Dir.: Kohei OGURI
In Hitosuji, a fictious village of the sort to be found everywhere in rural Japan, everyday life goes on as it always has, around a man who does nothing but sleep. There are mountains, forests, rivers and fields: the seasons come and go, but life and death, humankind and nature, are portrayed in unity rather than in their conventional opposition. Underlying THE SLEEPING MAN are the traditional Japanese attitudes to nature, to life and to death. The past century has brought the rapid modernisation of the country, particulary in the years that followed World War II. It would seem that the Japanese have, alongside the Western technology, adopted Western values at the expense of traditional Japanese ones. Yet increasingly it becomes clear that the price paid for economic progress has been high, with the Japanese now finding themselves bereft of that inner life which might endow their existence with a sense of meaning. In this film, Oguri tries to extract the richness of the "life" that Japan has lost. After a long time THE SLEEPING MAN is a masterpiece of the Japanese film. It is rich of content, beautiful of image. This is a highly praiseworthy film that cannot fail to leave a strong spiritual impression on the viewer.
|Kohei OGURI - Director
Born on 29 October, 1945, Maebashi, Gumna prefecture, Japan. Oguri graduated in drama from the University of Waseda. Then, he became an assistant director, working with, among others, Masahiro SHINODA and Kiriro URAYAMA. In 1981 he directed his first feature MUDDY RIVER, a story set in the 50s, about the friendship between a middle-class boy and the children who live on a houseboat moored next to his parent's restaurant. Winning many awards including the KINEMAJUNPO MAGAZINE's Best Japanese Film of the Year Award and Second Prize at the Moscow International Film Festival. In 1984 he directed his second film FOR KAYAI ( from the novel by Hue-Song LEE ) and received the Georges SADOUL Award. In 1990, STING OF DEATH ( from the novel by Toshio SHIMAO ), about the near break-up of a marriage, which, with its stylised imagery, marked a major step in the development of a personal directorial style, received, both, the GRAND PRIX 1990 and the INTERNAITONAL CRITICS PRIZE ( FIPRESCI ) at the Cannes Film Festival. With this film Mr. Oguri won worldwide acclaim. THE SLEEPING MAN is his fourth feature film.