Japón

In this preternaturally assured feature debut by Carlos Reygadas, a man (Alejandro Ferretis) travels from Mexico City to an isolated village to commit suicide; once there, however, he meets a pious elderly woman (Magdalena Flores) whose quiet humanity incites a reawakening of his desires. Recruiting a cast of nonactors and filming in sublime 16 mm CinemaScope, Reygadas explores the harsh beauty of the Mexican country­side with earthy tactility, conjuring a psychic landscape where religion mingles with sex, life coexists with death, and the animal and spiritual sides of human experience become indistinguishable. A work of soaring ambition and startling visual poetry, Japón is an existential journey through uncharted cinematic territory that established the singular voice of its director.

Film Info

Director-Approved Special Edition Features

  • New 2K digital restoration, supervised by director Carlos Reygadas, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New conversation between Reygadas and filmmaker Amat Escalante
  • Video diary shot by actor Alejandro Ferretis during the film’s production
  • Adulte, a 1998 short film by Reygadas
  • Deleted scene
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by novelist Valeria Luiselli, behind-the-scenes photographs, and a selection of Reygadas’s original storyboards

New cover by Sam Smith

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New 2K digital restoration, supervised by director Carlos Reygadas, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New conversation between Reygadas and filmmaker Amat Escalante
  • Video diary shot by actor Alejandro Ferretis during the film’s production
  • Adulte, a 1998 short film by Reygadas
  • Deleted scene
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by novelist Valeria Luiselli, behind-the-scenes photographs, and a selection of Reygadas’s original storyboards

New cover by Sam Smith

Japón
Cast
Alejandro Ferretis
The man
Magdalena Flores
Ascen
Carlos Reygadas Barquín
The hunter
Martín Serrano
Juan Luis
Rolando Hernández
The judge
Yolanda Villa
Sabina
Claudia Rodríguez
Woman in the dream
Bernabé Pérez
The singer
Credits
Director
Carlos Reygadas
Written by
Carlos Reygadas
Producer
Carlos Reygadas
Producer
NoDream Cinema
Producer
Mantarraya
Producer
Carlos Serrano Azcona
Director of photography
Diego Martínez Vignatti
Filmed in
Tronchet-Scope
Sound
Gilles Laurent
Editor
Daniel Melguizo
Editor
Carlos Serrano Azcona
Editor
David Torres Labansat
Sound editor
Ramón Moreira
Production manager
Gerardo Tagle
Rerecording mixer
Jorge Lerner
Production design
Alejandro Reygadas
Production design
Elsa Díaz Pirinoli
Assistant director
Bertrand Roland
Second assistant director
Julio Fernández Buxó
Second assistant director
Alejandro Ezpeleta
Second assistant director
Joshua Gil

From The Current

How Carlos Reygadas Plans for the Unexpected
How Carlos Reygadas Plans for the Unexpected

Storyboards have been an important part of the Mexican filmmaker’s process from the beginning of his career. In this interview, he talks about the freedom that meticulous pre-planning allows him on-set.

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Japón: On Seeing Ourselves Seeing
Japón: On Seeing Ourselves Seeing

At a time when Mexican audiences were taught to equate good cinema with foreign cinema, Carlos Reygadas heralded the arrival of something new with his audaciously poetic first feature.

By Valeria Luiselli

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How Sam Smith Finds Inspiration in the History of Poster Art

Studio Visits

How Sam Smith Finds Inspiration in the History of Poster Art

The longtime Criterion collaborator behind our covers for Japón, House, and Modern Times combines his love for film and design in his vividly colorful artwork.