A woman with a body writing fetish seeks to find a combined lover and calligrapher.

Director:

Peter Greenaway

Writers:

Sei Shonagon (book), Peter Greenaway
5 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vivian Wu ... Nagiko
Yoshi Oida ... The Publisher
Ken Ogata ... The Father
Hideko Yoshida Hideko Yoshida ... The Aunt / The Maid
Ewan McGregor ... Jerome
Judy Ongg Judy Ongg ... The Mother
Ken Mitsuishi Ken Mitsuishi ... The Husband
Yutaka Honda Yutaka Honda ... Hoki
Barbara Lott Barbara Lott ... Jerome's Mother
Miwako Kawai Miwako Kawai ... Young Nagiko
Lynne Langdon ... Jerome's sister (as Lynne Frances Wachendorfer)
Chizuru Ohnishi Chizuru Ohnishi ... Young Nagiko
Shiho Takamatsu Shiho Takamatsu ... Young Nagiko
Aki Ishimaru Aki Ishimaru ... Young Nagiko
Hisashi Hidaka Hisashi Hidaka ... Calligrapher
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Storyline

As a young girl in Japan, Nagiko's father paints characters on her face, and her aunt reads to her from "The Pillow Book", the diary of a 10th-century lady-in-waiting. Nagiko grows up, obsessed with books, papers, and writing on bodies, and her sexual odyssey (and the creation of her own Pillow Book) is a "parfait mélange" of classical Japanese, modern Chinese, and Western film images. Written by Michael C. Berch <mcb@postmodern.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

From the creator of The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover comes a sensuous tale of passion, obsession and revenge. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The keeping of pillow books to record poems, secrets, and encounters with lovers was a common practice of noble women in Heian Japan. Although its content is unrelated to the film, a famous example was written by Sei Shonagon at about the same time as Lady Murasaki's The Tale of Genji which has the honor of being the world's first novel. In fact, it has been said that Sei Shonogon and Lady Murasaki were rivals in the court of Heian. See more »

Goofs

Mike visible during wide shot when Nagiko kneels and Jerome signs his name on her back. 01:03:59 into the film on PAL DVDs. See more »

Quotes

Nagiko: If writings did not exist, what terrible depressions we should suffer.
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Connections

Referenced in Deed Poll (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Teki Wa Ikuman
Performed by Ichjiro Wakahar
Courtesy of King Records
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User Reviews

Interesting, but too calculated to be truly erotic
17 November 2003 | by Private_BeachSee all my reviews

Like many of Peter Greenaway's movies, Pillow Book features extensive nudity. However, while the plot development is well worked out, the cast is competent, and Greenaway shows off a dazzling array of cinematic techniques, he always seems to approach his material too intellectually to really engage the viewer's emotions. I cannot know his intentions, but my impression is that he regards his scripts as more akin to a complex mathematical puzzle to be worked out than a story about real people with human feelings, leaving the movie worth watching but curiously cool and clinical rather than passionately erotic.


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Details

Release Date:

6 June 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Pillow Book See more »

Filming Locations:

Japan See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$2,372,744

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,372,744
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby SR

Color:

Color (Color)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See full technical specs »

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