Search - The Book of the Dead (Kihachiro Kawamoto) on DVD

The Book of the Dead (Kihachiro Kawamoto)
The Book of the Dead
Kihachiro Kawamoto
Director: Kihachiro Kawamoto
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Animation
NR     2008     1hr 10min

In this ravishing film of mystical beauty, master animator Kihachiro Kawamoto s tour de force adventure tale tells the story of a young noblewoman in 8th-century Japan who leaves her home to follow the apparition of an exe...  more »


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Movie Details

Director: Kihachiro Kawamoto
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Animation
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Love & Romance, Animation
Studio: Kino Video
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 04/22/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/2005
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2005
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 10min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 5
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: Japanese
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Superbly Crafted Buddhist Fable
Gerard D. Launay | Berkeley, California | 06/11/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Although we are all familiar with three dimensional animation, either in the stop-motion style of Tim Burton or the computer designed efforts of
Pixar, Kihachiro Kawamoto's films are unique. He combines original puppets, Noh masks, traditional Japanese flute/ string melodies, natural sounds, lovely textiles, and Asian watercolor paintings to tell his stories. Altogether, it is a richly visual experience.

This movie is the tale of Japanese noble lady who leaves her home in search of a spiritual vision whereas that same vision is in search of an earthly experience. To see this film is to be immersed in Japanese textures and rhythms. Lovely, sensual, and exotic...and highly recommended.
Disappointed about the narration
blue | NY | 07/18/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)

"A wonderful production, I have no complain about that. However, my disappointment came from the narration part. The original one was done by late great Kyoko Kishida, who was the actress did "Woman in the Dune", and her mysterious voice should have been so suitable for this kind of story, yet it was replaced with an English narration by some unknown actress. I do not say that English narration is bad, but at least we should be given a choice for the original Japanese one or the English one. And strangely enough all other dialogues are subtitled and there is no choice to turn off that either. On the back of the case, it is said that the subtitle is optional, but it is not true. I do not know why Kino Video did this way. If they wanted to overdub this, they should have done the entire thing, and then given us a choice. This is so stupid and disapponting to me although I still recommend this beautiful animation."
Incredible stop animation
wiredweird | Earth, or somewhere nearby | 07/22/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Everything about this stop animation works beautifully. The puppets themselves have more personality and individuality than some live actors I can name. Painted backgrounds, when they appear, are the best I've seen since some from the big studios of the 1930s. Models to go with the puppets are exquisitely made. A puppet works a model loom in one passage, and I'm convinced that the model actually works. Motion is some of the most elegant I've seen in stop animation - robes even flutter convincingly in the non-existent wind.

The story itself does not reveal itself easily, at least not to a Western eye. It follows a high-born daughter of a major feudal house, religious retreat, and a boddhisattva transcending life and death. This arises not only from a wholly Japanese cultural and historical background, but from a long tradition of Buddhist thought and myth. As a result, I can only appreciate this as a cultural outsider. The ending, clearly a crescendo in the story, carries meanings that eluded me. I am not criticizing - far from it, I appreciate the depths of the story, even if I can't see all the way into them myself. That just adds a wonderful, foreign sense of mystery to the technical mastery of this amazing movie.

-- wiredweird"