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Pulse (2001)

Cast: Haruhiko Kato, Haruhiko Kato, Kumiko Aso, more...
Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Tatsuya Yoshimura, more...
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Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment
Genre: Foreign, Horror, Suspense/Thriller, Japan, Ghosts, Asian Horror
Running Time: 119 min.
Languages: Japanese
Subtitles: English, Spanish

As one of the most cutting edge Japanese filmmakers, Kiyoshi Kurosawa once again wraps a lowbrow, much-maligned genre -- in this case horror flicks, which are the rage in Japan -- around some decidedly highbrow philosophical concepts. At the film's outset, Michi (Kumiko Aso) and her cohorts at a rooftop nursery cannot get ahold of their co-worker, Taguchi (Kenji Mizuhashi), who has an important floppy disk. When she ventures over to his apartment, she finds him pale, listless, and unusually quiet -- that is until he suddenly hangs himself. While the suicide is disconcerting, what really freaks Michi out is that Taguchi's body seems to dissolve into the wall, leaving a sickly black stain. Meanwhile, college slacker Ryosuke Kawashima (Haruhiko Kato) logs onto the Internet for the first time even though he is not particularly fond of computers. Instead of stumbling into a porn site or a chat room, he finds himself in a most peculiar site -- he just sees ghostly images of other people going about their everyday life. Then the computer prompts him, asking, "Would you like to meet ghosts?" Even though he eventually pulls the plug, the machine still on occasion springs to life. He eventually consults a comely computer maven named Harue (Koyuki), who is also utterly baffled. As one Internet user after another seals themselves in their room with red duct tape and melt into black splodges, Kawashima and Michi independently come to discover that the Internet has become portal for an increasingly crowded afterlife. As Tokyo becomes increasingly depopulated, Kawashima and Michi cross paths. This film -- which also features cameos by Kurosawa regulars Koji Yakusho, Jun Fubuki, and Sho Aikawa -- was screened at the 2001 Cannes and Toronto Film Festivals. ~ Jonathan Crow, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

if hitchcock did lain by alexqsub August 3, 2004 - 10:57 AM PDT
14 out of 16 members found this review helpful
of course, because of his name, kiyoshi is going to be compared to akira... and there is something to that - but only as much is common between them as between either and, say, ingmar bergman.

kiyoshi kurosawa's films vary greatly - and this particular one is a dark movie about (without giving things away) ghosts, computers, death, loneliness, love, and fear. the atmosphere of this film - the sound effects, lighting, and pacing - do an incredible job of building up the suspense (rarely so)...

kurosawa's quirkiness (and there is some about the plot) reminds me of hitchcock's similar tendencies, and the plot of this movie overall will remind one of lain in some way or another - but i think this was much more affecting and enjoyable than lain.

the greencine summary does a good job, i just wanted to add a little bit of incentive..

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.53)
146 Votes
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Cannes Film Festival & More - 2001
Official Selection, Certain Regards... and more. Here is a bit more information on the films screened at the Cannes. I have attempted to list all the films that were considered for an award as well as any special screenings.
dark purple
best 15 gc-rented must-see films 4 "low-brow"

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