The Ballad of Narayama (1983 film)
|The Ballad of Narayama|
Poster for Ballad of Narayama (1983)
|Directed by||Shōhei Imamura|
|Produced by||Goro Kusakabe
|Written by||Shichirō Fukazawa (stories), Shōhei Imamura|
|Music by||Shinichirô Ikebe|
|Edited by||Hajime Okayasu|
|Distributed by||Toei Co. Ltd.
|April 29, 1983 (Japan)
September 7, 1984 (U.S. limited)
The Ballad of Narayama (楢山節考 Narayama bushikō?) is a 1983 Japanese film by director Shōhei Imamura. It stars Sumiko Sakamoto as Orin, Ken Ogata, and Shoichi Ozawa. It is an adaptation of the book Narayama bushikō by Shichirō Fukazawa and slightly inspired by the 1958 film directed by Keisuke Kinoshita.
The film is set in a small rural village in Japan in the 19th century. According to tradition, once a person reaches the age of 70 he or she must travel to a remote mountain to die of starvation, a practice known as ubasute. The story concerns Orin, who is 69 and of sound health, but notes that a neighbor had to drag his father to the mountain, so she resolves to avoid clinging to life beyond her term. She spends a year arranging all the affairs of her family and village: she severely punishes a family who are hoarding food, and helps her younger son lose his virginity.
The film has some harsh scenes that show how brutal the conditions could be for the villagers. Interspersed between episodes in the film are brief vignettes of nature – birds, snakes, and other animals hunting, watching, singing, copulating or giving birth.
- Ken Ogata – Tatsuhei
- Sumiko Sakamoto – Orin
- Tonpei Hidari – Risuke
- Aki Takejo – Tamayan (as Aki Takejō)
- Shoichi Ozawa – Katsuzō (as Shōichi Ozawa)
- Fujio Tokita – Jinsaku
- Sanshō Shinsui – Zeniya no Tadayan
- Seiji Kurasaki – Kesakichi
- Junko Takada – Matsuyan
- Mitsuko Baisho – Oei (as Mitsuko Baishō)
- Taiji Tonoyama – Teruyan
- Casey Takamine – Arayashiki (as Kêshi Takamine)
- Nenji Kobayashi – Tsune
- Nijiko Kiyokawa – Okane
- Akio Yokoyama – Amaya
- Palme d'Or at the 1983 Cannes Film Festival.
- Japanese Academy Awards (1984)
- Blue Ribbon Awards (1984)
- Best Actor Ken Ogata
- Excellence in Cinematography Award (1984): Masao Tochizawa
- Hochi Film Award (1983)
- The Ballad of Narayama at the Internet Movie Database
- The Ballad of Narayama at AllMovie
- The Ballad of Narayama at Rotten Tomatoes
- Canby, Vincent (1984-04-09). "The Ballad of Narayama (1983) (Movie review)". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-11-29.
- Hung, Lee Wood (2007). "Japanese Adaptation to Nature and Imamura's Ballad of Narayama – Based on the Difference between Imamura's Film and Fukasawa's Original Novel" (PDF). Studies In Comparative Culture (in Japanese and introduction in English) (75): 55–61. Retrieved 2007-11-29.
- Hung, Lee Wood (May 2003). "Natural Culturalism in The Ballad of Narayama: A Study of Shohei Imamura's Thematic Concerns" (PDF). Asian Cinema (Pennsylvania: Asian Cinema Studies Society) 14 (1): 146–166. Retrieved 2007-11-29.
- "楢山節考 (Narayama bushiko)" (in Japanese). Japanese Movie Database. Retrieved 2007-11-29.