Third part in Aleksandr Sokurov’s tetrology, following Moloch and Taurus, focuses on Japanese Emperor Hirohito and Japan’s defeat in World War II when he is finally confronted by Gen. Douglas MacArthur who offers him to accept a diplomatic defeat for survival. —IMDb
One of the most important directors in both Russian and world cinema, Alexander Sokurov is considered by many to be the spiritual heir of the great Andrei Tarkovsky. Sokurov — who has enjoyed a long creative relationship with Tarkovsky — has discounted such comparisons, but certain similarities between their works remain indelible: a predilection towards very long takes, natural performances by their actors, and an almost otherworldly use of natural sounds and music. And, perhaps most important, both directors are concerned with the essential questions of human existence and the state of the human spirit.
Sokurov was the son of a World War II veteran. His family moved around a good deal while Sokurov was growing up, and after finishing high school, he went to Gorki, Russia’s third largest city. There, he attended Gorki University and began to work as an assistant television director when he was 19. He continued to direct television programs for the Gorki station until 1975, and… read more
The film's highly sympathetic view of Emporor Hirohito -although problematic- in the end makes someone who would otherwise seem impossibly remote into a recognisable human being. I think this is the best of the Sokurov films I have seen, and perhaps a rare Sokurov film as well, in that it is also able to step back from the director's often fussy and distracting editing style and grating use of overlapping dialogue.
A strange film. Not quite poetic but seemly intentionally paced to bring about a sense of realism, a focus on the characters in frame so much more than the action outside of the frame. I suffered under a strangely cropped print so even some of the subtitles were cut out. I found parts of this film striking but it wasn't quite as good as more of his visually striking films.
Sokurov's third film in his "men of power" series is a mature and relective take on the final days in power and diplomatic surrender of Emperor Hirohito. The potrayal by Issei Ogata is eerie and powerful and puts one in the bunker and palace in 1945 Japan. A triumph of sparce set design, editing and fine camera work (by Sokurov himself). One of the finest films the year it came out and a landmark pic for Sokurov.
Aleksandr Sokurov finishes his tetralogy of power with a magnificent, grotesque adaptation of Goethe’s Faust.