The Book of the Dead (2005) Japan
The Book of the Dead Image Cover
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Director:Kihachiro Kawamoto
Rating:4.5 (3 votes)
Date Added:2010-02-22
Aspect Ratio:1.33:1
Custom 1:009
Tags: Buddhism Drama Asia Course

Summary: Based on a story by early 20th century writer Shinobu Origuchi, "The Book of the Dead" (2005) suggests summary of puppet animator Kihachiro Kawamoto's previous work. The learned and beautiful Lady Iratsume of the aristocratic Fujiwara clan receives a vision of a deity when she contemplates Mt. Futakami. Leaving her mansion for a temple at the base of the mountain, she learns that her vision is a manifestation of Prince Otsu, who was treacherously murdered decades earlier to prevent his accession as Emperor. Lady Iratsume weaves a miraculous garment to clothe the figure in her vision, using thread spun from lotus plants (a symbol of rebirth). The setting in 8th century Nara provides Kawamoto with a showcase for his delicately beautiful puppets and nuanced animation. The design of Lady Iratsume recalls the tragic heroine of "House of Flame", but the animation of the figure is even more subtle: when Iratsume copies a Buddhist sutra or sews the enchanted fabric, every movement is rendered with consummate grace. Kawamoto's mastery of design and motion offers a model for all students of animation. His earlier work is available on "The Exquisite Short Films of Kihachiro Kawamoto (1968-1979)".(Unrated, suitable for ages 14 and older: mature themes) "--Charles Solomon"