Memories of Matsuko (15)

Film

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Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>5</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>5</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Jun 10 2008

Applying the tartrazine-fuelled pop-cultural aesthetics of Japanese TV to the overblown narratives of the Depression-era Hollywood weepie sounds like a dreadful idea on paper, a recipe for glitzy postmodern style-over-substance. Which only serves to make ‘Memories of Matsuko’ all the more astounding: yes, it’s vibrantly, often toe-curlingly, bright. But it’s also stunningly inventive, crammed with ideas and emotional truth, high on the possibilities of cinema.

The central device is magnificently simple: slacker student Shou is asked to clear out his  mysterious, recently deceased aunt Matsuko’s apartment and in the process travels back through the five decades of her wild and tragic life. We witness her passage from open-hearted schoolgirl to overzealous teacher, to stripper, abused yakuza moll, murderess, housewife, jailbird and bag lady, culminating in her  meaningless, rapturous death. Every stage of the journey is differently designed – from the chocolate-box fairyland of childhood to the gritty hip-hop-musical prison sequences – but the whole is expertly tied together  by Shou’s quest for a deeper understanding of his family, and his own humanity.

And this is Nakashima’s most impressive achievement– for all its stylistic intensity and dizzying narrative overdrive, this is a profoundly compassionate, humanist work. In surprisingly sober fashion, the film covers an array of vital issues, from the mistreatment of women in Japanese society to the emptiness of celebrity obsession, from the trap of brutal relationships to the inescapable, agonising truth that those most open to the world are also those most likely to be crushed by it.
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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Sat Jul 7, 2007

Duration:

130 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Tetsuya Nakashima

Screenwriter:

Tetsuya Nakashima

Cast:

Miki Nakatani, Yusuke Iseya

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

5 / 5

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LiveReviews|6
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Simon

The TO Review is spot on. This is a surprisingly captivating film. I actually quite like the wackiness of this film as it portrays life in a way which could only really be done on film and really takes advantage of that whilst not distracting from the plot. An excellent, must see film.

Simon

The TO Review is spot on. This is a surprisingly captivating film. I actually quite like the wackiness of this film as it portrays life in a way which could only really be done on film and really takes advantage of that whilst not distracting from the plot. An excellent, must see film.

Shaun

Beautiful, moving, original movie making. Not necessarily a film everyone will like, but a film everyone should see. The performances by the star-studded cast were amazing and I was captivated for every second of the film.

Shaun

Beautiful, moving, original movie making. Not necessarily a film everyone will like, but a film everyone should see. The performances by the star-studded cast were amazing and I was captivated for every second of the film.

Milan

As stated in the TO review, it is wackey but at the same time touching and deep. Loved the film. A+

Milan

As stated in the TO review, it is wackey but at the same time touching and deep. Loved the film. A+