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A Man Vanishes
Directed by Shohei Imamura
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One of the most important and complex works by two-time Palme d'Or winning director Shohei Imamura, A MAN VANISHES begins as an investigation into one of the thousands of missing persons cases that occur in Japan each year.

The film follows the case of Tadashi, a handsome businessman who has suddenly vanished. Imamura and his crew interview the man's fiancee, Yoshie, who is desperately searching for him, and the filmmaker becomes increasingly involved in her life. But the "investigation" casts a shadow of doubt over the couple's relationship, Tadashi's business ventures, his relationship with Yoshie's sister, and even the investigating film director, Imamura himself, who may not be what he seems.

Radical film in scope, technique, and aesthetic, A MAN VANISHES distills many of Imamura's central themes and obsessions, the film culminating a stunning sequence that explodes any stable sense of fiction and reality.

"In a coup de cinema that has been equaled only by Abbas Kiarostami's CLOSE-UP, Imamura transforms fact into artifice, being into acting, personal identity into tenuous fabrication." —James Quandt, editor of ‘Shohei Imamura’

"The explosively provocative film progressively and aggressively blurs distinctions between documentary and fiction. A MAN VANISHES was worth for the 45-year wait." Ronnie Schieb, Variety

"A true meditation on the medium with an increasing sense of unease as it slowly moves along (with echoes of CITIZEN KANE)... A MAN VANISHES should not be missed-or forgotten." —Film Journal International

"An existential essay on elusiveness of identity, a self-debunking bit of directorial mischief, a vertiginous travesty of a procedural, and an influential merging of life and fiction.” 
—Slant Magazine

130 minutes / Color
English; Japanese / English subtitles
Release: 2012
Copyright: 1967

For individual consumers (home video)

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Subject areas:
Asia, Black & White, Cinema Studies, East Asia, Japan, Media Studies, Sociology

Related Links:
The Films of Shohei Imamura
View a PDF of the Film's Press Kit


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