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To Sleep So as to Dream (1986)

Yumemiru yôni nemuritai (original title)
An aging silent film actress hires a private eye and his wacky but helpful assistant to track down her missing daughter, Bellflower. The two follow a succession of bizarre, obscure clues, ... See full summary »


Kaizô Hayashi


Kaizô Hayashi
4 wins. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Morio Agata Morio Agata ... Magician
Kenji Endo Kenji Endo ... (as Kenji Endô)
Fujiko Fukamizu Fujiko Fukamizu ... Madame Cherryblossom
Baiken Jukkanji Baiken Jukkanji
Moe Kamura Moe Kamura ... Bellflower
Kyôko Kusajima ... Old lady in the comb shop
Shunsui Matsuda Shunsui Matsuda ... Akagaki, the benshi
Tatsuo Nakamoto Tatsuo Nakamoto ... White mask
Tsuneo Nakamoto Tsuneo Nakamoto ... White mask
Koji Otake Koji Otake ... Kobayashi
Kazunari Ozasa Kazunari Ozasa ... Magician
Shirô Sano ... Uotsuka
Yoshio Yoshida ... Matsunosuke, the director
Akira Ôizumi Akira Ôizumi ... Magician


An aging silent film actress hires a private eye and his wacky but helpful assistant to track down her missing daughter, Bellflower. The two follow a succession of bizarre, obscure clues, until they track down the location of the kidnappers and the daughter. Written by Mark Toscano <fiddybop@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis









Release Date:

28 September 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

To Sleep So as to Dream See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Eizo Tanteisha See more »
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Technical Specs


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User Reviews

Simply Magical
28 July 2006 | by squidonastickSee all my reviews

This is the most impossibly beautiful film I've ever seen, a mediation on loss, longing, beauty and time. Using old film techniques, humor, Dadaism, and glorious black and white cinematography, it is also a fanciful homage to early silent cinema in Japan. Especially the Benshi, the silent film narrators. This was a tradition in Russia and Poland as well, a narrator or actor would read the inter-titles of a silent film, adding commentary and at times their own political bent to a feature. This was popular throughout silent cinema's reign, and particularly relevant in industrial or agrarian communities with lower literacy rates. Shunsui Matsuda, a Benshi who traveled throughout coal mining regions of post-war Japan where shortages made re-runs of silent films popular entertainment, appears in Hayashi's film. (Mr. Matsuda is also to be lauded for his work preserving old films, many prints he acquired by searching in thrift shops and restoring them. His excellent book, "The Benshi: Japanese Silent Film Narrators", details both his work and the Benshi tradition.) In many ways comparable to Mohsen Makhmalbaf's "Once Upon a Time Cinema", though without the political commentary, Hayashi's work creates a complete magical world combining both the past and the present. Now if only I could get a copy on DVD.

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