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Village of Dreams
Village of Dreams
Actors: Mieko Harada, Keigo Matsuyama, Shogo Matsuyama, Kyozo Nagatsuka, Kaneko Iwasaki
Director: Yoichi Higashi
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy
UR     1999     1hr 52min

An enchanting hymn to the joys and mysteries of childhood. Identical twin brothers, now successful artists, recall the summer of 1948 when they were eight years old and their Japanese village was a place full of wonder and...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Mieko Harada, Keigo Matsuyama, Shogo Matsuyama, Kyozo Nagatsuka, Kaneko Iwasaki
Director: Yoichi Higashi
Creators: Yoshio Shimizu, Yoichi Higashi, Koshiro Sho, Tetsujiro Yamagami, Seizo Tashima, Takehiro Nakajima
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Family Films, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Studio: Image Entertainment
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Letterboxed - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 12/14/1999
Original Release Date: 01/01/1996
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1996
Release Year: 1999
Run Time: 1hr 52min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Letterboxed
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: Japanese
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Captures Childhood and the Heat of Summer
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Village of Dreams is simply enchanting. It vividly captures the heat of summer in postwar Japan as two identical twin brothers explore life in and around their village, get into all sorts of trouble with adults, and interact with each other. The viewer is soon swept into their world, a world where you are challenged in 112 minutes to listen for the crickets, smell the oppressive heat, taste their mom's cooking, and revel with them as they grow up sensing for the first time changes in themselves and their surroundings. Mieko Harada the actress who plays the twin's mother won the equivilent of an Academy Award for this portrayal. Many of us remember her as the villianess in Akira Kurosawa's RAN, what a different part this time. This film is highly recommended as an escape to another time, our lost childhood. Sit back, relax, let your senses envelope you, and enjoy VILLAGE OF DREAMS"
"The thunder-god will steal your penises"
(4 out of 5 stars)

"So says their elder sister to Seizo and Yukihito, 8-year-old twin boys growing up in a Japanese farm village. 'Village of Dreams' relates one childhood year of the twins from the perspective of one of the brothers in middle age. It has something of a Japanese 'Little Rascals' air about it which may make it seem banal to those who've seen this sort of movie before from directors around the world. Nothing really traumatizes the boys; they only have the joys and sorrows of any child: the sexual curiosity, the friendships, the mysterious and frightening actions of adults, the illnesses, etc. The film is beautifully photographed, and it makes for a quiet two hours. The DVD has no extras at all. The medieval European background music by the Caterina Early Music Ensemble seems like a strange choice for such a purely Japanese film. Perhaps the lutes, shawms, psalteries, and recorders sound as exotic and eerie to Japanese ears as tradional Japanese music sounds to Westerners."
A little slow but enjoyable
Count Zero | 03/01/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"In spite of the slow pace of this movie and not so great video quality, I still found it quite enjoyable. This movie reminds me a little bit of Ozu's "Good Morning", although it does not have the same masterful skill and witty touch. This movie is like a cup of Japanese tea which you do not you gobble like soft drinks. By the way, the sound the other reviewer referred to is "Cicada", not "cricket""
A rare treat
Count Zero | Yokohama, Japan | 12/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I came across this film at a small art house theatre in New York in 1998. It was recommended to me by a Spanish director who had a Japanese wife. I have watched it a dozen times since, and never grow tired of it. The naturalistic performances Higashi draws from the twins is masterful. The film avoids sentimentality, especially in the way it handles the the uncertain fate of the ruffian new boy in school, and the one fight scene between the brothers (surely a happy accident, it is so realistic). The framing is beautiful, and unlike many Japanese films that deal with rural family life, I didn't find the pace slow at all. Strangely, practically no one in Japan seems to know of this film. Like 'Firefly Dreams,' it is evocative of a particular time and location while having universal appeal. The old witches are funny, too. One of my top five contemporary Japanese films."