Skip to main content


Japan, 1986 (MIFF 1988, Asian Cinema Showcase)

Director: Chisho Itoh

In his highly accomplished, self-financed, first feature, Chisho Itoh focuses on the friendship that develops between Kagau a lonely, neglected Tokyo schoolgirl and Ryo a window cleaner, recently arrived in the big, high-rise-studded metropolis. She keeps birds and he dreams of his hometown, a northern fishing village where he eventually takes her to meet his family and perform a very special funeral ceremony.

Itoh's masterly direction features striking camera angles, with both sound and silence given equal significance in a beautifully suggestive drama which uses its tender tale to tell us something about what links human souls beyond mere words and why we seem always to yearn for the epic natural simplicities of earth, sea and sky It's a powerful theme which fuels quite a powerful film, that, despite a disappointing final reel, signals an original talent of enormous potential.

”While Itoh has paid close attention to his sets, locations, and imagery, he has not neglected his actors. Young Keiko Uemura as Kagau is subtle and superb, Kenta Kai in his first role plays Ryo with warmth, intelligence, and an understated sexuality, the performances grew out of Itoh s own personal relationship with them both.” David Overbey

See also...


"A key film from the Japanese new wave of the early-mid 80 s, Nagasaki's brilliant Heart, Beating in the Dark, reinvents the languages of cinema, sexuality and identity to come to terms with the ... More »


A man lies dead in a suburban street, armed police surround a fiat, an Eurasian girl escapes from the scene of the crime, a young photographer snaps the proceedings. The setting is Taipei but it ... More »


Former cincmatographer Zhang Yimou makes an impressive directional debut with this lush rural epic based on renowned Shangdong author Mo Yan's short story. Set during the Sino-Japanese war in the ... More »


It's 1934, downtown Hong Kong and Fleur, (Anita Mui) an aspiring opera singer turned prostitute is entertaining her special friend" Chan (Leslie Cheung), the languid, pampered, opium-puffing son of a ... More »


In the last few years Hou Hsiao-hsien's films, (A Summer at Grandpa's '84, A Time to Live and a Time to Die '85 and Dust in the Wind '87) have reflected the considerable critical attention coming to ... More »


One of the most startling things about The Big Parade is how little its formal and visual qualities resemble Chen's internationally acclaimed debut feature, Yellow Earth. But perhaps the most salient ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director