, whose films depicted the absurdity and vulnerability of everyday life in conformist Japan, has died," reports Yuri Kagayama for the AP. "He was 61." His breakthrough came with The Family Game (1983), winner of five Kinema Junpo Awards — Best Film, Director, Screenplay, Actor (Yusaku Matsuda) and Supporting Actor (Jûzô Itami
) — in which Matsuda plays "an offbeat tutor who forms a heartwarming relationship with a young man in a stereotypical middle-class family."
"Though even its most perceptive commentators reduce Kazoku geimu (Family Game) to a critique of 'affluent, middle-class nuclear family life in the city and nose-to-the-grindstone education systems' [Keiko McDonald in 1989], Morita's most widely known film is before all else hilarious," wrote Bob Davis
in Senses of Cinema in 2006. "Its laughs derive from inappropriate and idiosyncratic behavior, unseemly frankness, slapstick antics, gross-out tactics, repetitions, exaggerations, explosive contrasts, and unnatural pacing." In Davis's "brazen 'ranking' of Morita's films, Family Game, Deaths in Tokimeki, Sorekara
[And Then], Keiho