USA: Vitagraph Films
UK: Artificial Eye Film Co
Cast: Alejandro Ferretis, Magdalena Flores, Yolanda Villa, Martin Serrano, Rolando Hernandez, Bernabe Perez, Fernando Benitez, Carlo Reygadas Barquin
Director: Carlos Reygadas
Countries: Mexico / Spain
Language: Spanish (English subtitles)
UK: 137 mins
UK Certificate: 18 contains briefly explicit sexual imagery. To obtain this category cuts of 58 seconds were required. The cuts were Compulsory. Cuts required to two scenes involving real animal cruelty (an unsuccessful attempt to strangle a bird which then stumbles around injured on the ground; a dog being forced to 'sing along' to a song through the application of a painful stimulus). Cuts made in accordance with the Cinematograph Films (Animals) Act 1937.
USA Release Date: 19 March 2003 (Limited Release - New York)
UK Release Date: 21 February 2003
The film follows a man who -cynical and disillusioned - leaves Mexico City for the remote countryside to prepare for his death. There he finds lodging with an old Indian widow, Ascen in her rickety home, overlooking a desolate canyon. Shot in bleached out colour using a process called Super Cinemascope, blown up from 16mm to 35mm, Reygadas combines stunning vistas of scope with the increased mobility of the hand held 16mm camera to create powerful visuals including the sweeping 360 degree pans of the film's dramatic denouement. Reminiscent of Tarkovsky - Reygadas seminal cinematic inspiration - JAPÓN's visceral style and natural sound design evokes the physical and emotional ties between the characters, nature and the landscape.