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ALONE ON THE PACIFIC

Japan, 1963 (MIFF 1966, Programme 1)

Director: Kon Ichikawa

lchikawa has filmed the true story of a young Japanese who sailed a 19-foot yacht from Osaka to San Francisco in ninety days of solitary adventure. But unlike the men of the Kon Tiki, he had no scientific or historical theory to vindicate; he simply wanted to assert his individuality and freedom of action with a gesture of rebellion against the conformism of Japanese industrial society.

The scenes on board are well handled and one gets a terrifying sense of the vulnerability of the sailboat as it is tossed about like a paper toy by the hur­ricanes. lchikawa tells the story with much quiet humour. The star, Yujiro Ishihara, excels in such scenes as when he is boiling rice in beer and pre­tending to like it, or when he is hiding from a pass­ing plane so that they won't try to rescue him, and it doesn't take the viewer long to become fully involved with his personality. Ichikawa's humanity, on the other hand, transforms the engaging story of his hero into a hymn to the spirit of man.

See also...

FIRES ON THE PLAIN

Japan, 1959
Fires on the Plain, like director Ichikawa's earlier Harp of Burma, is concerned with the futility and horror of war, and protests at the private suffering which comprises this social catastrophe. It… More »

THE MAKIOKA SISTERS

Japan, 1983
"The Makioka Sisters" is based on one of the classics of Japanese literature, a family epic along the lines of "The ... Forsyte Saga" or, "The Magnificent Ambersons", by famous ... writer Junichiro T… More »

THE WANDERERS

Japan, 1973
Set in nineteenth century Japan, The Wanderers has been likened in its theme to Easy Rider. It follows the adventures of three "toseinins', unemployed young men who roam the countryside, living off p… More »

THE TEMPLE OF THE GOLDEN PAVILION

Japan, 1976
This is another film version of Yukio Mishima's story of the same title, which was first filmed by Kon Ichikawa under the title of Enjo. ... In his childhood, Mizoguchi has been taught by his father … More »

DORA-HEITA

Japan, 1999
Based on a script written by Akira Kurosawa, Dora-Heita is directed by his 85-year-old friend and collaborator, Kon Ichikawa and returns to a golden age of Samurai sagas. Koheita Mochizuki is a samur… More »

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