Heart, Beating in the Dark

Veteran Nipponese director Shunichi Nagasaki transplants his 1982 feature "Heart, Beating in the Dark" into an identically titled contempo pic to create a remake-cum-sequel with occasionally tasty results. Film is both playful and earnest, recalling the cinematic mischievousness of Jean-Luc Godard.

With:
With: Takashi Naito, Shigeru Muroi, Shoichi Honda, Noriko Eguchi, Shunichi Nagasaki.

Veteran Nipponese director Shunichi Nagasaki transplants his 1982 feature “Heart, Beating in the Dark” into an identically titled contempo pic to create a remake-cum-sequel with occasionally tasty results. Film is both playful and earnest, recalling the cinematic mischievousness of Jean-Luc Godard. But original’s low profile will be a deterrent to this pumping much festival blood.

Nagasaki’s original pic, shot on Super-8, was about a violent couple who go on the lam after they kill their infant child. In the current edition, the action begins when thesp Takashi Naito, who played the original male protag, learns Nagasaki is remaking the film. Naito hopes to present a more moral viewpoint as a newly conceived, similarly experienced, supporting character who meets the killers. With this addition, the remake becomes more like a sequel, with inserts of the original plus faux behind-the-scenes material. Despite solid performances and a potentially stimulating premise, pic fails to sustain interest. Original footage has turned pink with the ravages of time, but contempo tech credits are pro.

Heart, Beating in the Dark

Japan

Production: An Office Shirous, Bandai Visual Co. production. (International sales: Bandai Visual, Tokyo.) Produced by Yoshihiko Higashi, Satoshi Kouno. Executive producers, Shiro Sasaki, Kazumi Kawashiro. Directed, written by Shunichi Nagasaki.

Crew: Camera (color), Masami Inomoto (35mm), Muto Kiichi (Super-8); editor, Sumiyo Mitsuhashi; music, Yoshihide Otomo; art director, Yohei Taneda. Reviewed at Jeonju Film Festival, South Korea, April 30, 2006. (Also in Rotterdam Film Festival -- opener.) Original title: Yamiutsu shinzo. Running time: 103 MIN.

With: With: Takashi Naito, Shigeru Muroi, Shoichi Honda, Noriko Eguchi, Shunichi Nagasaki.

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