6.7/10
12,182
99 user 54 critic

The Pillow Book (1996)

Not Rated | | Drama | 6 June 1997 (USA)
Trailer
1:38 | Trailer
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 & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

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
Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The magician Prospero attempts to stop his daughter's affair with an enemy.

Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: John Gielgud, Michael Clark, Michel Blanc
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Three generations of women all share the same problem: marriage woes, and they want to put an end to it.

Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: Bernard Hill, Joan Plowright, Juliet Stevenson
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A movie about the corruption in all levels of society. A baby is born from a supposed-to-be virgin woman, so a chain of hysteria about divine intervention in the birth takes place.

Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: Julia Ormond, Ralph Fiennes, Philip Stone
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Twin zoologists lose their wives in a car accident and become obsessed with decomposing animals.

Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: Brian Deacon, Eric Deacon, Andréa Ferréol
8 ½ Women (1999)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Following the death of a mother, a father and son open up a brothel in their Genevan estate after watching (1963).

Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: John Standing, Matthew Delamere, Vivian Wu
Comedy | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A young artist is commissioned by the wife of a wealthy landowner to make a series of drawings of the estate while her husband is away.

Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: Anthony Higgins, Janet Suzman, Anne-Louise Lambert
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An architect supervising an exhibition starts to have mysterious stomach pains while his life slowly falls apart.

Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: Brian Dennehy, Chloe Webb, Lambert Wilson
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The wife of an abusive criminal finds solace in the arms of a kind regular guest in her husband's restaurant.

Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: Richard Bohringer, Michael Gambon, Helen Mirren
Nightwatching (2007)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An extravagant, exotic and moving look at Rembrandt's romantic and professional life, and the controversy he created by the identification of a murderer in the painting 'The Night Watch'.

Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: Martin Freeman, Emily Holmes, Eva Birthistle
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

The venerated filmmaker Eisenstein is comparable in talent, insight and wisdom, with the likes of Shakespeare or Beethoven; there are few - if any - directors who can be elevated to such ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: Elmer Bäck, Luis Alberti, Maya Zapata
The Falls (1980)
Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

92 BBC documentary-style shorts that record the lives of 92 victims of the VUE (Violent Unexplained Event), each with last names beginning with "Fall."

Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: Peter Westley, Aad Wirtz, Michael Murray
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Tulse Luper is swept into the ill-fortuned tides of the 20th century and forced to spend his life in a succession of imprisonments.

Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: Raymond J. Barry, Noraly Beyer, Stephen Billington
Edit

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:

Things that make the heart beat faster. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Ewan McGregor was uncomfortable about his parents watching the film, as he spends much of it being in the nude. His father took it well, and after seeing the film, responded to his son, via fax: "I'm glad you inherited one of my greatest attributes." 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: Where is a book before it is born? Who are a book's parents? Does a book need two parents - a mother and a father? Can a book be born inside another book? Where is the parent book of books? How old does a book have to be before it can give birth?
See more »


Soundtracks

Sinfonia Concertante in A Fur Violine, Viola, Violoncello und Orchester
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, reconstructor Shigeaki Saegusa
Performed by Mozarteumorchester Salzburg (as Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg) and conductor Hans Graf (as Hans Guraf)
Courtesy of May Music, Japan
See more »

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.


23 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 99 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Release Date:

6 June 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Pillow Book See more »

Filming Locations:

Japan See more »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$2,372,744

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,372,744
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby SR

Color:

Color (Color)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Your Next Binge Watch Awaits

Looking for something to watch? Check out IMDb's "What to Watch" series to find out what's really worth watching.



Recently Viewed