[ Directed by ]
[ Produced by ]
• ISHIZUKA Yoshitaka
• ARAGAKI Hirotaka
[ Cast ]
• KASE Ryo KINOSHITA Keisuke (Shokichi)
• TANAKA Yuko KINOSHITA Tama
• HAMADA Gaku Handy Man
[ Staff ]
• Screenplay: HARA Keiichi
• Cinematography: IKEUCHI Yoshihiro
• Sound Recording: SUZUKI Hajime
• Editor: TACHIBANA Yoji
• Music: FUUKI Harumi
[ Production Company ]
“Dawn of a Filmmaker” Partners
[ Distributor (Japan) ]
Release Date: June 1, 2013
Running Time: 96 min
Genre: Drama, Historical, Feature
Screening Format: DCP
Subtitle: English, DCP, HDCAM
[ Story ]
Live action debut from Hara Keiichi, known for films including Colorful, which won the Audience Award and Special Distinction prize at the 51st Annecy International Animated Film Festival. Produced to commemorate the centennial of the birth of Kinoshita Keisuke, a craftsman from Kurosawa Akira’s era.
Director Kinoshita Keisuke (Kase Ryo) in 1944, stripped of the opportunity to make films because of his conflicts with militarism. His disappointment is eased by the presence of his beloved mother Tama (Tanaka Yuko). Soon the war takes a turn for the worse, and Keisuke takes his bedridden mother to safety.
[ Official Site ]
[ Film Festivals, Awards ]
• 2013 Busan International Film Festival, A Window on Asian Cinema
• 2013 Film Fest Gent, Artists on Film
• 2013 Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival, Life and Legend
For the Western public, classical Japanese cinema usually consists in descending order of knowledge by Kurosawa, Mizoguchi, Ozu and Naruse. It remains virtually unknown to most Kinoshita Keisuke. And it’s a shame because Kinoshita has contributed more than others to the construction of Japanese cinema of the ’50s and’ 60s, with films often full of original ideas, sometimes on the stylistic level and on the narrative. Other’s on that of the emotional involvement. Among his most famous titles are Nihon no higeki (Tragedy of Japan, 1953), Nijūshi no hitomi (Twenty-Four Eyes, 1954) and Nogiku no gotoki kimi nariki (You Were Like a Wild Chrysanthemum, 1955). But most of the forty films he has made in his career are still of interest today.
The film by Hara Keiichi, author of various souls, including the well known Kappa no Kū to natsuyasumi (Summer Days with Coo, 2007) and some features from the famous Crayon Shinchan manga series and especially the recent Sarusuberi (Miss Hokusai, 2015 ) it is not a biography of Kinoshita. Instead, it is the narration of an episode of Kinoshita’s youth interspersed with some parts of his films.
The episode in question stems from the rejection of a film project by the censorship of the military government with all its absurdities on this aspect, the film Warai no daigaku (University of Laughs, by Hoshi Mamoru, 2004) is masterly. Kinoshita refuses to be as accomondant as the producer would like and in the throes of anger and decides to abandon his work as a director. He returns home and finds himself in the midst of the upheavals of the war with the Americans about to bomb the major Japanese cities. Kinoshita’s family must leave the house and the store painstakingly built over the years and move to the country but the mother, played by an always touching Tanaka Yūko is very sick and can not move. Kinoshita convinces her brother to carry his mother with a cart pulled by themselves. Helped by a friendly porter, the ever perky Hamada Gaku and at the end of their strength in their enterprise was succeed. During the march and especially in the country house reached with difficulty. Kinoshita, pushed also by her mother to reconsiders her decision and meditates the return behind the camera. The Decision on this which will be confirmed to the viewer by a series of sequences of his most famous films.
The slight of the story has its own delicacy and congruence. The result is a portrait of the young Kinoshita who is very close to her mother and an interpreter of one of the cornerstones of traditional Japanese culture, that is filial love and deep respect for parents in the wider context of the centrality of the family.
Perhaps in our eyes all this may seem a bit overwhelming and excessive, but despite the violent transformations of society and the family from the post-war period until today, it remains rooted in the mentality of the Japanese people. Other elements of the life of Kinoshita are not touched that could have constituted interesting cinematographic material from the initial opposition of the family towards the work of director to his suffered lack of university studies, up to his note, creative homosexuality.
Nevertheless, the film manages to convey a sense of positive lightness and almost nostalgia for shreds of atmosphere of the era in which the first films of Kinoshita were born.
Kase Ryō is diligent in the part of Kinoshita, while the fleeting cameo of Miyazaki Aoi is a real luxury as a elementary school teacher who transits in the distance followed by his class.