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2009年6月 9日 (火)

8pm Sat August 8 Japanese Film Festival - 日本映画祭 上映作品

2009年8月7日から11日まで バギオで開催される 「日本映画祭」での上映作品の御案内です。 このイベントは マニラの国際交流基金が、バギオ・センター・モール・シネマ、バギオ100年祭委員会、及び 北ルソン日本人会(JANL)の協力を得て開催するものです。

Japanese Film Festival will be  held at Baguio Center Mall Cinema during August 7 to 11, 2009, to celebrtate Baguio Centennial   This event is done by Japan Foundation Manila, in cooperation with Baguio Center Mall Cinema,  Baguio Centennial Commission and Japanese Association in Northern Luzon, Inc.(JANL)..

The below movie will be shown at 

8:00pm, Saturday, August 8 and  8:00pm Tuesday, August 11..

Memories of Matsuko
Kiraware Matsuko no issho (
嫌われ松子の一生
)

Photo_4 

Color / Vista / 2006 / 130 min / Amuse Soft Entertainment, TBS, S-D-P, Gentosha, Toho, Hakuhodo DY Media Partners, Tokyo FM, Parco, Hori Productions, Warner Music Japan, Suplex

Director: Nakashima Tetsuya
Script: Nakashima Tetsuya
Based on the novel by: Yamada Muneki
Cinematography: Ato Shoichi
Art Direction: Kuwajima Towako
Music: Gabriele Roberto
Shibuya Takeshi

Executive Producers: Miyashita Masayuki
Kondo Kunikatsu
Hosono Yoshio
Kenjo Toru
Shimatani Yoshishige
Mase Yasuhiro
Kodama Keita
Producers: Ishida Yuji
Satani Hidemi

Cast:
Kawajiri Matsuko: Nakatani Miki
Kawajiri Sho, Matsuko’s nephew: Eita
Ryu Yoichi: Iseya Yusuke
Kawajiri Tsunehiro, Matsuko’s father: Emoto Akira
Kawajiri Norio, Matsuko’s brother: Kagawa Teruyuki
Kawajiri Kumi, Matsuko’s sister: Ichikawa Mikako
Sawamura Megumi: Kurosawa Asuka
Asuka, Sho’s girlfriend: Shibasaki Ko
Okura Shuji, Matsuko’s neighbor: Gori
Vice Principal: Takeyama Takanori
Saeki Shunji: Tanihara Shosuke
Yamegawa Tetsuya: Kudo Kankuro
Okano Takeo: Gekidan Hitori
Onodera: Takeda Shinji
Shimazu Kenji, a barber: Arakawa Yoshiyoshi

Setting: Fukuoka, Tokyo, and other areas in Japan between 1955 and 2001.

Synopsis:
It is Japan in the year 2001. Although everyone seems to be pursuing their dreams, very few manage to achieve them. Kawajiri Sho wanted to be a rock star, but he has stopped playing with his band. To add to his woes, his girlfriend wants to break up with him. He is in his messy apartment wallowing in sorrow when his father Norio suddenly shows up for the first time in two years and asks Sho for a favor.

Carrying the ashes of his older sister?Kawajiri Matsuko, who had been killed on a riverbank three days ago?Norio asks Sho to tidy up his aunt’s apartment. While cleaning up the horrible mess, Sho encounters many people and things that make him think about what Norio had said, namely that Matsuko’s life was meaningless. First, her neighbor, a punk rocker named Okura Shuji, starts telling him about how strange Matsuko was. The yakuza-looking punks hanging around the apartment appear to be of questionable character. In addition, a police detective shows him a picture of a scar-faced man who, he says, used to live with Matsuko and had got out of prison a month ago. Finally, there is a board on which Matsuko had scratched a hundred times, “Forgive me for being born.” Pondering its significance, he starts a conversation about Matsuko’s life with the detective

.
Born in 1947 on Ono Island in Fukuoka Prefecture
, Kawajiri Matsuko was a girl who had dreamt of living a blissful life. She seemed to be headed in the right direction, first becoming, upon the urging of her father Tsunehiro, a junior high school teacher; she was popular among her students for her beautiful voice. She was even asked out by Saeki Shunji, a very handsome fellow teacher whom she had dreamt of dating. But all this came to an end when one of her students, Ryu Yoichi, was accused of theft during a school trip. Trusting her students to a fault, she covered for him by saying that it was she who had committed the theft. Bawled out by a lecherous vice-principal, and eventually betrayed by Ryu, Matsuko quit her job and, ignoring the pleas of her sickly sister Kumi, left her home. Matsuko, it seems, was never given the love that her father gave Kumi; for instance, the only way she could get his attention was by making funny faces.

This turned into a habit, and making funny faces became her means of escaping tense situations, although they sometimes made things worse. Jealous of Kumi, she had to strike out on her own.


Although Matsuko thought her life to be was over, she did not lose her ability to dream. She then placed her hopes on the budding novelist Yamegawa Tetsuya, with whom she began living. Despite being physically abused, she supported his dream of becoming a great writer, going so far as to re-establish contact with her brother Norio in order to borrow money from him. Norio gave her the money but declared her to be dead to the family. However, in spite of Matsuko’s efforts, Yamegawa was fraught with worries about his abilities, and one rainy night, committed suicide at a train crossing.
Once again, Matsuko thought her life to be over, but she once more picked herself up and strove toward the future. This time, she became the lover of Okano Takeo, Yamegawa’s rival, and began to lead a rosy life. But when Okano’s wife found out about her, Matsuko was quickly dumped.


Desperate, Matsuko began working as a prostitute at a Turkish bath in
Fukuoka
. While posing a major change for her, this life also presented her with the opportunity to devote oneself to a goal. She exercised every day and worked hard, eventually becoming the number one girl in the establishment. Soon, however, new girls arrived and Matsuko was finally driven out. Following this, she traveled back home and, seeing no one around, read the diaries of her now deceased father, in which he had expressed worries about her after her departure. Kumi found Matsuko and pleaded with her to stay, but Matsuko merely dropped off money for Norio and left. With nowhere to go, she ran into a man named Onodera, who began pimping her at a Turkish bath in Ogoto. She made him loads of money, but killed him in a rage upon discovering that he had been cheating her.

Tokyo


Matsuko then began working at a salon in the
Ginza
, where one day she was surprised to find Megumi show up as one of her customers. Megumi had started a successful adult video company, and even she occasionally starred in the videos. Matsuko and Megumi soon became good friends. While still working at the salon, she ran into her former student Ryu Yoichi, who had become a gangster. Ryu said that he had always liked her, and the two then began living together. Megumi had sensed that Ryu was bad for her and tried to break the two up. However, Matsuko resented the interference, and their friendship ended.

 

Sho learns about this from Megumi herself, as she and her men arrive at the apartment trying to find out what had happened to Matsuko. Megumi and Matsuko had met for the first time in 18 years on the day before she died, and it was Megumi’s business card, given to her at that time, that Matsuko was clutching when she died.
Disturbed by all these stories, Sho sometimes wonders if he is dreaming or awake. But he is awake when a scarred-face man suddenly shows up at Matsuko’s apartment asking for her. He, apparently, does not know that she is dead. When Sho breaks the news to him, the man introduces himself as Ryu Yoichi and begins to tell his story.
Both Ryu and Matsuko, it seemed, felt that if they were going to Hell, they might as well go about it together.

However, Matsuko had quit her own job and become worried about Ryu’s yakuza lifestyle. Moreover, although he began abusing her, she stayed, preferring the abuse to being alone. She even became a yakuza girl. Later though, Ryu gambled away the gang’s money and ended up in jail. Matsuko faithfully waited for him, but Ryu wasn’t comfortable with accepting the devotion of a woman and did not return to her after being released from prison. He ended up in jail again and discovered religion, seeing in Matsuko an embodiment of God.

As Ryu finishes his story, the police arrive. Ryu begins fighting with them, declaring that he killed Matsuko. The police, however, already knew that he was not the murderer. Sho calls his father to tell him the news, confessing that he wished he could have met Matsuko. Norio tells Sho that he had met her once, when he was a little boy. It was at that time that Matsuko had learned from Norio that Kumi had died, till the last hoping that Matsuko would return.

Sho realizes that the river where he had met Matsuko, the river near their home, was similar to the river by the apartment she lived in. In her last years, Matsuko, unable to comprehend Ryu’s actions, decided to move there and never love anyone again. She ceased taking care of herself and became fat and unkempt, consequently becoming an object of ridicule for the neighborhood kids. Yet, she found some bliss in becoming a fan of the boy idol group Hikaru Genji. She even wrote to them the story of her life in a letter as lengthy as a book. However, when she received no response, she slowly started descending into insanity. It was at a mental health clinic that she ran into Megumi, who tried to offer Matsuko a job as a hairdresser.

Matsuko threw away the business card, but after dreaming of cutting Kumi’s hair, she changed her mind and went outside to find the card. She found it by the river, but unfortunately she fell under the radar of some junior high kids and it was they who beat her to death with a baseball bat after she began reprimanding them.
Listening to her story, which stirs his emotions and affect him deeply, Sho begins to understand why Ryu called Matsuko his God: she was an imperfect but giving God, in whom Sho could believe.

Notes:
On the surface, Memories of Matsuko is a celebration of spectacle and technology and the alternate worlds they can create. Nakashima Tetsuya, a veteran of TV commercials, created a visually stunning and colorful world that he filled with music and dance. However, this is not the utopia that musicals usually promise. Instead, Nakashima pursues the themes that he has often explored in his films like Happy-Go-Lucky (“Natsujikan no otona tachi HAPPY-GO-LUCKY,” 1997), Beautiful Sunday (1998), and even Kamikaze Girls (“Shimotsuma monogatari,” 2004): the need, in a tragic and disappointing world, to dream, and the problems that such dreams can create.

Thus, while Nakashima has become popular for his bold use of computer graphics, he continues to be both critical and sympathetic toward the desire for and use of such visual technology.

She now felt more hopeless than ever before, thinking that her life was well and truly over. She traveled to and attempted suicide, but was saved by a mild-mannered barber named Shimazu Kenji who just happened to be passing by. Matsuko started living with him and, as a result, began experiencing some happiness again. Shimazu even proposed to her, but soon after, the police came for her and she was sent to jail for murder.

In prison, Matsuko seemed to lose all hope, until a fellow inmate named Megumi asked her if she had a man. Following this, Matsuko eventually found a new purpose in life?living for the man she loved. She worked hard in prison training as a beautician, and eventually was released after eight years. However, on visiting Shimazu’s barbershop, she found him with a wife and children.

******************

For more information, please visit  JANL web site.

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