What a great perception of some fundamental life values set in a simple but both entertaining and touching story from the ever bright minded living Japanese legend at his 95
I am so pleased to have had the opportunity and in a way the honour to watch this brilliant new film from the great Kaneto Shindo (on the occasion of the Moscow International Film Festival 2008 where this great film sadly did not participate in the competition). I am really amazed how a man at his 95 stays so bright minded as to shoot an interesting film both serious and funny, so reflective of the story of a whole nation and at the same time immersed in its own little private world of full-of-life characters. Great acting, wonderful light classical music from the screen's veteran Hikaru Hayashi reminiscent of his 1960 masterpiece for Shindo's pearl Hadaka No Shima (Naked Island), very good camera work for a plain story film. And of course the ever credible and witty depiction of the simple man's deeds and designation in life. Truly Shindo after so many years. I deliberately will not talk of the plot of the film because Shindo has simply done it again. He has created a new story with a character so peculiar to his own wonderful way of telling a fable that it really does not matter what the film is about. It is simply interesting and has enough to say as did the very different Onibaba (1964). Frankly for me this work surpassed Shindo's previous film Fukuro (2003) though the latter was so original and different that the two are as diverse as they are good on their own. I am so full of hopes for Shindo's well-being both in personal life and career. I would love to live on and see this man produce another work of a great craftsman of his guild. I would not be surprised if this film become award winning at least in Japan. I would certainly give it an award for the plain humanism which Shindo has often credibly taught us and continues to do so. Long live the Man!
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