A Scene at the Sea (1991)

Original Title

あの夏、いちばん静かな海。 Ano natsu, ichiban shizukana umi





Kurôdo Maki, Hiroko Ôshima, Sabu Kawahara, Toshizo Fujiwara, Susumu Terajima, Katsuya Koiso, Toshio Matsui, Yasukazu Ishitani, Naomi Kubota, Tsuyoshi Ohwada, Tatsuya Sugimoto, Meijin Serizawa, Tetsu Watanabe, Keiko Sugimoto, Kagakusha Akiyama


Shigeru (Kurôdo Maki) is a part timer working for the sanitation service, who becomes passionate about surf when he finds a broken board in the garbage. So he begins to spend long days in a surfer's beach, with his girlfriend Takako (Hiroko Ôshima), deaf like him, and makes friends with a local group of surfers.


Until yesterday, I firmly believed that dialogue was the most important aspect of a relationship. Much to my surprise, Takeshi Kitano demonstrates I was wrong by showing a spectacular, silent relationship between Shigeru and his girlfriend Takako.

A Scene at the Sea is a quiet, meditative, sad, beautiful, poetic film that deals with the problems of communications between human beings, and, despite the slow pacing and the repeated situations, it is fascinating, and drives the audience to the touching ending.

It is also a spectacular ode to surfing, portrayed in a realistic and pure way, rendered emotional by the great cinematographic skills of Katsumi Yanagishima, that also manages to perfectly capture the calmness of the sea.
Waves, and their sound, are the perfect way to describe the inner-feelings Shigeru can't express in words.

Takeshi Kitano shows off his great skills, both as a director and as a writer, and keeping distance from violence, and comedy, creates a spectacular art house film.
The acting, characterized by facial and bodily expressions, is completely convincing.

Even though the film is subtitled, to fully immerse yourself in the story, and to feel more close to the main characters, I suggest you to watch it in Japanese with no subtitles on, also because those few lines of dialogue are not essential to understand, and love the film.

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