A magnificent digital remaster of a Heian scroll. With the same clarity from its premiere at the Venice Film Festival
|Cast||Hashizo Okawa, Michiko Saga|
In the reign of the Emperor Suzaku (930-946 A.D.), various mishaps happen after a strange white rainbow in appearance in the sky over Kyoto. The Emperor orders a famous astronomer, Yasunori, to consult a certain Chinese book of secrets to calm the fear of the people.Yasunori has two disciples, Yasuna and Doman. But he desires that Yasuna succeeds him because Doman is interested only in power. Assisted by Yasunori’s wife, Doman sends his follower, Akuemon, to kill Yasunori. Doman also steals the secret book and puts the blame on Yasuna and his sweetheart, Sakaki, Yasunori’s adopted daughter. Sakaki commits suicide and Yasuna kills Yasunori’s wife in his rage. He retrieves the secret book and sets out on a journey without destination. He meets her younger sister, Kuzunoha, with whom he falls in love at Sakaki’s home town. Lord Iwakura, Yasunori’s brother-in-low, advices the Court that the Crown Prince has no child, so it causes the confusion of society. Akuemon is summoned to catch a white female fox which is to be used for charming away the curse on the Prince. Akuemon fails to find a white female fox, but meets Yasuna who has protected the foxes. Akuemon beats Yasuna and takes Kuzunoha with him. But Yasuna is rescued by a white fox. The white fox asks his daughter to transform herself in the shape of Kuzunoha to live togeher with him. After that, they have a baby. When Kuzunoha escapes fromAkuemon and comes to Yasuna, the female fox in the shape of Kuzunoha disappears leaving a poem (tanka) beside her sleeping baby.
The realistic depiction of relationships within the court, a love scene of masks and dances, animations; the revival of a classical Heian period drama. Discover the composed world of Tomu Uchida balancing reality and style through digitally remastered visuals.
Born in 1898. Beginning with Thomas Kurihara's silent film that aimed to put a stop to films that casted onnagata (men acting women), Uchida gained recognition as director through his fresh comedy and action films in Makino and Nikkatsu, to be regularly listed best ten in Kinema Junpo by the late 1930's with "Theatre of Life" (1936), "Unending Advance" (1937), and "Earth" (1939). He worked with the Manchukuo Film Association during World War II, and was then held prisoner for seven years in China before returning to Japan. Gaining the aid of same-aged Kenji Mizoguchi and Daisuke Ito, he restarts production post-war with "A Bloody Spear at Mt. Fuji" (1955), exploring storytelling and characterisation in period films through the trilogy "Daibosatsu Pass" (1957-1959) and pentalogy "Miyamoto Musashi" (1961-65), and "Tale of a Mystical Sword" (1960) and "The Mad Fox" (1962) that borrow from classics. The modern suspense film "Straits of Hunger" (1965) shows a more social approach. His filmography is rich in variety with the topics he covers, from ethnic conflict to economy, and his talent in characterisation and depicting shadows. Even being praised as a master, his unchanging attitude, cherishing curiosity and challenging new techniques and methods, has inspired many colleagues.