A cautionary tale. A monk's acolyte follows his master back to the master's garden, where branches of beautiful blossoms grow. A sign forbids the breaking of the branches. The master leaves...
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A cautionary tale. A monk's acolyte follows his master back to the master's garden, where branches of beautiful blossoms grow. A sign forbids the breaking of the branches. The master leaves, the acolyte chants, but soon falls asleep. Two men approach the gate into the master's garden. They knock. The acolyte awakes, peeks through the gate, and decides not to let them in. One of the two men uncorks a canteen of sake and pours some out into a flat bowl. The acolyte smells the sake. Is this a ploy? What do the strangers want? Written by
More enjoyable than most of the other Kihachiro Kawamoto shorts I have seen
I think it's hard for Westerners to rate this film as well as the rest of Kawamoto's films. That's because they are generally based very heavily upon traditional Japanese stories and Shinto ideas that simply are tough to comprehend for outsiders. While I have watched more Japanese films that 99.9% of the Westerners out there, I still felt very much like a confused outsider watching these shorts. Because of this, I often could enjoy the beautiful artistry of the films but the stories often left me flat.
Compared to the other six shorts on the DVD of Kawamoto shorts that I watched tonight, this was probably the most enjoyable--which is interesting since it is his first. While his artistic skills did improve some in later films, the humorous style of HANAORI engaged me more than his other tales.
A young monk is asked by his master to stand guard over a sacred tree to make certain that no one cuts any of its branches. Why it would be necessary to do this is beyond me, as the tree already has a sign on it saying not to cut it. Regardless, the young man initially tries very hard, but in some funny scenes involving his love of sake, he is ultimately faithless to his master. Nothing all that profound, but I loved how Kawamoto portrayed the young man's love of liquor--seeing his beeping and dancing nose was a treat and the film was indeed lovely to see with its use of stop-motion figures transposed with traditional Japanese paintings.
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