The murder of Emili, a young girl, leaves the inhabitants of a small Japanese village in shock. The body of Emily is found by the four classmates with whom she was playing. The murder is ... See full summary »
Two young guys work in a plant that manufactures oshibori (those moist hand-towels found in some Japanese restaurants). Their weird bond is based on uncontrollable rage--something neither ... See full summary »
A psychic housewife and her husband become burdened with a kidnapped girl who escaped her assailant. Junko will not let her husband call the hospital or the police for purely selfish ... See full summary »
A detective investigates a series of murders. A possible serial killer might be on a rampage, since they all are in the same vicinity and by the same method, but as the evidence points ... See full summary »
Koichi (Sato) and Atsumi (Ayase) are childhood friends who have become lovers. Despite this closeness when Atsumi attempts suicide Koichi is at a loss to understand the circumstances that ... See full synopsis »
Suffering from writer's block and some curious ailments, Reiko (Nakatani Miki) moves to a countryside villa at her editor's (Nishijima Hidetoshi) beckoning to quietly work on her next novel... See full synopsis »
The murder of Emili, a young girl, leaves the inhabitants of a small Japanese village in shock. The body of Emily is found by the four classmates with whom she was playing. The murder is never solved. Emili's mother Asako (Kyoko Koizumi) is torn by grief and puts a curse on the four girls when they claim that they don't remember the killer's face. Each of the girls, in their own way, will do their penance for their silence. Deeply struck by the words of Asako and burdened with her curse, the four girls are forced into adulthood which eventually triggers a tragic chain of events. Written by
"Shokuzai", in my opinion, deserves 8/10, as a TV series, but if we consider these episodes as separated units, because they are more or less accomplished little films, I'll give them lower values. I think, besides first episode titled "French Doll" anyone else of next four episodes wouldn't be Kiyoshi Kurosawa's favorite for individual distribution as a movie. Simply, with this TV series Kiyoshi didn't achieve quality of his previous TV projects - "Seance" and "House of Bugs".
Don't get me wrong. This Kiyoshi's work also is, without any doubts, surgically precisely shot and directed, well-written and well-acted, but he didn't build up it's own reality, virtual reality, which every artwork have to contain in order to persuade the audience, that this screen's reality is more "reliable" than real world. Artistic reality doesn't imply mere reflection of our everyday lives, which is, sometimes, exciting and upsetting, but otherwise prosaic. In fact, it implies surrealism, vividness, using symbols, metaphors, allegory, phantasmagory, everything we could have found in the best Kiyoshi's movies, such as "Pulse", "Charisma", "Loft", "Cure", "Bright Future" etc.
K.Kurosawa is one of my favorite directors, therefore my expectations were too high, although this project obviously wasn't conceived as an artwork but mass consumption TV product. In the end, I hope that his next projects will be made for theatre, not for TV.
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