Juzo Itami

Juzo Itami – Shizukana seikatsu AKA A Quiet Life (1995)

Veteran director Juzo Itami who — shot to fame with his sharply satirical Ososhiki and Tampopo — turns to decidedly sweeter fare in this melodrama about the life of a mentally handicapped young man and his devoted sister after their famous novelist father and housewife mother go to Australia on a business trip. Adapted from the novel by Nobel Laureate and brother-in-law to Itami, Kenzaburo Oe, the film centers on Iyo (Atsuro Watabe) — a brain damaged lad who is a gifted musician — and his artist sister Ma-chan (Hinako Saeki), who slowly learn about the darker, more complicated life outside their idyllic home. One catalyst in this transition is Arai-kun (Masayuki Imai) who at first seems like not only the perfect swim instructor for Iyo — he’s kind and patient — but also the perfect boyfriend for Ma-chan. Unfortunately, Arai-kun has a darker side, which comes out in unfortunate ways. Itami’s wife, Nobuko Miyamoto, also appears. ~ Jonathan Crow, All Movie Guide Read More »