Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Atsushi Itô, Sora Tôma, Teruyuki Kagawa, Ryoko Takizawa, Ken Mitsuishi
Director: Akira Ogata
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Music Video & Concerts, Gay & Lesbian
Michio, 15, is sent to a remote Catholic boys orphanage soon after the tragic death of his father. Awkward and unable to speak without stuttering, Michio finds it nearly impossible to get along in his new environment. Yasu... more »
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I watched this film without expecting anything. To be honest, I first thought it would be a cheesy drama kind of movie since it was listed on gay & lesbian selection (why?)... Turned out I was completely wrong. The story is sophisticated, very emotional, excellent music and brings some reminiscence of early 70s. I had tears in my eyes when the film was over.
The songs they sing in the film got stuck on my head for a very long time and I watched this film over and over. Good thing it was in DVD if it was in VHS the tape would wear out."
D. G Turk | long beach, ms United States | 07/24/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a foreign film with many awards, outstanding drama
and you would not believe the descipline in this movie
enjoy it is a film you can watch over and over"
Weird and Disappointing
Rolando A. Perez | Los Angeles, CA USA | 06/28/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is a strange and somewhat misleading movie which does not have a gay subject matter. It may be construed that the relationship between the two main characters to be gay, but it is not.
The beginning of the movie shows a young boy, Michio, witnessing his father's death in a hospital while he is plotting 3 of his bodily functions. That right off the bet is rather strange. Even though the movie is set in the 70's in Japan, rather a turbulent times for that country, I would think that hospitals were equipped with charts.
At the moment of death, Michio's father comes alive and blurts a phrase, making no sense. This theme of what happens after life seems to be a recurring one.
Michio becomes an orphan and is sent to a Catholic orphanage in the country side. The school is run by a pastor, who used to be a revolutionary of the Communist Party in Japan. Later on in the movie one his former accomplices, a girl, who is wanted along with him for bombing a police headquarters, shows back in his life and at the school. He wants nothing to do with her as his past life is over. She blows herself up into pieces while the police attempts to arrest her. He gets arrested but released.
In the orphanage, Michio meets Yasuo, an effeminate looking boy. He becomes his only friend in the beginning because Michio has a problem with stuttering, and the other boys pick on him. The school has a boy's choir and Yasuo sings soprano as well as he is a leader in this group. Michio joins the choir.
The movie goes on in portraying the development of friendship between these two boys. It dwell a lot on the choir's duties, the music, and lyrics, which are very political, heavy handed to the Red Communist Party (making the movie a rather political statement.)
Even though this movie is a story about a boy's choir, and it does that rather well, the plot could have been much better. The gay relationship between these two boys could have been developed better. I think that was what this movie was intended for? I read in a synopsis somewhere that Yasuo becomes jealous of Michio looking at a girl. I missed that.
Michio looses his stuttering and becomes confident of himself. Yasuo looses his voice while away in the summer (he ran away to Tokyo to march with the revolutionaries). Michio tries to help him cope with his problem, returning the favor. But again the heavy tone political statement comes back. The choir goes for competition in the semi-final and win third place. Yasuo commits suicide at the very end but again the nonsensical remark at the point of death comes back. The end is very confusing as they show the choir with Yasou singing soprano. Is this after death?
The movie is convoluted as it depicts many topics. What happens after death, the political statement about the Communist Party in the 70's in Japan, a boy's choir in a Catholic orphanage in the country side. a pastor who is running away from his past, Christianity versus Buddhism, etc.
This is my second Japanese movie. I liked the first one better."