Before We Vanish

Blu-Ray Rating: ****1/2

Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

Read Jennie Kermode's film review of Before We Vanish
Before We Vanish

Kiyoshi Kurosawa's daring and insightful science fiction film is accompanied here by a lengthy Making Of feature which takes viewers behind the scenes to look at casting, shot choices and the complex process of building on the script to develop layered quite different from what any of the actors had done before. There's a focus on the demanding physical acting involved and on the stunt work. The actors talk about their roles and we see each one of them rewarded with a polite round of applause after completing their scenes, eventually receiving flowers and gifts. This very polite way of working seems to enhance the commitment of all involved.

Following the Making Of feature are two featurettes, one about the story and one about the characters, though there's actually a lot of overlap in terms of theme if not material. Again, all of the main players share their thoughts. The Looking Back featurette presents a discussion between five cast members, filmed at a later date, and is less focused on craft and more on anecdote, also exploring ideas that some of them have developed about the story after having had more time to think about it.

Copy picture

In addition to this, there's Q&A material from Cannes and several other festivals where the film has screened, plus the theatrical trailer. this latter gives away some key aspects of the plot that aren't immediately obvious when you start watching the film, so you may want to avoid watching it (and the other extras) until afterwards.

Reviewed on: 10 Feb 2019
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Before We Vanish packshot
Narumi and her husband Shinji are going through a rocky patch when Shinji suddenly vanishes, returning several days later, utterly transformed. At the same time, a family is brutally murdered, and the town beset by strange phenomena. Journalist Sakurai begins to investigate the mystery…

Product Code: B07KZ4H97C

Region: 0

Sound: 7.1 DTS-HD

Extras: The Making Of Before We Vanish; Inside The Story featurette; Inside The Characters featurette, Looking Back cast discussion; red carpet interviews from the Cannes Film Festival première; cast and crew Q&As from four screenings; theatrical trailer; optional English subtitles

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