One of the most influential directors of Japanese cinema, Nagasaki Shunichi spun cinematic gold in 1982 with one room, two unknown actors, and a Super 8 camera. The raw, provocative Heart, beating in the dark
presented one dark night in the lives of a desperate young couple on the run with a terrible secret - they murdered their own child. Twenty plus years later, Nagasaki revisits his experimental indie classic and in the process redefines the film language. A remake, sequel, and documentary all in one, the 2005 Heart, beating in the dark
is best described as a rethinking of the original film. The contemplative, multi-layered tale of morality and fallibility, regret and redemption, witnesses the passage of time by bringing two generations of actors and characters together for an innovative film collage.
Muroi Shigeru and Naito Takashi, who have long become celebrities since the original film, reprise their roles as Ringo and Inako. Older and wiser, they meet up 23 years later to confront the shadows of their youth. A chance for redemption comes when they encounter their younger counterparts, Toru (Honda Shoichi) and Yuki (Eguchi Noriko), who share the same terrible secret they do. Like the original, the film includes role reversals, philosophical musings, and experimental elements. The new Heart, beating in the dark also acts as a commentary on itself, with footage of the directors and actors discussing their perspectives on the characters and the reasons for revisiting the film. Daring and controversial without resorting to shock elements, Nagasaki candidly addresses the ghosts within in this accomplished bittersweet tome to the wrinkles of life.