Caterpillar (film)

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Caterpillar
Caterpillar film.jpg
Film poster
Directed by Kōji Wakamatsu
Produced by Takafumi Ohigata
Written by Hisako Kurosawa
Masao Adachi
Starring Shinobu Terajima
Cinematography Yoshihisa Toda
Tomohiko Tsuji
Edited by Shuichi Kakesu
Release dates
  • 15 February 2010 (2010-02-15) (Berlinale)
  • 14 August 2010 (2010-08-14) (Japan)
Running time
85 minutes
Country Japan
Language Japanese
Box office $251,922[1]

Caterpillar (キャタピラー Kyatapirā?) is a 2010 Japanese drama film directed by Kōji Wakamatsu, partially drawn from Edogawa Rampo's banned short-story "The Caterpillar" (芋虫 Imomushi?, 1929).[2][3]

The film is a critique of the right-wing militarist nationalism that guided Japan's conduct in Asia during the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II. The film deals with various issues, such as war crimes, handicapped veterans, and spousal abuse. The film also deals with themes of sexual perversion and features graphic sex scenes.

It was nominated for the Golden Bear at the 60th Berlin International Film Festival.[4] Shinobu Terajima received the Silver Bear for Best Actress at the Berlin Film Festival for her portrayal of Kurokawa's wife.[5]

Plot[edit]

The film is set in the late 1930s, during the Second Sino-Japanese War. In the first scene, Lieutenant Kurokawa scourges, rapes and disembowels Chinese people during the war. Later, he returns home as a war hero, but with a horribly mutilated body. He is alive but reduced to a torso (no limbs), deaf and mute, with burns covering half of his face, but with three medals on his chest. Despite his condition, he is still constantly eager for sex, which he performs acrobatically with his wife. The sexual acts are rough and are imposed on his wife, who is repelled by him, but who nevertheless feels a duty to take care of him. The film also depicts a disabled veteran Kurokawa, who commits suicide by dragging himself into a pond outside his home.

Cast[edit]


Themes[edit]

Wakamatsu's film is part of a recent Japanese trend seen in fashion, cartoons and videogames that question the country's past.[3] The film is the political response to and criticism of Yukio Mishima's short film Patriotism.[3] Caterpillar criticizes Japanese militarism, satirically deploys Japanese propaganda, and significantly politicizes and humanizes Edogawa Rampo's 1929 banned short-story.[2] The film demystifies the glorification of war, which is used to hide war's grim reality.[5] It also depicts the unfair demands placed on Japanese women, during war and peacetime.[5]

Reception[edit]

The film received a 91% rating on film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.[6] It grossed $4,157 at the domestic box office and $247,765 at the foreign box office for a combined Worldwide total of $251,922.[7]

Awards[edit]

It was nominated for the Golden Bear at the 60th Berlin International Film Festival.[4] Shinobu Terajima received the Silver Bear for Best Actress at the Berlin Film Festival for her portrayal of Kurokawa's wife.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=main&id=caterpillar.htm
  2. ^ a b Maggie Lee (16 February 2010). "Once-banned Japanese story told powerfully onscreen". Reuters. 
  3. ^ a b c Roberto Silvestri Sesso acrobatico contro la guerra, il manifesto 16.02.2010, p.12
  4. ^ a b "60th Berlin International Film Festival: Programme". berlinale.de. Retrieved 2010-10-16. 
  5. ^ a b c d Mike Collett-White and Sarah Marsh (20 February 2010). "Turkish film wins in Berlin, Polanski honored". Reuters. 
  6. ^ "Caterpillar (2011)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  7. ^ "Caterpillar". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 28 June 2014. 

External links[edit]