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Uzumasa Limelight (2014)

Uzumasa raimuraito (original title)
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The film centers an aged movie extra who specializes to be killed in samurai movies without ever being lit by the limelight. Using Charlie Chaplin's film Limelight as an underlying theme, ... See full summary »

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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Seiichi
Chihiro Yamamoto ...
Satsuki iga
Masashi Goda ...
Akihiko kawashima
Hirotarô Honda ...
Kenichi naganuma
Hisako Manda ...
Mitsuru tamura
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hana Ebise
Hidekazu Ichinose
Honoka Ishibashi
Chinu Izumi
Anna Kawashima ...
Ayuna
Tôru Kazama
Toshihiko Kido
Michihiro Kinoshita
Nenji Kobayashi
Masahiro Kobori
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Storyline

The film centers an aged movie extra who specializes to be killed in samurai movies without ever being lit by the limelight. Using Charlie Chaplin's film Limelight as an underlying theme, the admirable story of Seiichi Kamiyama dealing with a new generation and fading craftsmanship is told with melancholy and soul. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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Your courage will not go unnoticed See more »

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Action | Drama

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Release Date:

12 July 2014 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Uzumasa Limelight  »

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User Reviews

 
A must for fans of Chaplin or samurai films...or both!
24 January 2016 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

A few months ago, I saw a short film that simply amazed me and was the standout film for me at the Orlando Film Festival. "Sumo Road: The Musical" was not only a very funny film that made folks laugh out loud the theater, but was incredibly creative. I can truly say that I've never seen another film like it.

It turns out that the same man who wrote and directed this brilliant short, Ken Ochiai, has recently begun making feature films as well...and his "Ozumasa Limelight" is a delight for anyone who loves samurai films or is a fan of Chaplin! Yes, I know that is a very strange combination so I'll need to digress just a bit.

In 1952, Charlie Chaplin came out with one of his greatest and most personal films, "Limelight". However, while I would rank this among the greatest films of the 1950s, audiences were left cold by the film...mostly because being a Chaplin everyone expected it to be a comedy. Instead, it's a bittersweet little drama about an aging and rather sad vaudevillian who has seen better days. He befriends a young woman who ultimately becomes a big star and, because of her gratitude, she helps her beloved mentor to have one last shining moment in the sun.

Ochiai's film is a homage to Chaplin's film. While there are many similarities and parallels between the two movies, "Ozumasa Limelight" is still its own film and offers an equally satisfying viewing experience. He chose the title "Ozumasa" Limelight because Ozumasa is a suburb of Kyoto that is a bit like Japan's Hollywood and many wonderful old samurai epics were filmed there...and I have seen and adored hundreds of these films. Because of this, I would love to one day visit Ozumasa...and am very jealous of my daughter because she spent time at the studio a few months ago...but that's another story.

Seiichi Kamiyama (wonderfully played by Seizô Fukumoto) is an artist, of sorts. He's created a real niche for himself in Japanese films and televisions. But he's not a star...in fact he's a guy many might never even notice. He plays villains in Japanese samurai productions and has had a steady job playing these sorts of parts for a television show for decades...sort of a sword and samurai version of "Gunsmoke". However, the series is being canceled and the directors and producers want new blood for their projects...and a 70 year-old actor who specializes in dying dramatically and artistically on camera just doesn't seem to be needed any more.

Fortunately for Seiichi, he is able to find a sense of purpose when he meets a young actress. She is going to be an extra in a new type of samurai television show but she has no idea how to make her scenes look realistic. Seiichi is a very kind man and offers to coach her and eventually her skills are noticed. In fact, she is able to quickly move from a stunt double to a star...thanks to Seiichi's coaching. Fortunately, she is the grateful sort and insists that Seiichi come out of retirement for one final last hurrah.

So why did I love this film so much? I think it was because of the director more than anything else. While Fukumoto was wonderful playing Seiichi and Hiroyuki Ono wrote a wonderful script, "Ozumasa Limelight" wouldn't have worked as well had just any director made the film. Ochiai injects a wonderful sense of nostalgia and love for the main character and the film looks more like a piece of art that slowly is unveiled to the viewer. It is slow...but in a very satisfying and deliberate manner. After all, considering Chaplin himself directed "Limelight", Ochiai had big shoes to fill. He did himself proud with this Japanese film, that's for sure.


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