Based on a centuries-old traditional Japanese fairy tale, a country couple finds a baby girl in some bamboo and raises her as their own daughter. Not the same as the original tale, though, ... See full summary »
Ichikawa's cameras follow the 1964 Summer Olympics from opening to closing ceremonies. Sometimes he focuses on spectators, as athletes pass in a blur; sometimes he isolates a competitor; ... See full summary »
This extraordinarily complex film is not only a send-up of every samurai film ever made, it is also an extrapolation of the value of life. The Yamatai, represented by Prince Susano-O and ... See full summary »
You can't fault the acting talent, and certainly not helmsmanship of veteran director Kon Ichikawa - his final film in a strong output. But this whodunit, which concentrates on family fortune and revenge, is also a surprisingly awkward film, lacking the finesse of even a modest work like, say, the engaging DORA HEITA. The timing and editing seems slightly (and sometimes not so slightly) off, with sequences framed in a way that defeats the film's subtly comic edge.
The acting talent is, overall, quite strong, highlighted by the lovely Nanako Matsushima (THE RING, GTO) and commanding Sumiko Fuji (of the celebrated Peony Gambler series). And once the film gets going, the mystery becomes more perplexing and comes into its own. But it's certainly not one of Ichikawa's more assured works.
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