Sat

02/07

Cinema Jolly > 14:30

NATSUKO NO BOKEN

Noboru Nakamura

Projection
Info

Saturday 02/07/2016
14:30

Subtitle

Original version with subtitles

NATSUKO NO BOKEN

Film Notes

Shochiku’s second colour film, this bizarre melodrama, based on a Yukio Mishima novel, spans territory from Tokyo to northern Hokkaido, and veers dramatically between passionate romance, Christian devotion and an attack by a man-eating bear. The film was considered a technical advance on Carmen Comes Home, though Anderson and Richie thought this bought at too dear a cost: “Though it revealed a much improved colour process, the desire not to show Fujicolor in a bad light by straining its capabilities severely limited the movie”.
Director Noboru Nakamura was a versatile commercial filmmaker, with a number of fine literary adaptations to his credit and a talent for female-centred melodrama, as exemplified by his stylish and moving Koto (Twin Sisters of Kyoto, 1963), based on a novel by Nobel Prize-winning author Yasunari Kawabata. This lighter film also focuses on an intriguing heroine: the eponymous Natsuko, fed up with the lack of fervour in modern Tokyo men, gives up on marriage and decides, to her mother’s horror, to join a nunnery located on Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido. However, a chance encounter with a young man en route to Hokkaido to seek revenge against the bear that killed his girlfriend sparks her interest. Despite the largely humorous treatment, the portrait of uncompromising and strong-willed characters is characteristic of the vision of source author Mishima.
The film is not preserved in its entirety. In the surviving film materials, some scenes lack pictures, although the soundtrack is preserved; while in one section towards the end, the visual material survives, but the soundtrack is missing. To compensate for this loss and to allow the narrative and missing dialogue to be followed, captions from the original screenplay have been inserted into the present version. The film was telecined in HD from the surviving negative and soundtracks, before being encoded into DCP. Despite the missing sections, the DCP version shows off the glowing colours of the original alongside an intriguing narrative with quirky variations in tone.

Cast and Credits

Sog.: dal romanzo omonimo di Yukio Mishima. Scen.: Hisashi Yamauchi. F.: Toshio Ubukata. Scgf.: Masako Kumagaya. Int.: Rieko Sumi (Natsuko Matsuura), Chieko Higashiyama (Kayo, la nonna di Natsuko), Ryuji Kita (il padre di Natsuko), Terumi Kishi (Mitsuko, la madre di Natsuko), Masao Wakahara (Tsuyoshi Ida), Keiko Awaji (Akiko). Prod.: Shochiku. DCP. Col.