A year after his longtime partner Atsumi (Haruka Ayase) is left comatose from a suicide attempt, Koichi (Takeru Satoh) is offered a chance to make contact with her consciousness through an experimental process called “sensing.” Venturing into her mind, Koichi discovers Atsumi languishing in a twilight world—an abject realm of her troubled psyche with ghostly manifestations that begin to bleed over into his own reality. Driven by brooding atmospherics and Kurosawa’s philosophical considerations, Real delivers an uncanny descent into the unknown as Koichi traverses Atsumi’s subconsciousness in an Orphean bid to bring his dreaming lover back to the living.
Official Selection, 2013 Locarno Film Festival
Official Selection, 2013 New York Film Festival (Main Slate)
“Throughout his career, Kurosawa has transitioned from his disturbing J-horror titles of the past to his heartfelt and contemplative dramas of present-day, and Real serves as the perfect representation of the director’s evolution by incorporating a little bit of both from each end.” —Asian Movie Pulse