IMDb > Pale Flower (1964)

Pale Flower (1964) More at IMDbPro »Kawaita hana (original title)

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Pale Flower -- In this cool, seductive jewel of the Japanese New Wave, a yakuza, fresh out of prison, becomes entangled with a beautiful and enigmatic gambling addict; what at first seems a redemptive relationship ends up leading him further down the criminal path.

Overview

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Director:
Writers:
Shintarô Ishihara (based on the novel by)
Masaru Baba (screenplay) ...
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Release Date:
1 March 1964 (Japan) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
Muraki, a hardboiled Yakuza gangster, has just been released from prison after serving a sentence for murder... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
NewsDesk:
(2 articles)
Blu-Ray Review: Subtle Beauty of Somber ‘Pale Flower’
 (From HollywoodChicago.com. 24 May 2011, 8:33 AM, PDT)

Ryo Ikebe, 1918 - 2010
 (From MUBI. 13 October 2010, 9:48 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Japanese film adaptation of "On the Road" See more (9 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)
Ryô Ikebe ... Muraki
Mariko Kaga ... Saeko
Takashi Fujiki ... Yoh
Chisako Hara ... Yakuza's lover
Eijirô Tôno ... Gang leader
Seiji Miyaguchi ... Gang leader
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mikizo Hirata ... Mizuguchi
Keiko Kuni ... Waitress
Sôhei Kurata ... Hayakawa
Shin'ichirô Mikami ... Reiji
Hiroshi Mizushima
Shin'ya Mizushima ... Sabu
Koji Nakahara ... Tamaki
Tomoko Saitô ... Geisha
Isao Sasaki ... Jiro
Kyû Sazanka ... Imai
Naoki Sugiura ... Aikawa
Muga Takewaki ... Singer
Isao Tamagawa
Akio Tanaka ... Patron
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Directed by
Masahiro Shinoda 
 
Writing credits
Shintarô Ishihara (based on the novel by)

Masaru Baba (screenplay) &
Masahiro Shinoda (screenplay)

Produced by
Shigeru Iwatsuki .... producer
Masao Shirai .... producer
 
Original Music by
Yuji Takahashi 
Tôru Takemitsu 
 
Cinematography by
Masao Kosugi 
 
Film Editing by
Yoshi Sugihara 
 
Art Direction by
Shigemasa Toda 
 
Sound Department
Hideo Nishizaki .... sound
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Akira Aomatsu .... gaffer
 

Production CompaniesDistributors
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Kawaita hana" - Japan (original title)
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Runtime:
96 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:

FAQ

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
Japanese film adaptation of "On the Road", 30 April 2004

Whereas "Blue Velvet" is about the lengths that people go to for sexual gratification, "Pale Flower" is about that lengths that people go to for a few "kicks," kind of like a Japanese gangster adaptation of Kerouac's "On the Road."

Upon attempting to release "Pale Flower," the studio's censor banned the film, and this fact says quite a bit about the temperature of Post-War Japan's pop culture, and the target audience of this film. While the director claims the film is about Japan's uncertain stance in the Cold War, it may be more accurate to say that the film is about Shinoda's Nihilistic stance towards Japan's relationship to the world's superpowers.

And while nihilism describes Shinoda, existentialism may better describe Muraki and Saeko. Gambling, animalistic sex, drugs, all in an effort to just feel something, anything, and to get lost in the moments those emotions provide. Some would say that the gambling scenes are too long and do little to advance the plot, but this movie's script is made up mostly of unspoken dialogue and it is during the gambling scenes that the main characters are developed.

While I loved 95 percent of this film's moody and atmospheric lighting, at times it's so dark you can't tell what's going on. Still, the shots are well constructed, the actors well directed, and their performances subtle yet effective. Dig the sexual tension that is constantly building between Muraki and Saeko, and how this tension is dealt with. Somehow I felt myself sympathizing with this killer in a very real way, and this says something about Shinoda's and "Pale Flowers" success.

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