The Labyrinth of Consciousness
Originally it was to be called A Perfect Day for Plesiosaur, but ultimately Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s new work is simply entitled Real. For a film about a coma, repressed experience and the unconscious, it’s not such an obvious choice. Though the rejection of the prehistoric monster (which still appears in the second part of the film) will be the subject of much discussion, Real does not disappoint expectations.
It’s pure Kurosawa. Which could seem a paradox, because the poetics of this filmmaker, so prolific in the past and who now distils his work into different media, is characterized by the contamination between genres and languages. In Real, science fiction and ghost stories intermingle in a tale whose first half has the precise visionariness of David Lynch, and whose second half develops into a specifically Japanese melancholy, as it speaks of childhood, the sea and the past.
Suspended between memory and tradition, Real is also journey to the origins of an art that with just a few strokes can give shape to anxieties and phantasms. If the cinema does not in and of itself have the purity of manga (the drawing style used in the comics), it can still pay tribute to it with its spiralling movements that court the real and which the further they enter into the labyrinth of consciousness, the more the more they pretend to be its faithful mirror.