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An (Blu-ray) (Special Edition)(Japan Version) Blu-ray Region A

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An (Blu-ray) (Special Edition)(Japan Version)
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YesAsia Editorial Description

Known for acclaimed abstruse works like Still the Water and The Mourning Forest, festival darling Kawase Naomi takes a gentler turn in An, the opening film of the 2015 Cannes Film Festival's Un Certain Regard section. Based on a novel by Durian Sukegawa, Kawase's most accessible work to date brings together three lonely souls through their shared affinity for "an," sweet red bean paste. Sentaro (Nagase Masatoshi) runs a small shop selling dorayaki, a sweet pancake filled with red bean paste. Two very different people answer his help wanted ad for an assistant: schoolgirl Wakana (Uchida Kyara, I Wish), a shop regular, and septuagenarian Tokue (Kiki Kirin) whom Sentaro rejects because of her frail-looking hands. However, he changes his mind once he tastes the delicious bean paste that Tokue prepared. Business booms until it's revealed that Tokue is a leprosarium resident.

This edition includes a booklet and bonus disc of special features.

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Technical Information

Product Title: An (Blu-ray) (Special Edition)(Japan Version) 戀戀銅鑼燒 (Blu-ray) (特別版)(日本版) 恋恋铜锣烧 (Blu-ray) (特别版)(日本版) あん スペシャル・エディション (Blu-ray) An (Blu-ray) (Special Edition)(Japan Version)
Also known as: Sweet Red Bean Paste 甜味人間 甜味人间 Sweet Red Bean Paste Sweet Red Bean Paste
Artist Name(s): Nagase Masatoshi | Kiki Kirin | Uchida Kyara | Mizuno Miki | Ichihara Etsuko | Nakano Taiga 永瀨正敏 | 樹木希林 | 內田伽羅 | 水野美紀 | 市原悅子 | 仲野太賀 永濑正敏 | 树木希林 | 内田伽罗 | 水野美纪 | Ichihara Etsuko | 仲野太贺 永瀬正敏 | きき きりん | 内田伽羅 | ドリアン助川 | 水野美紀 | 市原悦子 | 仲野太賀 Nagase Masatoshi | Kiki Kirin | Uchida Kyara | Mizuno Miki | Ichihara Etsuko | Nakano Taiga
Director: Kawase Naomi 河瀨直美 河濑直美 河瀬直美 Kawase Naomi
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: 2016-03-16
Publisher Product Code: PCXP-50393
Language: Japanese
Place of Origin: Japan
Disc Format(s): Blu-ray
Other Information: Blu-ray
Shipment Unit: 2 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1048230729

Product Information

[アーティスト/ キャスト]
樹木希林 / 永瀬正敏 / 内田伽羅 / 河?P直美 (監督、脚本) / ドリアン助川 (原作)


封入特典:スペシャルブックレット 24P/映像特典収録

製作国 : ドイツ (Germany)
公開年 : 2015



バレッタ映画祭最優秀主演女優賞 ()
バリャドリード国際映画祭最優秀監督賞 ()
TAMA映画賞 ()
TAMA最優秀男優賞 ()
TAMA最優秀女優賞 ()
報知映画賞 ()
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Other Versions of "An (Blu-ray) (Special Edition)(Japan Version)"


This film has received 1 award nomination(s). All Award-Winning Asian Films

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "An (Blu-ray) (Special Edition)(Japan Version)"

November 10, 2016

This professional review refers to An (2015) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)
Acclaimed Japanese director Kawase Naomi tries her hand at something a little different with An (also screened variously as Sweet Bean and Sweet Bean Red Paste), shifting from the arthouse abstractness of her Cannes-winning The Mourning Forest and last outing Still the Water, to life-affirming sentimentality. Adapted from a novel by Durian Sukegawa, the film is certainly the most accessible of Kawase's career so far, and was chosen as the opening film of the Un Certain Regard strand of the 2015 Cannes Film Festival before going on to play a long list of prestigious international events.

Its title referring to the sweet bean red paste filling of dorayaki pancakes sold in a small shop run by the gloomy Sentaro (Nagase Masatoshi, The Hidden Blade), who lives a quiet life dwelling on his many troubles. After advertising for an assistant, two very different candidates apply, a young schoolgirl called Wakana (Uchida Kyara, I Wish) and Tokue (Kiki Kirin), an elderly woman with disfigured hands. Although he initially declines to take Tokue on, after he tastes her red bean paste he decides to give her a chance, and his business starts to take off as a result. However, once a tragic secret from her past is revealed, the trio are set on a journey of self-exploration and redemption.

If An sounds clichéd, that's because it is. Whereas in the past Kawase Naomi has been known chiefly for ambiguity and obscurity, often to the point of leaving audiences perplexed or frustrated, here she takes a very different route indeed, the film falling back on well-worn melodrama and stereotypes. Food metaphors and would-be philosophical dialogue are very much the order of the day, with life lessons being laid on thickly throughout. Although there's drama and the film isn't lacking in interest, the characters are so uniformly nice and impossibly wise that it's all quite hard to believe, and the last act revelations come across as melodramatic and weepy rather than deep and meaningful. On top of this, the film is certainly predictable, and given the far more complex and profound nature of Kawase's previous work, some viewers may well be disappointed by its straightforwardness.

This is all perhaps a little harsh and hard hearted, and An is not without its charms, making for pleasant and occasionally charming viewing, albeit with appropriately adjusted expectations. Kawase does retain at least some semblance of her trademark naturalistic, almost documentary style, and the film is visually quite beautiful in a laidback manner, with lots of shots of lovingly prepared food and of the local scenery. She also manages to get good performances from the cast, who make their characters likeable and sympathetic despite their lack of believability – Kiki Kirin in particular impresses in the most nuanced of the three lead roles. As a result, though its sentimentality is cloying, there's no doubt that the film is genuine, and those able to push aside cynicism and go with the flow for its commendably economic than two-hour running time may find themselves suitably moved.

It's ultimately this which will decide whether or not viewers are likely to enjoy An, and though a bit of a lesser offering from Kawase Naomi, there’s enough here to make it a worthwhile watch for anyone open to its simple and well-meaning niceness. Anything Kawase directs is not without interest, and even when offering up something more accessible and middle of the road like this, there's an artistry to her work as always.

by James Mudge -

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