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Peter M Grilli pmg14
Fri Jun 2 07:32:00 EDT 2000

SEIGENKI (English title: "Time Within Memory" -- not a literal
translation) was directed in 1972 by Toichiro NARUSHIMA, one of Japan's
finest cinematographers.  To my knowledge, it's the only film he has
directed.  I included it in a 1981 film series I organized of films with
music by Toru Takemitsu (Seigenki was one of Takemitsu's favorites films),
but that may have been the only time it has been shown in the U.S. since
it is not in regular distribution here.  It was an independent production,
and not in regular distribution in Japan, either.  I don't know where you
can get a print of it now; you might track it down through the Kawakita
Memorial Film Institute in Tokyo.  Perhaps members of the KineJapan group
can suggest other leads.

Narushima began as a cinematographer for Shochiku in the 1960s, and for a
time was an assistant director to Keisuke Kinoshita.  He was a member of 
Japan's "Nouvelle Vague / New Wave" generation, and broke away from
Shochiku quite early.  As a cameraman, he is best known for films he shot
for Oshima ("The Ceremony"), Shinoda ("Double Suicide"), Noboru Nakamura
("Koto" and "The River Ki"), and Yoshishige Yoshida  ("Akitsu Onsen").

I saw SEIGENKI only once, during that 1981 Takemitsu series, and remember
it as a beautifully made, bittersweet story of a young man haunted by
memories of his mother and his original home on an island off Kyushu.
As I recall, the layers of memory were handled through multiple
flashbacks -- a la "Cinema Paradiso" -- and like that film it is
sentimental but not overly so.  The Japan Society program note for the flm
"A lyrically evocative memoir of a young man's childhood on a remote
island off the southern tip of Japan.  This is the only film Narushima,
one of Japan's finest cinematorgraphers, has directed.  The lightly
chiming bells in the film's score accent the shimmering quality of the

The screenplay is by Yumie Hiraiwa, Masateru Ito, and Narushima.  It shars
Takahiro Tamura, Atsuko Kaku, Hisano Yamamoka, and Jun Hamamura.

Good luck in tracking down more information.


On Thu, 1 Jun 2000, Jonathan Crow wrote:

> Great!  My fax number is 734 827 2492. I look forward to reading it.
> Thanks a lot,
> Jon
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: pmg14 at [mailto:pmg14 at]
> > Sent: Thursday, June 01, 2000 12:03 PM
> > To: Jonathan Crow
> > Cc: Peter M Grilli; KineJapan at
> > Subject: Re: your mail
> >
> >
> > Jon:
> > If you send me a fax number, I can send you brief program notes on
> > Narushima's "Seigenki."  It was included in a film series that I helped
> > organize at Japan Society (NY) about 15+ years ago, and I think I can dig
> > out the notes from my files.  Narushima is a fine cinematographer, and as
> > I recall "Seigenki" was his first film.  It is beautiful, a touch
> > sentimental -- but not overly so.  It has a wonderful score by my favorite
> > composer, Toru Takemitsu, who also liked this film a lot.
> > Best,
> > Peter Grilli
> >
> >
> > On Thu, 1 Jun 2000, Jonathan Crow wrote:
> >
> > >
> > > I'm struggling to find some info on a film called Seigenki
> > (1973?) directed
> > > by Toichiro Narushima. Would anyone know where I could learn
> > some more about
> > > this movie?
> > >
> > > Thanks in advance,
> > >
> > > Jon
> > >
> > >
> >
> >

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