They Say Nothing Stays the Same (DVD)
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In the debut directorial feature by actor Joe Odagiri, The Say Nothing Stays the Same follows an old ferryman in a remote Meiji-era community. His life is a peaceful, cyclical existence, given meaning by the essential role he plays in transporting people, livestock and goods across the water, connecting villages and lives. When news arrives that a bridge is being built, it's clear that his services will no longer be needed. Meanwhile, his life will be equally transformed by the appearance of a mysterious young woman whom he saves from drowning. Shot by star cinematographer Christopher Doyle and featuring an array of cameos from Japan's top stars, The Say Nothing Stays the Same is a refreshingly old-fashioned work of classical cinema, its formal qualities mirroring its thematic concern with those fondly-remembered traditions sacrificed in the name of progress.