Shigatsu monogatari   1998   Japan April Story
April Story Image Cover
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Director:Shunji Iwai
Studio:Rockwell Eyes Inc.
Writer:Shunji Iwai
IMDb Rating:7.3 (1,157 votes)
Awards:1 win
Genre:Romance
Duration:67 min
Location:Tokyo
Languages:Japanese
IMDb:0146271
Amazon:B0011XVMI4
Search:NetflixYouTube
Shunji Iwai  ...  (Director)
Shunji Iwai  ...  (Writer)
 
Takako Matsu  ...  Nireno, Uzuki
Seiichi Tanabe  ...  Yamazaki
Kaori Fujii  ...  Kitao, Teruko
Rumi  ...  Saeko Sono
Kazuhiko Kato  ...  Kato
Ken Mitsuishi  ...  Salaryman Fu no Otoko
Yôsuke Eguchi  ...  Oda Nobunaga
Tatsuya Ishii  ...  Akechi Mitsuhide
Masatô Ibu  ...  Saito Toshizo
Yoshiro Matsumoto  ...  Father
Noriko Fujima  ...  Mother
Somegorô Ichikawa  ...  Son
Kio Matsumoto  ...  Daughter
Sansei Shiomi  ...  Shoji
Tsunekazu Umeda  ...  Removalist
Noboru Shinoda  ...  Cinematographer
Comments: A sweet slice of life portrait of a girl's transition from a high school in Japan's northern countryside to university in Tokyo. It's a series of vignettes that begins with her family seeing her off and ends with a reveal of why she went to this particular university. In between we watch her move into her new apartment, cook meals for herself, meet her neighbors and classmates, buy a bike, and browse a bookstore. It may not sound like much but it's very well crafted. Takako Matsu is as endearing as can be. It was a pleasure to see her, as a teenager, play this naive young girl after having recently seen her, at thirty-two, play an archetypal Japanese woman in Villon's Wife.

This is a short film, at just over an hour, that doesn't attempt much more than capturing a few moments in the life of a girl who is not only changing her outward surroundings but also following her inward desires. The reason she chose to go to the university in Tokyo is because her unrequited crush on a boy one year her senior is attending it. The film could have been longer and explored their relationship but then it wouldn't have ended as poetically as it does right at the moment they meet. Broken umbrellas, a rainstorm, and a barrel full of young love, idealism, and hope. Simply beautiful.

★★★★

Summary: In spring, a girl leaves the island of Hokkaido to attend university in Tokyo. Once there, she is asked to reveal why she wanted to go there in the first place.


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