January 31, 1996. Seven lands on French screens and slaps the spectators monstrously. But they are far from suspecting that they will have to turn the other cheek to a Kiyoshi Kurosawa on the rise a few months later, when the final is released. Cure, which despite itself became a distorted reflection of the David Fincher classic.
What better way to start approaching the work of Kiyoshi Kurosawa than the film which revealed it to the general public? Cure exported all over the world, even more intensely in Europe. Perhaps this is because it borrows a lot from Western thriller codes, the better to divert them.
In the light of the reissue of the feature film by Carlotta and now that the filmmaker has established himself as a star of auteur cinema, let’s reconsider comment Cure perverts the archetypes of an American genre to hatch themes of its own and an atypical filmography.
born in the usa
Some people trace the decline of serial killer films to the aftermath ofSeven, others to its illegitimate offspring (Bone Collector, Saw) or even at Zodiac by the same David Fincher. What if it was rather Cure which sounded the death knell for this period rich in monuments of pop culture (The Sixth Sense, Thesilenceofthelambs, Copycat, the most sticky Henry Portrait of a serial killer and Maniac)? What if the heyday of this subgenre ended when he was stripped of his American identity?
Obviously, it works both ways: Kurosawa has been able to count on the popularity of Seven and others to launch an international career in spite of himself. He has never denied having voluntarily borrowed much from the whims of his American counterparts, at IGN for example in 2001, year of release of the film in the United States:
“Cure is indeed a psychological triller and a detective film and I borrowed the style of those genres from American conventions. And of course the first part fits that framework perfectly.”
A series of murders all perpetrated with a murky modus operandi (a cross engraved in the neck), a duo of cops completely lost and a strange suspect as elusive as he is unsuited to human laws … All the ingredients are there. However, even in the midst of a first half which indeed does not yet flirt with the fantastic, something is wrong.