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...

22 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)

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  10. More info I found. Most of you have probably already searched all the links and found this...but I hadn't been here in over a year and so it was new to me.

    Detailed translated Plot Summary:

    Translated into English:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/translator/comments/551bzw/japanese_english_yume_yume_no_ato_a_lost_film/

    Original Japanese:
    https://movie.walkerplus.com/mv16821/

    I will just paste the whole thing here in case it disappears:

    [–]ZarmazarmaEng/Jp 2 points 1 year ago*
    A lone youth walks in a cold and quiet desert night. In a distant lake, a boat decorated with flowers floats, and the voice of a woman can be heard. As he runs to the shore the boat vanishes and departs. The young man pushes off in the Otani [the name of a ship] that was abandoned nearby (into the water). The sun rose, and the man lost consciousness.
    The young man who was a master of fabrics had grown tired with his life of plenty, and set out on a journey, heeding the divinations of an old (man/woman): "Your happiness lies on the other side of the lake."
    The young man awakes in an ancient castle on the opposite shore of the lake. There two queens lived, Tsuki and Yuki (Moon and Snow). Kind and pure Yuki had found the young man, and saved him. Yuki introduced the young man to her older sister, Tsuki, who was a woman of breathtaking and bewitching beauty. While the young man was charmed by Yuki, he could not resist Tsuki's allure, and entered her bed when invited.
    The man wove for them fabrics. For Tsuki he could make wonderful products, but for Yuki his creations were lackluster.
    One day, the man met Tsuki outside of the castle, and there in the middle of the river, on a bed of flowers, they consummated their passions. When they returned to the castle, Yuki was shocked to see them. "What have I cast between my precious Tsuki and doleful Yuki, so endeared to each other like twins?", the young man thought with a guilty conscience.
    The sisters viciously quarreled. Then, Tsuki, determined to kill the young man, invited him to her bed. Wrapped in the young man's embrace, Tsuki gripped the tanken (dagger) she had prepared, but no matter how she tried, could not bring herself to stab him.
    "Alas, I cannot..." Tsuki, as if she had gone mad, flew to the terrace. The young man chased her, and there he was stuck in place. Before his eyes, the fleeing Tsuki slowly turned into a bird. Then, when Tsuki had completely transformed, she slowly unfurled her wings, and took flight- above, and away from the garden.
    "For you were too beautiful... too earnest and wonderful a person... We, who should never have loved you, loved you... alas..." Yuki whispered.
    "It was you who I loved most of all!" shouted the young man skyward, where a single bird soared leisurely through the air.
    Yep, sounds like a trip.
    !translated

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  11. Also...I noticed on imdb...that the movie seemed to be released in 81 (not 1980 like the soundtrack album) only in Japan and France. Maybe if someone with access to lots of obscure movies searched through French archives...this thing could turn up.

    The French title was: Rêve après rêve

    and someone else found these links to archived imdb discussions. I haven't read them yet...but here they are:

    http://archive.is/58Xjo

    http://archive.is/0VEfV

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  12. I just tried to send a message to Kenzo Takada himself 2 different ways...but I somehow doubt he'll ever actually see them....since he's famous and has other people handling his communications I'm sure. I will let you guys know if by some miracle, I get a response with any info in it.

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    Replies
    1. Truly impressive work on your part. Good luck, and keep us updated if anything comes from you contacting him.

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  13. Here's a page that I found about the Movie https://lostmediawiki.com/Yume,_Yume_No_Ato_(lost_Japanese/French_fantasy_film;_1981)

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  14. Hi everyone! I was rather surprised and excited when I stumbled upon this post.

    I'm probably commenting a bit too late but I've also been trying to find information about this film. I mean I've always been a big Journey fan ever since I was little and once I came across this soundtrack, curiosity overtook me. But now I'm more curious about the fact that there's not a single clip of it on the internet. And, as others have mentioned, so many obscure films from the previous decades have been found and restored. I can't understand how a film whose soundtrack was composed by one of the most popular bands of the 80s is practically lost. And, funny thing, I'm pretty sure Journey were even more popular in Japan during that period than they were in their native US.

    Anyway, after some research I found this website called asia nikkei review that features an interview with Mr. Takada. It's pretty extensive and is divided in multiple parts. Unfortunately, you have to pay in order to read it in its entirety.

    There's this part I'll link in which Takada talks about directing the film. Sadly, as I said, you can only view part of the opening paragraph but it's still a noteworthy finding.

    I did manage to fully read another part which I'm assuming was offered for free. It talks about the other screenwriter Mr. Xavier. He, indeed, used to be a fashion designer and Takada's partner for some time. I don't know if "partner" implies a romantic relationship or just a friendship but it seems he was one of the main reasons Takada travelled to France and decided to do this film with a half-japanese, half-french crew.

    I'll also upload a better quality picture of the inner sleeve that came with the original japanese vinyl version of the soundtrack.

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  15. The site: https://asia.nikkei.com/Features/Kenzo-Takada/Kenzo-Takada-22-My-short-lived-career-as-a-movie-director


    The inner sleeve: https://image.ibb.co/haiyEc/Screenshot_20180314_164909.png


    Yahoo auction photos from lostmediawiki.com: https://m.imgur.com/a/k8l7m


    I should note that for some reason I can currently view more than just the opening part of this section of the interview. Check out the site as it may work for you, as well. Nevertheless, I'll post a screenshot of what's written just in case we'll lose the ability to freely view it.

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  16. http://image.ibb.co/cFxx7x/2.png

    http://image.ibb.co/k81DfH/1.png


    Please, let me know if you have any further info.

    :)

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  17. Good find, Dimitris. That's a really sad interview. Sounds like it was a nightmare for Takada.

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  18. "Dear Mr. Kenzo Takada," the letter began. "I heard that you had an interest in filmmaking, and was wondering if you would like to work on an interesting production with me."

    It was late 1978. An actress by the name of Sachiko Hidari came to Paris carrying this letter. Its author was Hiroaki Fujii. In his work at Daiei Film, he had been a planner on such films as director Kon Ichikawa's "Her Brother" and "Fires on the Plain." He was also a very talented producer, having created "Patriotism" with Yukio Mishima.

    He contacted me after apparently reading a magazine article in which I said I was interested in movies. However, I was just then in the middle of a "cold war" with my co-manager, Gilles Raysse.

    To be honest, filmmaking was really out of the question. Naturally, I had a fondness for movies, but I didn't think I had the talent to be a director, and I didn't even know the basics of cinematography. Despite this, Fujii came to Paris numerous times and continued his passionate attempts to persuade me.

    Daytime temperatures reached 50 C, and we went through 250 1.5-liter bottles of Evian in a single day

    "If you just come up with ideas, we'll finish them," he suggested. "All you'll have to do is yell 'start' and 'cut.'"

    Eventually, I succumbed to his enthusiasm. It was decided that I would direct a film and also be in charge of its costumes and artistic direction.

    Ordeal in the desert

    I started by making a draft of the story. What first popped into my head was a mysterious world like those depicted in "Ugetsu Monogatari" and "Rashomon." The plot I came up with went something like this: "A young weaver meets a pair of beautiful sisters by a lake. The older sister is named Tsuki (Moon) and her younger sister is named Yuki (Snow). The young man is drawn to the sisters' bewitching figures and spirits, and is completely at their mercy. As recompense for falling in love with the young man, the sisters turn into birds and fly away into the blue sky ... "

    We chose Morocco as the location to shoot the film. I was familiar with the land, having vacationed there frequently, and I found the environment -- a mix of cultures at the crossroads between East and West -- an interesting one.

    In July 1980, we headed for Zagora, near the Sahara Desert. It was an expansive location, with yellowish-brown mountains and desert spreading out as far as the eye could see. Daytime temperatures reached 50 C, and we went through 250 1.5-liter bottles of Evian in a single day.

    Filming proved to be one difficulty after another. The actors were mostly French and the staff predominantly Japanese, so communication problems kept the work from proceeding smoothly. There were unexpected events, too, such as when the art unit became mired in a bottomless swamp and couldn't move.

    What really did us in was a scene in which a horse being led by the protagonist collapses out of fatigue. Since the animal did not collapse as we had hoped, we decided to use an anesthetic. However, it turns out that Moroccan horses regularly eat wild cannabis, so the drug was entirely ineffective.

    Thud! The horse finally collapsed several hours later. The actors had stopped acting and were resting in the shade of a tree. The cameras weren't even rolling. It was extremely disappointing. That kind of stress built with each passing day, and I felt faint under the sweltering heat of the sun.

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  19. The production budget was 400 million yen. For the soundtrack, we tried to land the popular group Journey. They took the job, reportedly giving up a European tour. This was thanks to the efforts of Fujii. For the title, I chose "Yume, yume no ato (The dream, after the dream)."

    I approached the premiere, which we held in Paris, with considerably anxiety. It was the worst. Around 300 people came to the theater, but Parisians have a very unforgiving aesthetic sense. When giggling broke out during a critical scene that was supposed to move the audience to tears, I realized I had failed to create the mood I intended.

    On top of all that, the audience began to get up and leave in the middle of the film. It was a total fiasco. And it was entirely my fault. I had caused considerable trouble to everyone involved, not least of all Fujii.

    Filmmaking. Every time I hear that word I get so depressed and embarrassed I almost break out in hives.

    Kenzo Takada is a fashion designer known for his eponymous label Kenzo, which he left in 1999.

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  20. Doing a cursory search of Kenzo Takada shows he's a pretty big name as a fashion designer. I feel like he shouldn't be too too hard to get a hold of to try to possibly get a lead on a copy of the movie.

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