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Book & Film Reviews

ALONE ACROSS THE PACIFIC 1963 DVD CAPSULE REVIEW

Kon Ishikawa's Alone Across The Pacific appears at first glance to be a chronological and humourless journey - from Osaka to San Fransisco, but soon the protagonist (Horie) begins to narrate the film in an amusing fashion and there are numerous flashbacks to Horie's family and co-workers. Horie is such a likeable character you want more from him not less. This film could easily have become a dry and heavy arthouse experience, but it's beautifully balanced humanistic approach is terrific. Poetry meets pragmatism as our hero sails toward a possible jail sentence (boats needed permission to leave Japan at the time) and thinks his way out of problems both consuming and minute, all for the realisation of a simple dream. The visuals have that slightly saturated 60's filmstock look about them and apparently this was the first Japanese film to be shot on location (partly) in the U.S. Even though this film retains the themes of individualism versus the conservative nature of the Japanese family, this is a universal story and a very enjoyable one. Highly recommended.
5/5

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