Rhapsody in August

Rhapsody in August

Directed by: Akira Kurosawa

Friday, August 5 - Sunday, August 7, 2011

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Master filmmaker Akira Kurosawa follows up on his phantasmorgic Dreams with this delicate tale about war and memory. The film centers on Kane (Sachiko Murase) a grandmother who lives on her traditional farm in the hills near Nagasaki. Her husband and a number of siblings died in the 1945 atomic bombing of the city and memories of that event are never far from her mind. She learns that her elder brother, who went to Hawaii to seek his fortune in pineapples, is on his deathbed and would very much like to see his sister one last time. Her half-American nephew Clark (played by none other than Richard Gere) is venturing to Nagasaki to escort her to Hawaii. Though the prospect of meeting a real live American excites Kane’s four grandchildren who are staying with her for the summer and who often sport American college T-shirts, Kane remains ambivalent both about the prospects of going to the States, and about the dark memories Clark’s presence dredges up. – allrovi.com

PG, 98 Minutes, Japanese
MGM, Japan, 1991

"It is distilled, utterly direct, abrasive. It reflects the manner of a man who is no longer interested in superficial effects, only in expressing what is on his mind as efficiently as possible. The film is a message from a director who was born four years before the guns of August were fired in 1914. It is a report from that generation of directors who are supposed to be dead or at least retired and modestly grateful for honorary awards. Like "Akira Kurosawa's Dreams," "Rhapsody in August" is visually splendid. Unlike "Dreams," though, it is almost willfully austere. It suggests something of the rigor of Roberto Rossellini's late films."
- Vincent Canby, New York Times

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