This profoundly moving film is the latest from Masaki Kobayashi, who directed Kwaidan and was named one of the ten best directors in the world at the 1971 Cannes Festival. Shin Saburi plays a businessman who has brought up both of his daughters alone and has just reached a point where he can enjoy his success. Traveling to France for a vacation, he finds he is terminally ill. The shock and acceptance of his condition, and the ways it changes his outlook and way of life as he begins his last year, form the basis for this perceptive and powerful drama, which is the Festival’s first Japanese entry in four years. With photography by Okazaki, screenplay by Inagaki and music by Takemitsu, Kaseki is the masterpiece Kobayashi fans have been waiting for. —San Francisco International Film Festival
Masaki Kobayashi (小林 正樹, Kobayashi Masaaki, February 14, 1916–October 4, 1996) was a Japanese director.
Among his films is Kwaidan (1965), a collection of four ghost stories drawn from the book by Lafcadio Hearn, each of which has a surprise ending.
Kobayashi also directed The Human Condition, a trilogy on the effects of World War II on a Japanese pacifist and socialist. The total length of the films is over 9 hours. Other notable films include Harakiri (1962) and Samurai Rebellion (1967). Harakiri won him an award at the 1963 Cannes Film Festival, solidifying his place in the history of cinema.
He was also a candidate for directing the Japanese sequences for Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970) but instead Kinji Fukasaku and Toshio Masuda were chosen.
Kobayashi, himself a pacifist, was drafted into the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II, but refused to fight and refused promotion to a rank higher than private. —Wikipedia