The Asuka region is the birthplace of Japan. Here, in ancient times, there were those who fulfilled their lives in the midst of waiting. Modern people, apparently having lost this sense of waiting, seem unable to feel grateful for the present, and cling to the illusion that all things will move constantly forward according to one’s own plan.
In ancient times, there were three small mountains that people believed were inhabited by gods. They were Mt. Unebi, Mt. Miminashi, and Mt. Kagu, and they still stand. In that time, a powerful official used the mountains as a metaphor for a struggle inside his own heart. The mountains were an expression of human karma.
Time has passed into the present. Takumi and Kayoko, inheriting the unfulfilled hopes of their grandparents, live out their lives. Their tale continues a story of the ages, representing the uncountable souls that have accumulated in this land. –Cannes Film Festival
Naomi Kawase was born in 1969, at a time when Japanese cinema was thriving with vigorous underground filmmaking, the initial streak in Kawase’s own young career. While studying photography at the Osaka School of Visual Arts, she started to make films as part of a workshop: “I focus on that which interests me” (1988), a personal symphony of the city, “The concretization of these things flying around me” (1989), a silent study of the homeless, "Presently (1989), a poetic piece visualising the 4 elements (water, air, fire and earth). After graduating in 1989, she taught for 4 years.
In 1992, she made Embracing, a medium length 16mm feature in which she sets up to find her biological father (Naomi was brought up by her grandparents after her parents’ marriage broke up). In 1993, she cast her documentary eye on a striking boy-meets-girl fiction in White Moon. She dedicated her following film Katatsumori (94) to her grandmother. This film and the next one… read more
Naomi Kawase's cinema resembles works of Terrence Malick, difficult to assimilate yet beautiful. Intensely enmeshed in Japanese culture, her films are philosophical, eclectic essays on life. My full review of the film is at http://moviessansfrontiers.blogspot.in/2012/02/126-japanese-director-naomi-kawases.html
beautiful landscapes which explicit the relationship between the japanese people and nature.
It was nice to see Kawase return to form after her two atrocious short film projects (Correspondence, and Visitors). She still shows why stylistically and aesthetically, she is probably the most interesting Japanese director working today. Beautiful stuff, her films feel like dreams.
The end of the world will be beautiful, or so says the Polish poster for Lars von Trier’s Melancholia, quite fittingly on the eve of