Following World War II, a retired professor approaching his autumn years finds his quality of life drastically reduced in war-torn Tokyo. Denying despair, he pursues writing and celebrates his birthday with his adoring students.
This film tells the story of professor Uehida Hyakken-sama (1889-1971), in Gotemba, around the forties. He was a university professor until an air raid, when he left to become a writer and has to live in a hut. His mood has hardly changed, not by the change nor by time. Every year his students celebrate his birthday, issuing the question "Mahda kai?" (not yet?), just to hear Uehida-san's answer "Madada yo!" (No, not yet!), in a ritual of self affirmation, and desires of lasting forever. It's a very "japanese" film who portrays everyday life and customs in Japan. Written by
Jaime Moraga <email@example.com>
Tatsuo Matsumura was 79 years old when he played the Professor, portraying the professor between the ages of 58 and 77. Matsumura was older than his character throughout the movie, almost twenty years older than the Professor he portrayed for most of the picture. See more »
The story depicts Professor Hyakken's 60th birthday toward the end of World War II (1943-1945). But he was born in 1889; thus, he turned 60 years old in 1949. See more »
The movie begins with the announced retirement of a beloved professor. Later we realized that he was so loved that his pupils follow him for the remainder of their lives, he is "pure gold." How quaint. The stronger the pupil/professor attatchment is the more out of place and unfounded it seems because we never witness their growing together. Instead it is simply assumed and the audience is supposed to grow with characters through the professor's witty stories. Granted, these stories are sometimes clever, but far from the hilarity you'd expect from the pupil's laughter. It's always sad when the characters in the movie are the only ones laughing at the jokes. Much like the unfounded relationship between the pupils and professor, is that of the cat and professor. This near half hour of depression over a barely known cat is almost unbearable. I guess the movie attempts to move the audience emotionally and link them with the characters; I failed with me. Personally, I was wishing the professor would just die already and end the boredom.
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