Pulse (Kurosawa, 2001)


It’s strange to think of a time when the Internet was a relatively new phenomenon, a global foreign language residing on the fringes of our consciousness, seemingly hiding infinite creative and economic possibilities beneath a spectre of community. Kiyoshi Kurosawa sets Pulse during this enigmatic timeframe, marking the Internet as a dangerous breeding ground for apathy and isolation, a perfect recruitment office for ghosts looking entice living souls to the dark side. As with his haunting serial killer yarn Cure, Kurosawa builds tension through visual and audio fragmentation. Characters are positioned on the edge of the frame as if seemingly cut in half and diagetic and non-diagetic sound effects overlap until their layering bursts open. These aesthetics create a shifting mood and atmosphere, breathing horror into every dark corner, behind each doorway, finally revealing the human need for palpable connection. Pulse sees the human world as a crumbling facade of expectations and longing with the Internet as the final platform for ultimate self-destruction. By looking into the monitor, we see our own death broadcast for everyone to experience, and the ghosts have been screaming all along.


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