Obayashi’s efforts to revisit the past of both Japan and its cinema are often mirrored by characters who explore their own pasts. As with Tomorrow (1995), The Discarnates takes this to the supernatural level, as a scriptwriter mysteriously encounters his dead father in Tokyo’s old Asakusa neighborhood one day and begins enjoying the time with his parents–in late 1950s Japan–that he never had, since they died when he was 12 years old. Obayashi allows his characters the opportunity to make up for a loss, but only by underlining how nostalgia is often a longing for what one never had.
1988, 115 min., 35mm, color, in Japanese with live English subtitles. With Morio Kazama, Kumiko Akiyoshi, Tsurutaro Kataoka, Toshiyuki Nagashima, Yuko Natori. Winner, 1989 Mainichi Film Award for Best Director.
"So firm is Obayashi’s control that he can get away with both the sentimental and the bizarre… [you] may well come away from The Discarnates surprised by the intensity of its emotional impact."
–Kevin Thomas, The Los Angeles Times
Part of Nobuhiko Obayashi: A Retrospective.
Tickets: $12/$9 Japan Society members, seniors & students
- December 5, 2015
- 7:00 pm