Hero show (ヒーローThe Hero Show)

The Ear Cleaner (Mimi wo kaku onna,耳をかく女)

The Ear Cleaner (Mimi wo kaku onna,耳をかく女)

[ Directed by ]
[ Produced by ]
[ Cast ]
* NAKATA Akira KAWAMURA Yoshinobu
[ Staff ]
* Screenplay: HORIUCHI Hiroshi
* Editor: HORIUCHI Hiroshi
* Cinematography: SANBONGI Hisaki
* Sound Recording: UEDA Nakaba
* Music: Satomimagae
[ Production Company ]
[ Distributor (Japan) ]

Release Date: November 24, 2012
Running Time: 107 min
Genre: Drama, Feature
Color: Color
Screening Format: Blu-ray
Screen Size: HD (16:9)
[ Story ]
A drama that presents a lively depiction of a woman plagued with unexplainable hearing problems who begins to look at herself in a new light when she starts working at an ear-cleaning parlor. Using ears as a motif, director Horiuchi Hiroshi delicately evokes emotional changes within young people.
As the result of a disaster, Ena (Sakuragi Rina) ends up breaking up with her lover and even suffers the cancelation of a promise of work. As she begins to be troubled from ongoing hearing loss of unknown cause, she finds a job at an ear-cleaning parlor through an old friend. Then one day Ena is reunited with Yoshinobu (Nakata Akira), who is drawn to her beautiful ears.
[ Official Site ]

Ena (Sakuragi Rina) is devastated by the earthquake on March 11. In addition, the boy who slept with her disappears in time of need. Double shock causes her to lose hearing from one ear. He starts to look for a job but between lack of existential planning and physical handicap she can not find anything. During an interview at a company, Yoshinobu (Nakata Akira), a guy who works there, is struck by the beauty of his ear. Ena develops her depressive drift by not caring for herself or her home. Until one day she meets a friend by chance who offers her a job unknown to her by cleaning ears. Contrary to what one might think, it is not a question of sexual performance, but consists more of a listening practice by the client and relaxation by the client. Timidly accepting and soon discovers that she is very good in this practice because of her shyness and kindness that put customers at ease. Meanwhile, Yoshinobu receives a phone call from his mother’s companion, who ran away from home when he was very young, informing him that his mother is dying. Yoshinobu refuses to meet her and wanders around the city. He casually meets Ena, follows him to work, gets his ears cleaned by her and then wipes his ears to her. It’s the beginning of an unexpected story.
The ear cleaner, whose cleansing in Japan is actually more heard than by us and has a whole series of dedicated equipment is the underlying reason for this curious and intriguing film. The ear is what changes the life of Ena, in negative, it is what attracts Yoshinobu (we will discover that the ear of Ena reminds him of his mother, which he caressed when he was small) and yet it is what will change, this time positively, the life of Ena, first with the work and then with the meeting with Yoshinobu.
Between medical visits and relaxing massages to satisfied customers who ask for “extension”, the extension of the massage, the ear, indirectly reminds us of Ena, is one of the barycenters of our psychosomatic life. In fact, customers feel pampered, titillated, can confess, in short, they find cheaply what the mother can no longer give them and that his wife may not want to give.
It is this centrality that Horiuchi skillfully manages to transform into a suffused sensuality that underlies the whole film, including the parts not concerning the ear but in which the main character dresses or wears, without ever expiring in as easy as useless erotic scenes. On the other hand, it is the director himself who tells us through the fake interviews with the women who work in the massage parlor that in reality even the ear massage has become part of the vast and complex Japanese sex industry and that main customers are “men who have the mother complex”, in short, mammons.
It’s curious. So it was for the remarkable Yuriko no aroma and so is also for this film.
Sakuragi Rina is convincing in her naturally mixing shyness and sensuality. Horiuchi Hiroshi is a director still in the first steps but certainly to follow.
[Katsuyuki Nakanishi]

Katsuyuki Nakanishi
Born on 1984 in Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture. Graduated in Vantan Film and Movie Institute major in film director. The fourth graduate of JSC Cinematographers assistant upbringing cramming school. While he was studying in Tokyo, he was also working with Director Shinya Tsukamoto's movie at the same time. After that, he became part of the lighting department of Toei Studios Kyoto, studied under Kiyoto Ando and Takashi Sugimoto. In these movies, he worked as an assistant lighting director with Takashi Sugimoto in "Chacha - Tengai no Onna"(2007) and Kiyoto Ando in "The Fallen Angel"(2010). He work as a freelancer since 2011 and became part of these latest movies as a lighting director of Director Yang Ik-June's ”Shibata and Nagao"(2012), Director Keisuke Yoshida’s ”Himeanile”(2016), Director Kohki Yoshida’s ”ThreeLights"(2017), Director Hiroshi Ando’s ”Moon and Thunder" (2017) and Director Shinya Tsukamoto’s ”Killing” (2018).

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