|Directed by||Hirokazu Koreeda|
|Produced by||Naoe Gozu|
|Written by||Teru Miyamoto|
|Music by||Cheng Kwan Ming|
|Edited by||Tomoyo Oshima|
|Distributed by||Milestone Films|
|Release date(s)||1995 (Japan)|
|Running time||109 min.|
Maborosi, known in Japan as Maboroshi no Hikari (幻の光?, literally "phantasmic light", but best translated as 'a trick of the light') is a 1995 Japanese film by director Hirokazu Koreeda starring Makiko Esumi, Tadanobu Asano, and Takashi Naito. It is based on a novel by Teru Miyamoto.
Yumiko (Esumi) and Ikuo (Asano) are a young Osaka couple who have a new baby. One day Ikuo is walking along the tracks and is hit by a train. It seems like he may have done this deliberately yet there is no apparent motive. A few years pass. Yumiko agrees to an arranged marriage with a widower, Tamio (Naitō), and she and Yuichi (her son, now played by Gohki Kashima) move to Tamio's house in a rustic village on the Sea of Japan coast, shot on location in Wajima, on the Noto Peninsula.
A drunken spat over a bell Yumiko had given Ikuo just before he died causes Yumiko and Tamio to discuss their strong emotions for their lost loves. Shortly after, Yumiko follows a funeral procession and lingers at the crematorium, until Tamio arrives by car to pick her up, at which point she says she just wants to know why Ikuo killed himself. Tamio suggests that, like the will o' the wisps his father used to see, perhaps something just drew him away from life.
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Drawing comparisons to works of Ozu and Mizoguchi, Maborosi employs static shots (using only two pans, both in Noto, one at the rice paddy, one at the crematorium) long shots (using only one close-up and one medium close-up in a shot-reverse-shot at Ikuo's factory in Osaka), long shots (the viewer almost never has a good look at the actors' faces) and low, "natural" (and therefore dark) lighting to create a mood of loneliness and sadness, rather than well-lit close-ups lain over "sad" (and loud) background music, as is common in TV melodrama. Koreeda also consciously, with one deliberate exception, shot Asano and Esumi in two-shots, side-by-side; since they both wear black and the shots are slightly underexposed, it's difficult to tell where one actor's body ends and the other's begins, creating a sense of personal closeness and oneness between the two.
- "Maboroshi no hikari (Maborosi)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2014-05-14.
- Maborosi at the Internet Movie Database
- Maborosi at AllMovie
- Maborosi at Rotten Tomatoes
- Maborosi at JMDb (in Japanese)
- Guthmann, Edward (1996-11-29). "FILM REVIEW -- The Delicate House of `Maborosi': Japanese film a lovely meditation on meaning of life". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-09-15.
- Thomas, Kevin (1996-10-26). "Maborosi: 'Maborosi' Takes Powerful Journey of Spirit". The Hartford Courant. Retrieved 2009-09-15.
- Thompson, Nathaniel (2006) . DVD Delirium: The International Guide to Weird and Wonderful Films on DVD; Volume 1 Redux. Godalming, England: FAB Press. pp. 453–454. ISBN 1-903254-39-6.