Modern Mondays: Bright Future (2003)


My regular readers may have noticed that my blog was impossible to access for 3 or 4 days. This was due to a major problem with the blog servers. They’re still ironing out the bugs so don’t be surprised if Cinebeats disappears again. Hopefully the problems will be worked out soon.

In the meantime, Modern Mondays has sort of snuck up on me. Since I’ve been unofficially counting down my favorite films of the last decade I thought I’d continue to do so with some shots from Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Bright Future (aka Akarui mirai; 2003). Kiyoshi Kurosawa is one of my favorite Japanese directors at the moment and his chilling 1997 film Cure made my list of “31 films that give me the willies.” Bright Future is another one of Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s best films and it features a stunning low-key performance by Tadanobu Asano.

I didn’t have time to write anything substantial about the film, but here’s a bit of text borrowed from the Bright Future DVD box: “Friends Mamoru and Yuji are aimless young men stuck in dead-end jobs in a dreary factory in Tokyo. Mamoru, the more antisocial of the two, is obsessed with his pet project of acclimating a poisonous jellyfish to fresh water by gradually changing the water in its tank. One night, he inexplicably murders his boss’ family and is sentenced to death. Yuji, left to continue the jellyfish experiment, befriends Mamoru’s estranged father, and the two form a bond. But Yuji’s attachment to the jellyfish is even stronger, and problems arise when he accidentally releases the poisonous creature into the canals of Tokyo ”

Of course the film is so much more than that simple plot outline, which is why Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s films have garnered a lot of praise in recent years. Much has been written about Bright Future already and if you’d like to read more about the film I highly recommend visiting Michael Guillen’s blog The Evening Class. During last year’s Kiyoshi Kurosawa Blogathon Michael put together a great collection of links to some of the best writing about Bright Future that’s available online.

More images from a film filled with stunning imagery. . .










Bright Future is available for rent at Netflix and Greencine. You can also find used and new copies of the film selling at

Modern Mondays is an ongoing project here at Cinebeats where I share a few thoughts or lengthy rants and raves about my favorite films produced during the last decade. Films previously mentioned on Modern Mondays include:

The Left Bank (2008)
Love Songs (2007)

7 thoughts on “Modern Mondays: Bright Future (2003)

  1. I really liked Bright Future but my favorite of Kurosawa’s features this decade has got to be Tokyo Sonata. Though the presence of Tadanobu Asano goes a long way.

  2. I still need to see Tokyo Sonata and I hope it gets a DVD release soon. There’s a possibility that it will become another one of my favorite films from the last decade.

  3. I’m really glad to see a shout out for Bright Future, a deeply underrated film whose atmosphere just swallows me whole. My own favorite K Kurosawa might be Charisma, another dense, layered and underappreciated film. I’m also totally enamored with the triple split-screen sequeences of “Doppelganger.” That film got lambasted for genre mixing and switching tones abruptly, but I say that’s part of what makes it so brilliant.

  4. Maya – No need to thank me Maya! I really enjoyed the Kurosawa blogathon you put together even though I didn’t have the opportunity to participate in it. I hope anyone who is interested in the director’s work will give your archives a look since there is a lot of great info there.

    Film Walrus – Charisma is one Kurosawa film I still need to see and now you’ve got me eager to give it a look. I’m especially fond of Cure and Bright Future myself, but I’ve enjoyed all his films that I have seen such as his terrific remake of Seance on a Wet Afternoon, Pulse and Doppelganger. And I’m really looking forward to seeing Tokyo Sonata when it’s released!

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