Thursday, March 21, 2013

The tale of a man, a Jeep, his manager and some reporters

I enjoyed a 1962 movie last night that combined romantic comedy and drama with a media satire that would work as well in 2013 as it did 51 years ago.
KOREYOSHI KURAHARA'S "NIKUI AN-CHIKUSHO (I HATE BUT LOVE)" stars YUJIRO ISHIHARA as a popular Japanese media personality who begins to feel suffocated by both his crowded public appearance schedule as well as his lovestruck and demanding manager, played by RURIKO ASAOKA.
The star decides to abruptly cast aside his work and his fame to perform a humanitarian mission -- driving a Jeep the length of Japan to a doctor in a remote village in Kyushu (the most southwesterly of Japan's four main islands).
His manager obsessively follows him, her idea of love bordering on the mentally unstable and possessive variety.
Hordes of reporters and cameramen also follow him on his journey -- and he ironically becomes even more popular as a result.
There are several scenes reminiscent of the great PRESTON STURGES classic "SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS," in which a film director's journey to find real meaning in poverty is initially chronicled by a trailing team of movie officials and reporters.
A similar scenario occurs to Ishihara, whose growing fame during the journey means he can't even stop in roadside cafes for fear that crowds of well-wishers could disrupt his 900-mile journey.
It's a film well-worth seeking out.


Post a Comment

<< Home