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Before We Vanish - Film Review

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Published April 5th 2021
A movie with many genres
Before We Vanish is a 2017 Japanese science fiction film directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa. The original title of the Japanese movie was 散歩する侵略者, Sanpo Suru Shinryakusha, translating in "Strolling Invaders". It is based on a stage play by Tomohiro Maekawa's Ikiume Theatre Company and the novel adaptation written by Maekawa.

The original soundtrack album was released on 6 September 2017 from Pony Canyon label. The original Soundtrack music is by Yusuke Hayashi. The soundtrack has 26 songs.

Hiroki Hasegawa.
Before We Vanish, 2017 science fiction movie. Photo from www.digitalgym.org/before-we-vanish


The movie stars Masami Nagasawa as Narumi Kase, an upset wife whose husband is experiencing sudden dramatic changes. Ryuhei Matsuda is Shinji Kase, Narumi's husband, whose body has been taken over by an alien. Hiroki Hasegawa as Sakurai, a journalist looking for big scoops. Mahiro Takasugi as Amano, a boy who meets Sakurai, the journalist, and ask him to be his guide. Yuri Tsunematsu as Akira Tachibana, the high school student who has been taken over by a female alien, who is athletic and violent.

Before We Vanish (散歩する侵略者, Sanpo Suru Shinryakusha, Japanese science fiction film, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Masami Nagasawa, Ryuhei Matsuda, Mahiro Takasugi, Hiroki Hasegawa, Aliens, Earth invasion,
Yuri Tsunematsu as Akira Tachibana, high school student. She is the alien girl very violent. www.wildaboutmovies.com/2018_movies/before-we-vanish


Before We Vanish (散歩する侵略者, Sanpo Suru Shinryakusha, Japanese science fiction film, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Masami Nagasawa, Ryuhei Matsuda, Mahiro Takasugi, Hiroki Hasegawa, Aliens, Earth invasion,
Shinji and Narumi Kase , husband and wife. Photo from www.blog.alltheanime.com/before-we-vanish


Before We Vanish (散歩する侵略者, Sanpo Suru Shinryakusha, Japanese science fiction film, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Masami Nagasawa, Ryuhei Matsuda, Mahiro Takasugi, Hiroki Hasegawa, Aliens, Earth invasion,
Ryuhei Matsuda, from left, Masami Nagasawa and Hiroki Hasegawa on the right, in the Japanese science fiction film "Before We Vanish". Photo from www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/la-et-mn-before-we-vanish-review-20180201-story.html


Before We Vanish (散歩する侵略者, Sanpo Suru Shinryakusha, Japanese science fiction film, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Masami Nagasawa, Ryuhei Matsuda, Mahiro Takasugi, Hiroki Hasegawa, Aliens, Earth invasion,
Amano, one of the three aliens. Photo from www.cinemaclock.com/movies/before-we-vanish-2017


The movie analyses indirectly many important human concepts, like freedom, family, work and possession and how they define people and their identity. Three aliens are on a mission on planet Earth to collect concepts and then organise a mass invasion where humanity will be destroyed. Only a few humans will be allowed to live as a sample.

The three aliens have to enter a human body, make the real owner of the body dormant and take over. But it is not easy! The aliens struggle inside the human body shells, they have to learn to walk properly and in particular, they have a lot of issues with communication.

The aliens have to learn all the human ways and their principles and in order to learn the concepts, the aliens have to take them straight out of the humans, just pointing the finger at people's forehead.



Once the concepts have been taken out from the humans, they cannot be returned, with devastating consequences for the people who then act completely crazy.

Before We Vanish (散歩する侵略者, Sanpo Suru Shinryakusha, Japanese science fiction film, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Masami Nagasawa, Ryuhei Matsuda, Mahiro Takasugi, Hiroki Hasegawa, Aliens, Earth invasion,
Shinji is about to take a concept from a human. Photo from www.dogandwolf.com/2017/05/festival-review-before-we-vanish-2017/


Before We Vanish (散歩する侵略者, Sanpo Suru Shinryakusha, Japanese science fiction film, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Masami Nagasawa, Ryuhei Matsuda, Mahiro Takasugi, Hiroki Hasegawa, Aliens, Earth invasion,
Tachibana and Amano are about to take a concept from a human. Photo from www.framerated.co.uk/before-we-vanish-2017/


At the same time, it seems the aliens acquire and deepen the principal psychological characteristics of the human they are inside. Once the alien girl has taken over the body of the high school student, she kills her parents in a gruesome and violent carnage.

Before We Vanish (散歩する侵略者, Sanpo Suru Shinryakusha, Japanese science fiction film, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Masami Nagasawa, Ryuhei Matsuda, Mahiro Takasugi, Hiroki Hasegawa, Aliens, Earth invasion,
Tachibana full of blood inside her parent's house. Photo from www.framerated.co.uk/before-we-vanish-2017


https://www.cbsnews.com/news/before-we-vanish-review-kiyoshi-kurosawa/
Tachibana full of blood walking in the street. Photo from www.cbsnews.com/news/before-we-vanish-review-kiyoshi-kurosawa


Before We Vanish (散歩する侵略者, Sanpo Suru Shinryakusha, Japanese science fiction film, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Masami Nagasawa, Ryuhei Matsuda, Mahiro Takasugi, Hiroki Hasegawa, Aliens, Earth invasion,
Tachibana involved in a shooting. Photo from www.filmcomment.com/blog/film-week-vanish


The movie also analyses the theme of marriage through the difficult relationship between Shinji and Narumi. Narumi is frustrated with the husband's changes but then while the movie progresses, their relationship deepens. Shinji appreciates more his wife cooking and he asks her to be his guide. Shinji, after stealing the concepts of family and possession, becomes more tender and attentive to his wife.

Before We Vanish (散歩する侵略者, Sanpo Suru Shinryakusha, Japanese science fiction film, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Masami Nagasawa, Ryuhei Matsuda, Mahiro Takasugi, Hiroki Hasegawa, Aliens, Earth invasion,
Narumi and Shinji in a scene of Before We Vanish. Photo from www.pastemagazine.com/movies/before-we-vanish/before-we-vanish

Before We Vanish (散歩する侵略者, Sanpo Suru Shinryakusha, Japanese science fiction film, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Masami Nagasawa, Ryuhei Matsuda, Mahiro Takasugi, Hiroki Hasegawa, Aliens, Earth invasion,
Narumi and Shinji in a scene of Before We Vanish. Photo from www.framerated.co.uk/before-we-vanish-2017


Before We Vanish (散歩する侵略者, Sanpo Suru Shinryakusha, Japanese science fiction film, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Masami Nagasawa, Ryuhei Matsuda, Mahiro Takasugi, Hiroki Hasegawa, Aliens, Earth invasion,
Shinji goes missing for a couple of days and when he comes back home he is completely different. Photo from www.youtube.com/watch?v=4x0NpvMzdfQ




Before We Vanish (散歩する侵略者, Sanpo Suru Shinryakusha, Japanese science fiction film, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Masami Nagasawa, Ryuhei Matsuda, Mahiro Takasugi, Hiroki Hasegawa, Aliens, Earth invasion,
A scene from the movie Before We Vanish. Photo from www.framerated.co.uk/before-we-vanish-2017


Before We Vanish (散歩する侵略者, Sanpo Suru Shinryakusha, Japanese science fiction film, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Masami Nagasawa, Ryuhei Matsuda, Mahiro Takasugi, Hiroki Hasegawa, Aliens, Earth invasion,
Sakurai on the top of the rental van. Photo from www.framerated.co.uk/before-we-vanish-2017/


On the 7th of December 2019, the famous Japanese director Kiyoshi Kurosawa attended a masterclass event where he shared his experience in filmmaking with young directors and guests. After the masterclass, CGTN interviewed Kurosawa about his recent films and his creative philosophy.

Kiyoshi Kurosawa is best known for his many contributions to the Japanese horror genre. Kurosawa's films rarely have an abundance of bloody scenes and frightening sound effects, but this does mean that his movies are less scary or that the audience is not left hanging in suspense.

"I don't really like bloody scenes and scary sound effects because I think they cause the audience to suddenly pull away from the scene and the story," he said.

Rather than frightening the audience, Kurosawa wants to create a psychological sense of fear. This sense of fear exudes in the movie Before We Vanish, it seems more horror and fear are coming but then the change of scenes and characters bring up a different tone in the movie.

In the masterclass, Kurosawa also explained to some young directors how to use photography techniques to make images more terrifying.





Reference

www.filmcomment.com/blog/film-week-vanish

www.thestranger.com/slog/2018/03/10/25897543/in-the-very-funny-before-we-vanish-the-world-ends-with-a-whimper

https://filmschoolrejects.com/before-we-vanish-review

https://digitalgym.org/before-we-vanish

www.framerated.co.uk/before-we-vanish-2017
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