7.1/10
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1 user 1 critic

Muno no hito (1991)

Sukezo, a farmer manga comic artist, takes up the art rock business by setting up a shop in a shed by the river. He tries hard to be successful, but business does not go well and the family... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (comic)
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14 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Sukezo Sukegawa
Jun Fubuki ...
Momoko Sukegawa
Kotaro Santo ...
Sansuke, the son
Miyako Yamaguchi ...
Tatsuko Ishiyama
Taro Maruse ...
Sekiun Ishiyama
Hiroshi Kanbe ...
Karuishi Yamakawa
Tomokazu Miura ...
Man with sunglasses
...
Homeless
Ren Osugi ...
Kurahara (as Ren Ôsugi)
...
Lady who walks
Tatsumi Kumashiro ...
Birdman
Fujio Suga ...
Man who walks
Seikô Itô ...
Editor
Akiko Nomura ...
Woman at Inn
Kôjirô Kusanagi ...
Police
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Storyline

Sukezo, a farmer manga comic artist, takes up the art rock business by setting up a shop in a shed by the river. He tries hard to be successful, but business does not go well and the family becomes progressively poorer. Written by L.H. Wong <as9401k56@ntuvax.ntu.ac.sg>

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Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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Release Date:

2 November 1991 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Nowhere Man  »

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Sound Mix:

Color:

(Fujicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Connections

Referenced in Nihon eiga no hyaku nen (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Gray Figure on a Gray Background
21 February 2005 | by (Oakland, California) – See all my reviews

Absurdly, well, apparently so, Sukezo sets up a stand in a rocky stream bed to sell rocks. The ground, the stream, the very floor of the stand – all of it is water-polished rocks. As one too rational customer complains, "We can pick them anywhere here. Why buy them from you?" And why would anyone be "window shopping," anyway, in this old stream bed? The Japanese title's "muno," at least in my old Kenkyusha's, indicates incompetency, inefficiency, do-nothingness -- nothing to do with place. But Sukezo in his rock stand really does appear to be "nowhere, no place." It's not really absurd though. Far from the pretense embodied by our term, the rock-bound aspect of the film's plot illustrates and satirizes the concept of "found art." Art rocks, nothing really but knowingly or luckily found rocks, perhaps cleaned and mounted, are business. In town there's a professional dealer with far-reaching contacts. Auctions, fees, margins, and so on, entice and confuse novices. For all that, only Sukezo's small son has the innocence to recognize the film's most precious rock.

Director Takenaka draws, or tries to, an analogy between rock business and manga business. This isn't so hard. Any art is found art. Creators' search their experience, or seek new experience. When I write (I don't mean here), I "find" a line or a word. Sukezo put me in mind of an older friend with some of the same body language, a self-professed black sheep who forever dreampt up odd schemes yet acted on few of them. Sukezo's a survivor, but a perpetual child, simultaneously a procrastinator and an actor.

Watch his wife, Momoko. What keeps her going? How is it she dotes so on his manga? Does she actually "get" them, or is she just another fan? Is she dependent, or he on her?

In the monotony of its rock motif, Nowhere Man, or Momo no hito, echoes the prose of Kobo Abe and the portion of it filmed by Teshigahara. But Takenake, at least in this film, seems less talented than his title character. His images will stay with me quite a while, I think, but as I watched I longed to be reading Sukezo's manga instead.


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