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BRIGHT FUTURE [Subtitled]
Kiyoshi Kurosawa, one of Japan’s most unique auteurs, builds a fascinatingly disorienting and quietly apocalyptic tale of alienated twenty-somethings in this haunting 2003 drama Bright Future. This was Kurosawa’s first feature to be selected in competition for the Cannes film festival.
Enigmatic Mamoru (Tadanobu Asano) lives alone with his poisonous but hauntingly luminous jellyfish that stings anyone getting too close. Mamoru’s intense antisocial behavior is echoed by his co-worker and sole friend, Yuji (Jô Odagiri). They also share a dislike for their excessively solicitous boss, Fujiwara. However, and inextricably, Mamoru takes matters to the extreme, murdering both Fujiwara and his wife. With Mamoru in prison awaiting execution, Yuji is entrusted with the care of the lethal jellyfish, becoming attached to the strange creature while continuing with Mamoru’s previous efforts to acclimate the saltwater animal to thrive in freshwater. As the day for the creature’s transformation looms closer, Yuji befriends the doomed man’s father, Shin-ichiro, who bonds with Yuji and takes him under his wing. Just as Yuji’s life begins turning for the better, the jellyfish slips through his fingers into a nearby canal. There, it begins reproducing in massive numbers, menacing the entire city.