女を楽しくするニュースサイト「ウーマンライフ WEB 版」

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特集「追悼 高峰秀子」3 喜びも悲しみも幾年月(1957年)【ヒューマン映画】 Times of Joy and Sorrow (The Lighthouse) (1957) (in memory of Hideko Takamine)


監督 木下恵介/Director: Keisuke Kinoshita
出演 高峰秀子、佐田啓二、田村高廣/Starring: Hideko Takamine‚ Keiji Sada‚ Takahiro Tamura



The real value of “analogue”

I want you to imagine this situation: a woman is telling the chronicles of her life. She is honest and calm and doesn’t fall into narcissism. She talks of the happenings over the 25 years since she married until the present. She has two children: one died in an accident and her daughter married. Her husband works as a lighthouse keeper. He is appointed to the backcountry of Japan. The children constantly change school according to their father’s work place. He also worked away from the family and with nobody to talk to at the lighthouse on the remote islands‚ he and his wife often argued.

There is no political conspiracy or betrayal‚ no action from a hero and no suspense or gun fights. There is love between husband and wife and love of family‚ love of neighbours‚ love of friends‚ love of work; that’s right‚ there is also “love”- this kind of narration continues monotonously. You have no choice but to listen to it and nod your head. Despite this content being commonplace‚ the way her voice hesitates and her superb ways of pausing; although it should be boring‚ we wait to listen for her to continue. This film was that kind of film.

Takamine said of herself‚ “The heroine was too smart‚ and it was boring to play her”. These words were probably Takamine’s typical pretense of evil. To watch this movie through to the end is certainly similar to nibbling away at prawn-flavoured crackers or peanuts until the packet is empty. That doesn’t make it a bad film.

When I look at it now‚ in regard to filming someone repairing a lighthouse in a storm‚ the monotony of film techniques would stand out‚ and it makes me think of the limits of a film without failures‚ interpersonal relationships and villains. However you try to see the outside as commonplace‚ to those concerned there is no such thing as a non-internal drama. That continuation is the reality of life. This film is brilliant by not stepping away from that. It is illustrated with possibilities.

Keiji Sada performs well as a lighthouse keeper who is honest and passionate about his work. Originally there is a plant-like feeling about him but when he is beside Takamine he looks much better. Their daughter marries and she departs with her husband for his work in Cairo. When the ship passes before the lighthouse in Omaezaki‚ timing the moment‚ Takamine and Sada sound the fog horn. The rotating light of the lighthouse brightens the night time sea and the resonating fog horn receives an answer from the ship their daughter is aboard. They hang out from the lighthouse and see off the ship. No matter how boring or monotonous this movie is said to be‚ no one would complain about this scene.

This very Japanese and lyrical film was not well understood overseas. Since an automated lighthouse didn’t require a a lighthouse keeper‚ it was said that they couldn’t understand what was going on. The real value of this film was in everything “analogue”.