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Yumemiru yôni nemuritai (1986)

An aging silent film actress hires a private eye and his wacky but helpful assistant to track down her missing daughter, Bellflower. The two follow a succession of bizarre, obscure clues, ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Morio Agata ...
Magician
Kenji Endo ...
(as Kenji Endô)
Fujiko Fukamizu ...
Madame Cherryblossom
Baiken Jukkanji
Moe Kamura ...
Bellflower
Kyôko Kusajima ...
Old lady in the comb shop
Shunsui Matsuda ...
Akagaki, the benshi
Tatsuo Nakamoto ...
White mask
Tsuneo Nakamoto ...
White mask
Koji Otake ...
Kobayashi
Kazunari Ozasa ...
Magician
Shirô Sano ...
Uotsuka
Yoshio Yoshida ...
Matsunosuke, the director
Akira Ôizumi ...
Magician
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Storyline

An aging silent film actress hires a private eye and his wacky but helpful assistant to track down her missing daughter, Bellflower. The two follow a succession of bizarre, obscure clues, until they track down the location of the kidnappers and the daughter. Written by Mark Toscano <fiddybop@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Fantasy

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Release Date:

28 September 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

To Sleep So as to Dream  »

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User Reviews

 
Simply Magical
28 July 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is the most impossibly beautiful film I've ever seen, a mediation on loss, longing, beauty and time. Using old film techniques, humor, Dadaism, and glorious black and white cinematography, it is also a fanciful homage to early silent cinema in Japan. Especially the Benshi, the silent film narrators. This was a tradition in Russia and Poland as well, a narrator or actor would read the inter-titles of a silent film, adding commentary and at times their own political bent to a feature. This was popular throughout silent cinema's reign, and particularly relevant in industrial or agrarian communities with lower literacy rates. Shunsui Matsuda, a Benshi who traveled throughout coal mining regions of post-war Japan where shortages made re-runs of silent films popular entertainment, appears in Hayashi's film. (Mr. Matsuda is also to be lauded for his work preserving old films, many prints he acquired by searching in thrift shops and restoring them. His excellent book, "The Benshi: Japanese Silent Film Narrators", details both his work and the Benshi tradition.) In many ways comparable to Mohsen Makhmalbaf's "Once Upon a Time Cinema", though without the political commentary, Hayashi's work creates a complete magical world combining both the past and the present. Now if only I could get a copy on DVD.


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