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Atama-yama (2002)

Not Rated | | Animation, Comedy, Fantasy | January 2004 (USA)
A sad rakugo of a stingy old man experiencing the unforeseen consequences of eating a few cherries whole, without throwing the pits away.

Director:

Koji Yamamura

Writer:

Shôji Yonemura (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Takeharu Kunimoto Takeharu Kunimoto ... Narrator (voice)
Bruno Metzger Bruno Metzger ... (voice)
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Storyline

Accompanied by a shamisen, a masterful storyteller verses his lyric and sad rakugo (a traditional form of Japanese verbal entertainment) of a stingy old man living in a squalid tiny apartment in Tokyo, who after scavenging a few cherries from the pavement, he eats them whole for fear of wasting the pits. Before long, a minuscule cherry tree sprouts unexpectedly atop his bulging head, and when all efforts to get rid of it are proven futile, he allows it to grow into a magnificent tree where people gather for hanami under its cherry blossoms. And then, when the hordes of men start being annoying, the desperate man takes a decision that will follow him for the rest of his life. Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Yamamura Animation

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

January 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mountain Head See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Yamamura Animation See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Ontario) |

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in The Animation Show (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Quite non-conventional
5 February 2010 | by radonnerSee all my reviews

This film is a little difficult to digest, much like the cherry pits consumed by the main character. I personally quite enjoy Japanese film, though as another commenter posted earlier, it can sometimes take some acclimation. And even I found this a little weird, though only for the story content itself.

The animation is quite striking and well done, and I disagree with some comments that objected to the singsong style of the narrator throughout the story; for myself, the Japanese language lends itself well to this type of iteration (if you've been to Tokyo, think of the "Irasshimase!" that greets you when you enter a shop) and I thought it added to the authenticity of the story.

The film probably comes across as weird and bizarre to some people, and for good reason: it is indeed a bit off kilter. But I don't think that's any reason to dismiss it. There is some clear talent here, and some very nice storytelling - and the ending had me laugh out loud, proving once again that comedy is 70% delivery.


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