August in the Water (1995)
aka Mizu no naka no hachigatsu
Genre: Fantasy | Drama | Sci-Fi
Country: Japan | Director: Sogo Ishii
Language: Japanese | Subtitles: English (Optional, embedded in mkv file)
Aspect ratio: Widescreen 1.85:1 | Length: 117mn
Dvdrip H264 Mkv – 1024×554 – 23.976fps – 2.08gb
A teenage girl gains supernatural power after an accident and comes to understand her place in the universe.
Summer term in a heatwave-smitten Kyushu and high school student Ukiya (Masaki Takarai) falls for school high diving champ Izumi (Rena Komine), then discovers a dangerous date on her horoscope coincides with a big diving contest. Plunging towards the pool from the top board, time freezes for Izumi as the water turns momentarily into rock inscribed with mystic symbols: seconds later, she crashes clumsily into the water. When the hospitalised girl recovers, her personality has changed. Now she goes for walks in the hillside forest where a UFO is rumoured to have been sighted. Then, at full moon, she disappears and a meteorite is stolen from a research lab. Meanwhile, all over the city, an unexplained epidemic named Stone disease – in which people collapse as their internal organs petrify – claims more and more victims.
Loosely recalling The Big Blue, this follow-up / companion piece to director Ishii’s equally masterful Angel Dust proves similarly compelling. The most memorable sequences – unexpected collapses in the streets, schoolgirl divers plunging purposefully through air towards water, couples found lying together on a huge boulder in the forest – linger unforgettably in the mind, while slow pacing effectively helps convey a sense of ever-worsening urban drought.