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Memories of Matsuko (2006)
"Kiraware Matsuko no isshô" (original title)

8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 3,832 users  
Reviews: 30 user | 33 critic

Shou's father Norio finds his son in a rather meaningless existence in Tokyo dominated by alcohol and porn videos. Having left home two years earlier to pursue life as a musician, Shou has ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Miki Nakatani ...
Matsuko Kawajiri
...
Shô Kawajiri
Yûsuke Iseya ...
Yôichi Ryû
Mikako Ichikawa ...
Kumi Kawajiri
Asuka Kurosawa ...
Megumi Sawamura
Gori ...
Shûji Ôkura
Shinji Takeda ...
Onodera
Yoshiyoshi Arakawa ...
Kenji Shimazu
Gekidan Hitori ...
Takeo Okano
Magy ...
Detective
Shôsuke Tanihara ...
Shunji Saeki
Takanori Takeyama ...
Vice-Principal
Masahiro Kômoto ...
Man with Stand on School Trip
Nagisa Katahira ...
Herself
Takuzô Kadono ...
Principal
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Storyline

Shou's father Norio finds his son in a rather meaningless existence in Tokyo dominated by alcohol and porn videos. Having left home two years earlier to pursue life as a musician, Shou has left his band and his girlfriend has left him. His father asks a favor, that Shou clean out the apartment of his aunt Matsuko, who he says led a meaningless life until her murder at the age of 53. The apartment is filled with garbage bags and is even more unkempt than his apartment has become, and he becomes intrigued with his aunt as details of her life are supplied by a tattooed neighbor and others. Her feelings of neglect by her father Tsunehiro, who favored her chronically ill younger sister, Kumi, translated into becoming a dutiful junior high school teacher devoted to her students until being forced to resign after being blamed for the theft of some money by one of them. Leaving her family due to the disgrace, she had a series of affairs with lovers who physically abused her and did a stint as... Written by Brian Greenhalgh

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prison | murder | theft | teacher | suicide | See All (44) »


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Details

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Release Date:

27 May 2006 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Conociendo a Matsuko  »

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Technical Specs

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(5.1 surround)

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1.85 : 1
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Connections

Version of Kiraware Matsuko no isshô (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Walking on Springtime
Written by Massimo Bergadano & Gabriele Roberto
Performed by Barbara Borra & Melody Chubak
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User Reviews

 
Sad and surreal
22 July 2007 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

This movie is unique and innovative. It is somewhat of fairytale like Cinderella and reminds me of Big Fish (2003), but is also very dark and depressive like say Requiem for a Dream (2000). It follows the hardship-laden life of Matsuko through the gradual discoveries of her nephew and the people he encounters.

It is extreme in content and in appearance, but touches very true and deep feelings & fears within all of us. It explores the meaning of life and asks very interesting questions. It does so while treating life's inevitable tragedies with humour and gaiety. The visual style and music are important elements of the movie as they share a positive-looking outlook of life even in the dimmest of circumstances.

The drama is centered around the dysfunctional family Matsuko was both the product of and the most disruptive element in its spiral towards destruction. Friendship, love and professional lives are also well explored, although as you can imagine, none of them in an ideal, truly rewarding way. The bleakness of the story and the brightness of the storytelling makes for a very interesting contrast. There are many beautiful shots (even if a bit CGI-heavy) and the inherent beauty of life is revealed through the crust of old, piled up garbage.

The storytelling is very fresh and even though it sags at some points as the film never seems to end, it does get its point across in a artsy and non-threatening way. I was so involved with the demanding story that I was literally shocked as I exited the dark theater to see other people lined up for the next movie at the FantAsia festival. After a viewing experience like this, I found myself surprised that there could be more movies after that or, possibly, that there may be anything after that! This is how profoundly I was affected. "Memories" is not a movie you just eat up and leave, you really need to settle and digest before you can truly understand and internalize.

A tough journey, a good message and possibly a lot of positive ramifications in art & life. Recommended.


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