Tag Archives: Chieko Baishô

Furusato / Home from the Sea (1972) Yôji Yamada, Hisashi Igawa, Chieko Baishô, Chishû Ryû, Drama

Home from the Sea (1972)
On a beautiful island in Seto Inner Sea, Seichi and Minko make their living by transporting rocks to construction sites by boat. They cherish the deepest affection for this piece of land they call home, and the simple life they lead. But rapid industrial growth makes it all but impossible to continue their chosen living style, and they are forced to leave their beloved hometown in search of a brighter future. But their hometown lingers on their hearts, and they dream of a time when they may once again return.
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Shiawase no kiiroi hankachi / The Yellow Handkerchief (1977) Yôji Yamada, Ken Takakura, Chieko Baishô, Kaori Momoi, Comedy, Drama

Shiawase no kiiroi hankachi (Yoji Yamada, 1977)
The story starts with Kinya, who has recently upgraded his car. He’s a young adult and he’s single so naturally he uses his ride to ahem, look for companions. He offers a ride to a shy girl by the name of Akemi and she reluctantly accepts. From the get go, sexual tension is apparent, but things get a bit easier as the two become acquainted. They pick up Yusaku, a 30-something coal miner with a reserved personality. The story slowly begins to shift from the comedic hijinks of Kinya and Akemi to Yusaku’s mental drama. He’s hiding something about his past, which he either wants to forget or is trying to remember.
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Station / Eki (1981) Yasuo Furuhata, Ken Takakura, Chieko Baishô, Ayumi Ishida, Drama

Station (1981)
A very beautiful film. This is a Ken Takakura vehicle, and as such follows his formula. Takakura plays to type as the laconic brooder who suffers multiple tragedies with manly stoicism. While the variety of his film varied greatly, his films with director Yasuo Furuhata were always of the highest quality, and this is no exception. Takakura is a cop training to be a sharpshooter for the Olympic games, he divorces his wife and abandons his daughter when he discovers she’s had an affair. Later his coach is gunned down by a fleeing criminal. Years later Takakura returns to his snowy hometown and starts an affair with a middle-aged bar owner. The story is a bit thick, with a number of subplots, yet it is extrordinarily melancholic, as Takakura seems to regret everything he’s done in his life and is made over and over again to relive his mistakes. There is very little “action” as such, and no yakuzas of any kind; but beyond that this is one of the most lushly beautiful and emotional films you can see (if you can see it), with an excellent score by Ryudo Uzaki.
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