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BMZ Review: Furusato: World Heritage Sites Viewed from Space
By Ann Coates


Furusato: World Heritage Sites Viewed From Space
Written by: Ann Coates
Source: Big Movie Zone
Date: October 18, 2010


Category: Reviews

Originally released in Japan and filmed using a 4K digital camera, Furusato: World Heritage Sites Viewed From Space has received an English translation and a conversion into the 15/70 Giant Screen format.  The film's content is exactly in the title -- the audience is shown world heritage sites viewed from space.  Despite the stodgy, formal title, the film does contain many beautiful nature and architectural images that could probably soften even the most hardened, cynical viewer.

The film travels to three main locations: New Zealand, Japan and Egypt showcasing both well-known sites like the Pyramids and seldom-visited ones such as the monumental waterfalls of New Zealand.  Magnificent fly-overs in New Zealand open the film, but unfortunately there is no emotional resonance in these images.  In each location, a child living  in the World Heritage Site narrates their portion of the film.  We follow these children, but no real storyline exists to bind them to each other, or to connect a thread in the film as a whole.  Emotionally disconnected, the film really only offers up some pretty pictures with some educational aspects tied to each location.

Interspersed with these three main sites are images from the Japanese Advanced Land Observation Satellite, DAICHI, which reveals images of some of Earth's most famous locales shown from space.  It is an interesting perspective giving the terrestrial locked audience a vision of Earth from miles above.  But the space images are unfortunately not as impressive as the earthbound excursions of the film where the audience feels in the midst of pyramids, waterfalls and deserts.  Instead, the images from space feel more like beautiful paintings of such locations as the Grand Canyon, the Great Barrier Reef and the canals of Venice.

The film spends a lot of time drifting through the World Heritage Sites and at times can move too slow.  The tranquil soundtrack adds to the slowness, and the film would probably have benefitted with a more dramatic score.  The images are beautiful enough, with the natural vistas proving more impressive than the man-made architecture of pyramids and shrines.  Shot with digital cameras, the pictures don't pop with the vibrancy of 15/70 film.  But nevertheless, Furusato has some magic moments as it ventures into some of Earth's most beautiful locations.

Movie Reviews by Ann Coates

Amazing Mighty Micro Monsters
A Beautiful Planet
Asteroid: Mission Extreme
National Parks Adventure
Wild Africa
Living in the Age of Airplanes
Journey to Space
Humpback Whales 3D
Robots 3D
Antarctica: On The Edge
The Great Apes 3D
Dark Universe
Tiny Giants 3D
Antarctica's Penguin Emperors 3D
Galapagos 3D: Nature's Wonderland
Walking with Dinosaurs: Prehistoric Planet 3D
Penguins 3D
Space Junk 3D
Dinosaur Passage to Pangaea
Flying Monsters 3D
Rescue (3D)
Cosmic Journey: Through Hubble and Cassini
Born to Be Wild
My Dream 3D
The Little Prince
Tornado Alley
Waking the T. Rex: The Story of Sue 3D
Magic Journey to Africa (3D)
Furusato: World Heritage Sites Viewed from Space
Legends of Flight 3D
Inception: The IMAX Experience
Arabia 3D
The Wildest Dream: Conquest of Everest
Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey
The Ultimate Wave Tahiti 3D
Avatar: An IMAX 3D Experience
Molecules to the MAX!
Monsters vs. Aliens: An IMAX 3D Experience
Under the Sea 3D
Van Gogh: Brush With Genius
Journey to Mecca: In the Footsteps of Ibn Battuta
Mysteries of the Great Lakes
The Dark Knight: The IMAX Experience
Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk (3D)
Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure (3D/2D)
Dinosaurs: Giants of Patagonia (3D/2D)
Dinosaurs Alive! (3D/2D)
The Alps
Hurricane on the Bayou
Ride Around the World
Greece: Secrets of the Past
Wired to Win: Surviving the Tour de France
Deep Sea (3D/2D)
Vikings: Journey to New Worlds
Mystic India
Fighter Pilot: Operation Red Flag

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