Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Nijushi no hitomi (1954)
this is one beloved film. director keisuke kinoshita was already a very popular filmmaker when he took a trip to paris and discovered a children's book he wished to make into a movie. alas, the title was not available. so what did he do? he chose another book by the same author. good thinking, though i always wonder about a novice choosing 'self portrait' instead of 'blonde on blonde.' well, '24 eyes' (translation) turned out to be one of the most popular films in the history of japanese cinema.
the lead actress was already very famous when chosen for this role. the director said that no matter what role she played she always looked intelligent. it was perfect casting as this is the story of a young teacher on a remote island during the years leading up to war. the 24 eyes are the 12 students she watches glow up and away from her. the cinematography is a dream. actress hideko takamine will break your heart. rarely is a character as loving as this.
photos: hideko takamine/bottom image: taking the students on a day trip across the water