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The Pillow Book (1996)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  6 June 1997 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 10,149 users   Metascore: 64/100
Reviews: 91 user | 52 critic | 20 from Metacritic.com

As a young girl in Japan, Nagiko's father paints characters on her face, and her aunt reads to her from "The Pillow Book", the diary of a 10th-century lady-in-waiting. Nagiko grows up, ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Yoshi Oida ...
The Publisher
Ken Ogata ...
The Father
Hideko Yoshida ...
The Aunt / The Maid
...
Jerome
Judy Ongg ...
The Mother
Ken Mitsuishi ...
The Husband
Yutaka Honda ...
Hoki
Barbara Lott ...
Jerome's Mother
Miwako Kawai ...
Young Nagiko
...
Jerome's sister (as Lynne Frances Wachendorfer)
Chizuru Ohnishi ...
Young Nagiko
Shiho Takamatsu ...
Young Nagiko
Aki Ishimaru ...
Young Nagiko
Hisashi Hidaka ...
Calligrapher
Edit

Storyline

As a young girl in Japan, Nagiko's father paints characters on her face, and her aunt reads to her from "The Pillow Book", the diary of a 10th-century lady-in-waiting. Nagiko grows up, obsessed with books, papers, and writing on bodies, and her sexual odyssey (and the creation of her own Pillow Book) is a "parfait mélange" of classical Japanese, modern Chinese, and Western film images. Written by Michael C. Berch <mcb@postmodern.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

book | paper | paint | chinese | japan | See All (270) »

Taglines:

From the creator of The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover comes a sensuous tale of passion, obsession and revenge. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| | |

Release Date:

6 June 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Livro de Cabeceira  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$105,922 (USA) (6 June 1997)

Gross:

$2,293,037 (USA) (15 August 1997)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The keeping of pillow books to record poems, secrets, and encounters with lovers was a common practice of noble women in Heian Japan. Although its content is unrelated to the film, a famous example was written by Sei Shonagon at about the same time as Lady Murasaki's The Tale of Genji which has the honor of being the world's first novel. In fact, it has been said that Sei Shonogon and Lady Murasaki were rivals in the court of Heian. See more »

Goofs

Mike visible during wide shot when Nagiko kneels and Jerome signs his name on her back. 01:03:59 into the film on PAL DVDs. See more »

Quotes

Nagiko: You've been reading my diary?
The Husband: Isn't that why people keep diaries? To be read by someone else? Otherwise why keep them?
Nagiko: To know about themselves.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Deed Poll (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Suiren
Performed by Yasuaki Shimizu
Courtesy of Nippon Columbia Berlin
See more »

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User Reviews

Interesting, but too calculated to be truly erotic
17 November 2003 | by (Hong Kong) – See all my reviews

Like many of Peter Greenaway's movies, Pillow Book features extensive nudity. However, while the plot development is well worked out, the cast is competent, and Greenaway shows off a dazzling array of cinematic techniques, he always seems to approach his material too intellectually to really engage the viewer's emotions. I cannot know his intentions, but my impression is that he regards his scripts as more akin to a complex mathematical puzzle to be worked out than a story about real people with human feelings, leaving the movie worth watching but curiously cool and clinical rather than passionately erotic.


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