Title: White Morning Original Title: Ako Country: Japan Year: 1965 Director: Hiroshi Teshigahara Cast: Miki Irie, Teruko Hasegawa and Yoko Matsushita Genre: Short, Drama Audio: Japanese Subtitles: English idx/sub
A day in the life of Ako, a 16 year old Japanese girl, and her friends and co-workers. An alarm clock wakes her in a dorm; she gets ready for work and travels to a large bakery. We see her with friends, chatting and laughing, as well as working. They go out, seven of them jammed in an old Pontiac: bowling, then to an amusement park, then driving around. Car trouble may put her at risk. Is she going to be okay?
Hiroshi Teshigahara (勅使河原 宏 Teshigahara Hiroshi?, January 28, 1927 – April 14, 2001) was an avant-garde Japanese filmmaker. He received an Academy Award nomination for Best Director for his 1964 film The Woman in the Dunes.
Life and career
Teshigahara was born in Tokyo, son of Sofu Teshigahara, founder and grand master of the Sogetsu School of ikebana. He graduated in 1950 from the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music and began working in documentary film. He directed his first feature film, Pitfall (1962), in collaboration with author Kōbō Abe and musician Tōru Takemitsu. The film won the NHK New Director's award, and throughout the 1960s, he continued to collaborate on films with Abe and Takemitsu while simultaneously pursuing his interest in ikebana and sculpture on a professional level.
In 1965, the Teshigahara/Abe film Woman in the Dunes (1964) was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and won the Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. In 1972, he worked with Japanese researcher and translator John Nathan to make the movie Summer Soldiers, a film set during the Vietnam War about American deserters living on the fringe of Japanese society.
From the mid-1970s onwards, he worked less frequently on feature films as he concentrated more on documentaries, exhibitions and the Sogetsu School and became grand master of the school in 1980.
In 1978, Teshigahara Hiroshi directed the final two episodes of the long running and popular Japanese television series Shin Zatouichi, starring Shintarō Katsu as the blind wandering Yakuza. During Akira Kurosawa's 5 year hiatus from filmmaking, he watched a lot of television and was particularly taken by the final episode of Shin Zatouichi - Episode: Journey of Dreams (新座頭市「夢の旅) (1978). The influence of this particular episode included the initial casting of Shintaro Katsu in the lead roles in Kagemusha and the extended artistic dream sequences contributed to those seen in Kagemusha (1980).
Complete filmography of Hiroshi Teshigahara include:
Hokusai (北斎) (1953)
12 Photographers (十二人の冩真家) (1955)
Ikebana (いけばな) (1956) or 蒼風とオブジェ いけばな (1957) - director and screenplay
有楽町０番地 (1958) - screenplay
Tokyo1958 (東京1958) (1958)
海は生きている (1958) - art
José Torres (ホゼー･トレス) (1959) - director and shooting
Pitfall (おとし穴) (1962) - director
Woman in the Dunes (砂の女) (1964) - director
White Morning (白い朝) (1965)
Jose Torres Part II (ホゼー･トレス Part II) (1965)
The Face of Another (他人の顔 Tanin no Kao) (1966) - director
Bakusou (爆走) (1966)
インディレース 爆走 (1967) - producer
The Man Without a Map (燃えつきた地図 Moetsukita Chizu) aka The Ruined Map (燃えつきた地図) (1968) - director
240 Hours in One Day (1日240時間) (1970)
Summer Soldiers (サマー・ソルジャー) (1972) - director, planning and shooting
Warera no Shuyaku (われらの主役) (1977) - TV film
Shin Zatouichi - Episode: Journey of Rainbows (新座頭市「虹の旅」) (1978) - TV film
Shin Zatouichi - Episode: Journey of Dreams (新座頭市「夢の旅」) (1978) - TV film
Sculpture Mouvante - Jean Tinguely (動く彫刻 ジャン･ティンゲリー) (1981)
Antonio Gaudí (アントニー・ガウディー) (1984) - director, producer and editing
Rikyu (利休) (1989) - director, producer and screenplay
Princess Goh (豪姫) (1992) aka Basara - The Princess Goh - director, producer and screenplay
Eight filmmakers collaborate with Teshigahara to bring a newsreel-style snapshot of Tokyo in 1957-58, when it had eight and a half million people and was the largest city in the world. The industry of the people is evident, with Katsushika Hokusai';s woodcuts interspersed with shots of contemporary workers. We watch women give a makeup demonstration, we visit bridal stores, and we see a young woman win a rock and roll singing contest and follow her home with her prizes; we go to the Ginza on Christmas Eve, with bars and nightclubs full tilt, and we join the throng at the Meiji shrine on New Year';s Day. Some surreal touches add comedy to underscore Tokyo's energy and life.
35 minute documentary about the working relationship between Teshigahara and Kobo Abe, fittingly entitled Teshigahara and Abe. It includes interviews with Japanese-film scholars Donald Richie,Tadao Sato and others.
Rain Tree by Toru Takemitsu
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