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Memories Of Matsuko (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region 3

Nakatani Miki (Actor) | Iseya Yusuke (Actor) | Nagayama Eita (Actor) | Kagawa Teruyuki (Actor)
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Memories Of Matsuko (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)
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Customer Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9.5 out of 10 (2)

YesAsia Editorial Description

A Life Full of Love is a Life Full of Meaning!

When a young man is told that his aunt's body has been found in a park, he starts to discover the truth about her past, only to stumble upon more than he ever imagined in this fairytale-like tragedy from Nakashima Tetsuya, the man behind the international smash Shimotsuma Monogotari, a.k.a. Kamikaze Girls. Nakashima explodes genre conventions in Memories of Matsuko (Kiraware Matsuko no Issho) an entertaining, wholly unforgettable film that is equal parts drama, comedy, and musical!

Memories of Matsuko is a heartbreaking tale like no other, centering on the life of Kawajiri Matsuko (Nakatani Miki, from Densha Otoko), a dedicated, entirely hopeless romantic on the lookout for her very own Prince Charming! After Matsuko's death, her nephew Sho (Eita) begins cleaning out her apartment, finding keepsakes that suggest his aunt lived a truly meaningful life. The film then gives us glimpses into her past, as we first see Matsuko back in the 1970s as a popular high school teacher at the local junior high school. Her fortunes change, however, when she nobly takes the blame for a crime by one of her prized students. As a result, Matsuko loses her job, her reputation, the regard of her family, and much, much more.

In the past, Matsuko always sought the love of her dour father (Emoto Akira), but he always seemed to be more concerned about her chronically ill sibling. Now, with seemingly no one left to turn to, Matsuko looks to find any man who will return her love, even if that man resorts to physical abuse against her. Even worse, Matsuko eventually gets involved in prostitution and even goes to prison. Later, she crosses paths with Ryu (Yusuke Iseya), the young thief who cost Matsuko her teaching job. He reveals his lifelong affection for her, and Matsuko soon believes she has finally found her Knight in Shining Armor. But Ryu is a gangster, and his dangerous ways seem to spell doom for their relationship. Will their love prevail?

Full of dazzling CG-assisted visuals and amazing musical numbers that articulate the personal feelings of its lead character, Memories of Matsuko boasts a curious narrative approach, as the depressing, often dark subject matter is enlivened by the film's glossy veneer and upbeat point of view. Based on Yamada Muneki's best-selling novel, Memories of Matsuko sidesteps melodramatic cliches in order to get across its message: a life full of love is a life full of meaning indeed!

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Technical Information

Product Title: Memories Of Matsuko (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) 花樣奇緣 (DVD) (香港版) 花样奇缘 (DVD) (香港版) 嫌われ松子の一生 (香港版) Memories Of Matsuko (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)
Artist Name(s): Nakatani Miki (Actor) | Iseya Yusuke (Actor) | Nagayama Eita (Actor) | Kagawa Teruyuki (Actor) 中谷美紀 (Actor) | 伊勢谷友介 (Actor) | 永山瑛太 (Actor) | 香川照之 (Actor) 中谷美纪 (Actor) | 伊势谷友介 (Actor) | 永山瑛太 (Actor) | 香川照之 (Actor) 中谷美紀 (Actor) | 伊勢谷友介 (Actor) | 永山瑛太 (Actor) | 香川照之 (Actor) Nakatani Miki (Actor) | Iseya Yusuke (Actor) | Nagayama Eita (Actor) | Kagawa Teruyuki (Actor)
Director: Nakashima Tetsuya 中島 哲也 中岛哲也 中島哲也 Nakashima Tetsuya
Release Date: 2007-01-11
Language: Japanese
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese
Place of Origin: Japan
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1, 1.33 : 1
Widescreen Anamorphic: Yes
Sound Information: Dolby Digital 2.0, DTS Digital Surround, Dolby Digital 5.1
Disc Format(s): DVD
Region Code: 3 - South East Asia (including Hong Kong, S. Korea and Taiwan) What is it?
Rating: IIB
Duration: 130 (mins)
Publisher: Panorama (HK)
Other Information: 2DVDs
Package Weight: 180 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1004541749

Product Information

* Screen Format:
- Main Disc : 16:9 (Anamorphic Widescreen)
- Bonus Disc : 4:3 (Full Screen)
* Sound Mix:
- Main Disc : DTS, Dobly Digital 5.1
- Bonus Disc : Dobly Digital 2.0
* Special Fetaures: (57分鐘)
1. 導演及女主角獨家專訪 Exclusive Interview with Actress and Director
2. 討厭的哲也的285日 The Making-of "Memories of Matsuko"
3. 分鏡劇本對照 Film-to-storyboard Comparison

Director: Tetsuya Nakashima

華麗璀璨 笑中有淚


  昭和22年(1947年)在福岡縣大野島出生的川尻松子也是其中一位。 可是,現實是...。


  It is the present day and Matsuko's nephew, Sho, is cleaning out his dead aunt's filthy apartment. Through a series of encounters, he gradually learns of his aunt's checkered life. Matsuko, in fact, seems at time to be speaking to Sho from the grave as he becomes the audience's guide to her life. We first see Matsuko in the early 1970s as a popular junior high school teacher in her hometown until a fateful day when she imprudently assumes the blame for a theft by one of her favorite pupils, Ryu. She loses her job, her reputation and subsequently, the welcome of even her own family. We then travel back to her childhood to see her desperately seeking the affections of a father who appears to care more for Matsuko's chronically ill sister.
Additional Information may be provided by the manufacturer, supplier, or a third party, and may be in its original language

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

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Professional Review of "Memories Of Matsuko (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)"

January 29, 2007

Let's make no mistake - Memories of Matsuko is, by all general appearances, a pop song and its accompanying 130 minute promo video. It is the latest film from the director of the wonderful Kamikaze Girls (2004), and it sees Tetsuya Nakashima working with someone else's material other than his own, but giving a recognisable portrayal none the less. More money to play with, more detail and layers within the film, and, I think, something quite positively deceptive in its approach and results.

Memories of Matsuko does represent (on the surface of it) many aspects that can be described as basic triggers of pleasure in the average viewer, it being very colorful and quite cursory with it's descriptions and portrayals - and it does have several decades or more to cover. The path we follow shifts around dramatically from moral lifestyles into more questionable territory with great ease as a result of it's ability to leave behind what was never entirely securely established.

I would expect that not many people can deny liking at least one or more pop songs - this is because there is the possibility for any given genre to contain both good and bad, and because there's hidden wisdom in all kinds of various places. The film itself is described by Nakashima as something which is preferably defined as a comedy-drama which provokes varied reactions from the audiences within the same scenes - some laugh, some cry at the comedy within the tragedy.

Matsuko, born into a family with a disabled younger sister and a doting father, struggles hard to build relationships that give her the security she desired in her youth. Beyond her childhood is where the very large majority of the film takes place, and we see the signs of her childhood insecurities bubble to the surface. Brief flashbacks show the strong connection between childhood trauma and adult decision-making, and the subsequent cycle of continuing trauma that results from it; this is where the expected intentional lack of sympathy for a situation ultimate of her direct creation and the unexpected newfound sympathy of showing life is never quite so clear-cut, and contradictory elements come in. All her relationships are out of her emotional necessity, to avoid being alone in the world rather than any possible mutual desire or requirement of any kind. Matsuko inadvertently has selfish objectives to seek a father figure and makes bad choices on a regular basis because of this.

Nakashima's film, an adaptation from a book written by female writer Muneki Yamada, blends both male and female views on this familiar way of living - the story begins at the end and returns to Matsuko's origins to trace the path through her turbulent life. Along the way we get what is essentially a parody of the cliches both within relationship films and life itself. Yes, it's a tragedy, but it's told with great sympathy and humor, and intends to teach the audience, or remind them of the necessity to be sensitive towards those in less fortunate situations. It doesn't entirely get sentimental, and it doesn't drown itself in sorrow or pity, essentially telling the story in a comedic manner, and so this is where the bittersweet aspects come from.

Peppering the story with songs (on one level, this is a musical) and using a lot of flash techniques to make the on-screen action highly colorful, visually bold, and detailed, Nakashima does confirm his television commercial background with great ease. Beyond this generalisation of human nature, though, there lies an emotionally wrenching, touching tale. It perhaps fits preconceptions of relationship films as well as regularly managing to display great imagination, insight, and understanding. This takes the films beyond its apparent cliches and pop video approach into a much more layered, variable story that has many great aspects of interest hidden within it. Yes, the truncation is necessary and it's also one key aspect of films I've often found questionably manipulative. The film is a spiral or descent into chaos shown in reverse, farcical and touching in great measures, while exploiting one negative aspect to give a lesson in life that, although clearly not unfamiliar, is sharply told. It's great fun, on one level not particularly original, and on many others it's something quite special.

The recently issued HK DVD is a two-disc affair. Firstly, the picture and sound quality on the feature itself are just superb, the translation flawless as far as I can tell. Disc Two contains only around 60 minutes or so of additional material. The making-of feature is the longest part, with a fascinating but brief behind-the-scenes from the director's perspective of the two-month-long shoot which reveals unexpected tensions within the production, plus a couple of short interviews with Miki Nakatani (Matsuko) and Nakashima again. This disc suffers from broken English translation as you might predict as possible from an HK DVD. I would suspect the features translation, Americanised in its spelling as it is, was prepared long in advance and the features were a nice, but ill-considered late addition. This looks like a part of the unsubbed R2 Japanese DVD, and I would have happily parted with what would have been several times the money for that disc at the time of its release.

Great film, and I look forward to more from Nakashima in the future - a director that flies in the face of what I am usually looking for, but does it in such a convincing, relatively deep fashion that it makes his works worth watching. Although this doesn't clearly tap into many youth culture aspects that likely gave Kamikaze Girls its young audience, the approach in Memories of Matsuko is similar for it's visuals. With a maturation in storytelling and filmmaking on Nakashima's part, Memories of Matsuko seems to be intentionally looking for an older audience, but it can also find ways of touching anyone open to its charms.

by logboy -

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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

Customer Review of "Memories Of Matsuko (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)"

Average Customer Rating for this Edition: Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9.5 out of 10 (2)

See all my reviews

October 6, 2008

1 people found this review helpful

One of the best HK releases I have seen Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
... from my limited HK releases collection!

Once again, this is a product review... though apparently it reflects my rating because I would also give the film top marks!

First off, I really like the case of the HK Special Edition, so presentation is really good.

Since this film is quite the visual fest, the digital transfer also matters, and it's great. Subtitles are in order, no missing letters or misspelled, no missing dialogue. It's all in order with the main disc. The 2nd disc which contains small interviews with Miki Nakatani, and another one with Tetsuya Nakashima, as well as a Making Of, and Film-to-Storyboard Comparisons for many of the musical numbers... so this 2nd disc is full of information I didn't know! Like the difficult actress-director relationship there was...

Totally worth getting, in my opinion!
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Kevin Kennedy
See all my reviews

August 30, 2007

1 people found this review helpful

"Memories" is unforgettable! Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9 out of 10
"Memories of Matsuko" is an eye-popping, garish, comic, and deeply affecting vision of a woman's descent into madness.

The first half hour of "Memories of Matsuko" bowls the viewer over with its manic energy and seemingly chaotic approach to storytelling. It is splashy, colorful, and noisy, but I found it off-putting and wondered whether I wanted to endure much more of it.

I am glad that I did. I'm not sure whether the film settles down a bit or the viewer adjusts to the director's bizarre approach, but during the film's second half hour I became caught up in the tale of poor Matsuko's unhappy life.

Matsuko grew up in a home in which the father clearly favored her bed-ridden sister. Matsuko longs for the unconditional love of her father, but, unable to attain it, settles for the smiles she can get from him by adopting a self-abasing goofy expression on her face.

This habit of trading willful self-abasement in exchange for attention becomes a destructive pattern in her life. The movie shows her descent from a lovely, happy music teacher to an overweight, unwashed, unhinged recluse.

The director's dazzling style and the occasional light-hearted pop tune make Matsuko's descent bearable to watch. Indeed, as the story proceeds, the viewer becomes thoroughly engrossed, rooting for Matsuko to pull herself out of her downward spiral, hoping that somehow someone will embrace her with the love she needs.

Much of the film's success is owed to the performance of its lead actress, Nakatani Miki, as Matsuko. Miss Nakatani is a great artist, able to appear glamorous or downtrodden, effervescent or deflated. She creates a believable, sympathetic character and breathes glorious life into her. And she will leave you weeping at film's end.

"Memories of Matsuko" is very highly recommended.
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