市之恋 (DVD) (Standard Edition) (通常版) (英文字幕) (日本版) 山のあなた 徳市の恋 スタンダード・エディション(通常版) Yama no Anata - Tokuichi no Koi (DVD) (Standard Edition) (English Subtitled) (Japan Version)
Also known as: My Darling of the Mountains - Tokuichi in Love My Darling of the Mountains - Tokuichi in Love My Darling of the Mountains - Tokuichi in Love My Darling of the Mountains - Tokuichi in Love My Darling of the Mountains - Tokuichi in Love
Artist Name(s): Kusanagi Tsuyoshi | Kase Ryo | Hirota Ryohei | Maiko | Douguchi Yoriko | Kurokawa Mei | Watanabe Eriko | Yoneko Matsukane | Miura Tomokazu | Tsutsumi Shinichi 草彅剛 | 加瀨亮 | 廣田亮平 | Maiko | 洞口依子 | 黑川芽衣 | Watanabe Eriko | Yoneko Matsukane | 三浦友和 | 堤真一 草彅刚 | 加濑亮 | 广田亮平 | Maiko | 洞口依子 | Kurokawa Mei | Watanabe Eriko | Yoneko Matsukane | 三浦友和 | 堤真一 草なぎ剛 | 加瀬亮 | 広田亮平 | マイコ | 洞口依子 | 黒川芽衣 | 渡辺えり子 | 松金よね子 | 三浦友和 | 堤真一 초난강 | 카세 료 | Hirota Ryohei | Maiko | Douguchi Yoriko | Kurokawa Mei | Watanabe Eriko | Yoneko Matsukane | Miura Tomokazu | Tsutsumi Shinichi
Director: Ishii Katsuhito 石井克人 石井克人 石井克人 Ishii Katsuhito
Release Date: 2008-12-10
Publisher Product Code: GNBD-7101
Language: Japanese
Subtitles: English, Japanese
Place of Origin: Japan
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Disc Format(s): DVD
Region Code: 2 - Japan, Europe, South Africa, Greenland and the Middle East (including Egypt) What is it?
Publisher: Geneon Universal Entertainment
Other Information: DVD
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1011984384

Product Information

タイトル:山のあなた 徳市の恋 スタンダード・エディション(通常版)

見えない目で あなたを見つめていた。/草?g 剛主演、石井克人監督で贈る 切なくも淡い恋を情感豊かに描き出した、心洗われる珠玉作。



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Professional Review of "Yama no Anata - Tokuichi no Koi (DVD) (Standard Edition) (English Subtitled) (Japan Version)"

December 16, 2008

Toku and Foku travel between seaside spas in the North and mountain hot springs in the South from season to season. They offer their services as masseurs and are very much respected and appreciated by hotel owners and their patrons. They are also known to be very competitive hikers as they attempt to pass as many other hikers as possible before they reach their destinations each year. They find this very satisfying because they are blind. Toku's first client upon their return to a mountain resort is a woman from Tokyo, Michiho.

The two begin a relationship even though one of the first things that Toku notices is that Michiho carries a lot of tension in her shoulders; that her head is always moving, looking behind her. Toku, consequently begins to fall in love with the woman from Tokyo, Michiho. There is a playful scene in which she calls for him to come to her hotel and she waits for him outside to see if he can sense her; she later confesses that she wished to see him pass someone. At the same time that this relationship develops, Michiho is also becoming interested in a lonely man, Shintaro, also from Tokyo, who continues to prolong an uneventful vacation with his nephew, Kenichi, who is absolutely bored to tears. But suspicions and accusations begin to arise when patrons in each hotel begin to lose their money. Toku begins to fear that Michiho is the one responsible.

Yama no Anata: Tokuichi no Koi, a.k.a. My Darling of the Mountains, is Katsuhito Ishii's remake of Hiroshi Shimizu's 1938 film Anma to Onna, a.k.a. The Masseurs and a Woman. It is a departure from his previous films like Samehada Otoko to Momojiri Onna (Shark Skin Man and Peach Hip Girl), Cha no Aji (The Taste of Tea) and Naisu no Mori - The First Contact (Funky Forest - The First Contact), all which were very striking visually and far from conventional cinema in terms of content. Yama no Anata is very calm and serene for the most part. I have read elsewhere that Ishii intended to make a film that his parents and grandparents would enjoy; I guess a film bowing to cinema of days gone by. But I am somewhat befuddled to learn that someone so obviously skilled as a writer and a visually accomplished director as Katsuhito Ishii would choose to remake a film almost shot for shot. Yet, how can this be wholly true when the original film clocked in at only 65 minutes and Ishii's film clocks in at 94 minutes? So, because I have not seen the original I cannot tell you exactly where those 29 minutes of original Ishii are. In any case, it doesn't make the film any less enjoyable to watch.

The characterization of the blind in this film may be what turns off some, as it has film critic Mark Schilling in his review. Apart from Toku, who displays great skill and use of his other senses – he can identify exact numbers in groups, knows that Michiho is from Tokyo by her scent or fend off irate college boys - these blind masseurs are more or less left to the role of comedic relief. What remains is a question of whether or not this characterization is at all appropriate or relevant to a modern audience. Does starting your film with a title card saying something to the effect of "The late 1930s" give an audience permission to laugh at their antics and clownery? "Its okay, this was back in the day before it was wrong to laugh at differently abled persons". Am I a cold and heartless jerk because I really enjoyed those comedic moments, laughed heartily, and didn't for a moment stop and think, "Hey! You're using blind people as comic relief! For shame"?

Unpronounced feelings are really the heart of the matter in the story. Toku feels this stirring inside him for Michiho but does not know how to express it. Michiho also has feelings for both Toku and Shintaro but there is something that she is hiding from everyone that keeps her from committing to one or the other. Shintaro has feelings for Michiho but cannot bring himself to tell her. And the young boy Kenichi has a boy crush on Michiho. As well he should, she is stunning. But Yama no Anata has such a beautiful sadness to it; you may not like the outcome but the journey there has been so beautiful.

Despite what may be shortcomings or hindrances for some, I rather enjoyed this film. To say it was well shot and executed I guess is a compliment to both Ishiii and Shimizu. I also thought the performances were really good, too. Kusanagi Tsuyoshi was especially good as Toku and Maiko was just a picture of the divine as Michiho. As much as it was an escape for patrons of the hotels from the hustle and bustle of city life, so was this film also an escape from the hustle and bustle of Ishii's previous works. It's calm and gentle and puts you at ease, just as staying at any of these resorts would do. A friend told me not too long ago, "Ishii's films make me want to go outside", and Yama no Anata is no exception. The setting of the village against the tall green mountains, the organic texture of the land and the buildings grant further connection to your soul. Ishii, perhaps knowing this, uses still shots of local flora and the set during the closing credits to remind you how gentle this world inside the film is. It is a place where you want to go and experience. If ever I make it to Japan, I want to find a place like this.

by Mack -

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