Marking Gus Van Sant‘s first film in competition at Cannes since his Paranoid Park, The Sea of Trees unfortunately didn’t go over very well last May. Starring Matthew McConaughey and Ken Watanabe as Arthur Brennan and Takumi Nakamura, respectively, it follows the two individuals who happen upon each other in the forests of Mount Fuji in Japan known as the sea of trees. Brennan plans on committing suicide in the forest whereas Nakamura is geographically lost and unable to find his way out.

We said in our review, “The genuinely captivating ambiguity of these early moments fools you into thinking The Sea of Trees could be a return to form for Van Sant, a tantalizing throwback to the days when a new release by the director was greeted with deserved anticipation. The rest of the film obliterates this promise and punishes you for being so gullible.” While Roadside Attractions have yet to set a U.S. release date for the film, it’ll arrive in Japan at the end of April and today brings the first trailer hailing from there. Also starring Naomi Watts, check out the trailer and poster below.

It’s love and loss that lead Arthur Brennan, across the world to Japan’s Aokigahara, a mysterious dense forest known as The Sea of Trees lapping the foothills of Japan’s Mount Fuji – a place where people go to contemplate life and death. Arthur enters the depths of the forest and loses himself beyond the guiding ribbons threaded through the trees by many before him. Having found the perfect place to die, Arthur encounters Takumi Nakamura, a Japanese man who also appears to have lost his way. Unable to leave Takumi behind, Arthur invests all of his remaining energy into saving Takumi and returning him to safety. The two men embark on a journey of reflection and survival, which affirms Arthur’s will to live and reconnects him to his love with his wife.

The Sea of Trees poster

The Sea of Trees opens in Japan on April 29th and is awaiting a U.S. release date.

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