6.7/10
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96 user 52 critic

The Pillow Book (1996)

Not Rated | | Drama | 6 June 1997 (USA)
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A woman with a body writing fetish seeks to find a combined lover and calligrapher.

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(book), | 1 more credit »
5 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

Things that make the heart beat faster. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| | |

Release Date:

6 June 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Livro de Cabeceira  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$105,922, 8 June 1997, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,293,037, 17 August 1997
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Similarly, the nominally French lyrics (and subtitles) of the lovers' theme ("Parfait Mélange") are actually somewhat "fractured French". 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 »

Connections

Referenced in Peter Greenaway in Indianapolis (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Manzairaku
Court music of Japan
Performed by Tokyo Gasuko
Courtesy of Victor Entertainment
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User Reviews

Interesting, but too calculated to be truly erotic
17 November 2003 | by See 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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