Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Dream, After Dream (Yume, Yume No Ato): A Movie Mystery


What is Dream, After Dream?

This is one of the more compelling movie mysteries I've come across in a while. Yume, Yume No Ato is a Japanese feature film from 1981. The movie is notable in that it features an awesome soundtrack composed by Journey during the height of their fame. According to the New York Times website, it is a fantasy feature and runs 101 minutes:

"In this fantasy tale that aspires to the effects of a dreaming state, a young man (Enrico Tricarico) starts off on a quest for happiness, heading south as a wise astrologer told him to do. He has a few mishaps along the way through a mix of scenery, but finally arrives at an ancient castle where two mysterious women live - Tsuki (Anicee Alvina) meaning "Moon," and Yuki (Anne Consigny), meaning "Snow." Both women fall in love with the young man, a literally transforming experience that causes them to start running around and flapping their arms and growing feathers - it turns out they are really birds and true love has freed them at last. Meanwhile, the young man has to face his destiny and after the avian extravaganza, he may have some cause for worry."

And that's it, and I don't just mean for that website. I'm practically talking about the entire internet. A Google search reveals no posters, screenshots, or similar images aside from the Journey album cover. IMDB has zero user reviews and an eerily quiet forum section, icheckmovies.com lists the film but features no users who have even claimed to see the film, and YouTube features no clips from the movie. No home video release appears to have been put out. The film's soundtrack, though composed by one of the most famous acts of the 1980s, isn't even available in the US. Amazon.com lists the soundtrack as an import, apparently of Japanese origin. The official Journey website is even more vague with regards to the film, basically saying that it's a Japanese film with the same title as the album.

So, my question is... what is this movie!?! Okay, I take that back. I have way more questions. Why is it so hard to come across? Is it any good? How did Journey get involved with the soundtrack? Why is that so hard to get a hold of in America? It's Journey, for crying out loud! They hold the record for the best selling song on iTunes, and no one knows about the movie they composed an entire album for. Even if a popular band gets involved with a train wreck of a project, those things aren't forgotten. At best, it would make for 80s talk show comedy fodder, and, at worst, a sarcastic Internet reviewer or two would have posted a linear riff-review of the movie by now. You'd think the same technology that can conjure up a cologne commercial directed by Nobuhiko Obayashi and starring Charles Bronson could at least give me something to go on. But no... All seems silent in the digital realm.

On the one hand, I have to wonder if the movie's even worth watching, since it seems no one remembers it. On the other hand, judging by that short synopsis, it almost sounds like a sort of stream of consciousness, Black Moon kind of movie. If that's the case, it might be really awesome, and it might also explain why the movie is so forgotten and overshadowed by the soundtrack... A wide audience coming to see a film with Journey's name attached to it would probably be alienated by such an unusual, artsy movie. But I'm just speculating now. If anyone has any information on this film, please share! Even a copy of the liner notes for the album would be welcome, as I can't find that online either. In the meantime, the music isn't too hard to come across, and it is really awesome!



UPDATE:


After some digging around, I was able to find a single image related to the film. It appears to be a theatrical poster or promotional pamphlet (possibly included as an insert in the Journey album?). Again, any information related to this image or its origin would be appreciated.

UPDATE 2:

Thanks to Lionel over on the Facebook page, I was able to get a hold of some honest-to-goodness pictures from the production and apparently pre-production of the film! These are from a French film site, which I'm guessing is the reason why I wasn't able to find them with a Google Image search using the movie's English or Japanese titles.

Lionel informed me that the black-and-white image is actually from a dress-fitting/rehearsal and not from the filming itself

Some additional research on the film's crew showed that Dream After Dream was the sole film directed by famed Japanese fashion designer Kenzo (the gentleman with the glasses in the above pictures), based on a screenplay by him and an enigmatic individual named Xavier De Castella. Kenzo is a pretty well-respected fixture in Japanese fashion, so tracking him down was pretty easy. However, I still can't definitively find out who the other screenwriter is. I was able to find a single picture of him on a blog being quite friendly with Paloma Picasso, so, judging by that blog's content and Paloma Picasso's presence, I can only assume Mr. De Castella is another fashion designer. The mystery deepens...

10 comments:

  1. Hey, I've been searching for that movie too, but was not able to find it anywhere on the Web. I think the movie was not released in Europe, only in Japan and some other Asian countries maybe. So I guess the movie should be searched on the Japanese side of the Internet, but I don't speak or write any Jap :( Anyone who can read and write Japanese should be able to help tho. Good luck.

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  2. I can help a bit on the album side. Not much, but some...

    The album itself was import only. I picked mine up in 1981 or 82 from a U.S. Sound Warehouse record store. It was sitting in their imports section. I do not think the album is still in production, but I believe the CD is still being pressed and is import only. I have not checked on this, so I may be wrong.

    The album came sealed in a heavy see-through mylar envelope, for lack of a better description. Stuck to the mylar was a sticker stating: "Features New Music By Journey" (and) "Special Limited Edition!" I do not know if later printings of the album (not the CD) included this or not.

    On the front of the cover is the drawing of two distinct and different cranes in flight. It is a reference to the movie without stating so, but also adheres to their other album cover designs with the scarab and planet motif. The album cover was illustrated by Koichi Kubodera. I do not know anything about the artist, and searches have not revealed much.

    On the back of the album:

    Top left side: Track listing for the songs

    Top right side: Band member names and the instruments played.

    Steve Perry - Lead and Back Vocals
    Gregg Rolie - Keyboards, Harmonica
    Neal Schon - Guitars, Vocals
    Steve Smith - Drums, Percussion
    Ross Valory - Bass, Piano, Recorder

    Also on the top right corner is a golden imprint stamp stating: "Special Limited Edition" with a six digit edition number. I do not know how many were pressed or if these gold numbers correspond in some way to the pressing total.

    A thinner white opaque sleeve protects the record. There are no liner notes, credits or lyrics on the liner. However, there is a one page glossy insert listing additional Japanese musicians, thanks, production crew on one side, and a cheesy picture of the band releasing two doves on the other side. There were no pictures, references, or acknowledgements to the movie that came with the album, which seems odd for a movie tie-in product, but whatever. So the picture you have above under your update section asking if it was part of the album; it was not.

    If memory serves, the band was asked by someone associated with their reps in Japan and CBS/Sony if they would like to score or contribute to the film. They agreed, watched the movie, and put together some songs to fit the mood of certain scenes.

    And that's all I know. I've always been curious about the movie, so thank you for filling in some of the blank spots concerning the plot, actors, etc.

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    Replies
    1. Shortly after, "Dream, After Dream," was released as an import, it was available in the US as a standard album; however, due to the line-up change in Journey, the soundtrack didn't go far at all in sales. I was able to buy a cassette version of the album back in the mid-90s. The album is still available on Amazon. As far as the movie goes, I'm guessing that it was a huge flop, so it's not being released. The Japanese are very particular when it comes to these things (unlike Westerners). I remember when Square fired their CEO after the Final Fantasy movie failed to make a profit (it actually broke even), so I can see the movie studio not wanting to re-release it. Based on the premise above, it actually sounds pretty lame.

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  3. I was a teenager in the 90's and was born the year the album was recorded. At the time I was a huge Journey fan. This was something my friends made relentless fun of me for, because we all mainly listened to stuff like Led Zepplin, Black Sabbath, Rush, Metallica, etc, etc.

    Anyway...I got the CD Soundtrack, and later the cassette, LP, and maybe even an 8 track. I believe all were Japanese or European imports. I started looking for the movie and no one knew anything. I called and searched out all sorts of leads. At the time the internet didn't exist and then was brand new (1994-97 time period), so I called people from the ads in Goldmine and Discovery (old people who collected music at the time will remember what these publications were). I remember talking to record shop owners and afficionados here in Louisiana. They seemed to know everything about anything music related and film related at the time....but they didn't know about this movie. I also went to Suncoast, the movie store in the mall...to see if they could order it or find info...no luck and not any mention of it in any catalog or publication. Suncoast could find almost any video that had ever had a commercial release. I also called many of those people who would sell like bootleg VHS copies of filmed concerts and music videos and Rock Documentaries and films. No luck.

    It is kind of hard to believe that now you can't hardly find a trace of it. With all the really obscure films from the 70's I've found online with ease...there should be more information.

    I will continue to check back here and see if anything pops up later.

    By the way...what was the youtube link above? Was it just the soundtrack's video? It's gone now.

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  4. By the way...I thought I remember reading that the film was a cartoon or anime type thing. The photos above make it look like it was a real film with actors. ???

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  5. Hello!!!
    I'm in mexico and have imported CD Japan with interior inserts, unfortunately lost the tracera part acrylic box cd but I have the internal brochure and what contained inside. send an email to exxpresate@icloud.com and share. Regards.

    Hola!!!
    yo estoy en mexico y tengo el cd importado de Japon con los insertos interiores, por desgracia perdi la parte tracera de la caja de acrilico del cd pero tengo el folleto interno y lo que contenia en el interior. manden un correo a exxpresate@icloud.com y lo compartimos. Saludos.

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  6. Hi there! Somebody apparently sold/bought a copy of the film booklet on ebay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Yume-Yume-no-Ato-Japan-Movie-Program-1981-Anicee-Alvina-Kenzo-Takada-/252466343956

    Maybe a trace worth looking on.

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  7. I have the cd and theres some Pictures of different scenes of the movie in the inner sleeve. The original vynil didnt have those Pictures. The main motif on the piano on Snow Theme was composed and actually played by bassist Ross Valory. The recorder played in The Rape, a track composed by Ross was played by Ross also. Actually the beginning of the song is a modified version of Conversations part of the song In My Lonely Feeling of the debut album and that part was written by Ross.

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  8. I have the cd and theres some Pictures of different scenes of the movie in the inner sleeve. The original vynil didnt have those Pictures. The main motif on the piano on Snow Theme was composed and actually played by bassist Ross Valory. The recorder played in The Rape, a track composed by Ross was played by Ross also. Actually the beginning of the song is a modified version of Conversations part of the song In My Lonely Feeling of the debut album and that part was written by Ross.

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  9. Found this: http://lostmediawiki.com/Yume,_Yume_No_Ato_(lost_Japanese/French_fantasy_film;_1981)

    ReplyDelete