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The Little House

Chiisai Ouchi

Japan | 2014 | 136 minutes | Yoji Yamada

A country girl named Taki comes to Tokyo in the 1930s to find domestic work, observing the bourgeois goings-on and indiscretions of her employers. Adapted from the novel by Kyoko Nakajima.

May 21, 2014
Lincoln Square Cinemas  
6:30 PM Date has passed
June 1, 2014
SIFF Cinema Uptown Festival  
4:30 PM Date has passed
June 8, 2014
SIFF Cinema Uptown Festival  
6:00 PM Date has passed
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When the elderly Taki Nunomiya passes away, her relatives describe her as a spinster and a quiet loner. Her grand-nephew, Takeshi, however, discovers her memoirs and learns of the exciting life she led before the war. So begins The Little House, the latest film from Japan’s prolific director Yôji Yamada. Told mostly in flashback, the film cuts to 1935, when a naïve 18-year-old Taki travels to Tokyo from the rural Yamagata prefecture and finds a job as a maid for a middle-class family: Masaki Hirai, a toy-company executive, and his wife, Tokiko. Taki gets along well with the family, especially after she cares attentively to the couple’s 5-year-old son, Kyoichi, who contracts polio. But trouble soon appears in the form of art-school graduate Shoji, one of Masaki’s work colleagues. As Masaki is increasingly called away from home on business, a lonely Tokiko begins an affair with Shoji that only Taki knows about. While World War II rages around them, most of the drama takes place inside the modest red-tile-roofed house of the film’s title, ratcheting up the tension. In the masterful hands of Yamada, this simple tale of family secrets and scandalous love triangles, adapted from a best-selling novel by Kyoko Nakamura, is a gorgeously art-directed melodrama that reveals a domestic side of nationalistic Japan rarely seen on screen.

Director Biography

Writer and director Yôji Yamada, who graduated from Tokyo University in 1954, is one of Japan’s most prolific filmmakers, having directed nearly 80 films. He is most famous for launching the popular “Tora-san" romantic comedies, considered the world's longest cinematic film series. Yamada wrote and directed 46 of the 48 Tora-san films between 1969 and 1995. He is also known for his award-winning “Samurai Trilogy,” The Twilight Samurai (2002), The Hidden Blade (2004), and Love and Honor (2006).

Sponsored by The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles, Delta Air Lines, MarQueen Hotel & Inn at Queen Anne

Director: Yoji Yamada
Principal Cast: Takako Matsu, Haru Kuroki, Hidetaka Yoshioka, Satoshi Tsumabuki, Chieko Baisho
Country: Japan
Year: 2014
Running Time: 136 minutes
Producer: Hiroshi Fukazawa, Hiroyuki Saitô
Screenplay: Yoji Yamada, Emiko Hiramatsu, based on a novel by Kyoko Nakajima
Cinematographers: Masashi Chikamori
Editors: Iwao Ishii
Music: Joe Hisaishi
Website: Official Film Website
Awards: Berlin International Film Festival 2014 (Silver Bear for Best Actress)
Filmography: Tokyo Family (2012); About Her Brother (2010); Kabei: Our Mother (2007); Love and Honor (2006); The Hidden Blade (2004); The Twhilight Samurai (2002); A Class to Remember (1993); My Sons (1991); Final Take: The Golden Age of Movies (1986); The Village (1975); Home from the Sea (1972); Tora San Our Lovable Tramp (1969)
Language: Japanese
HasSubTitles: Yes
Format: DCP
International Sales: Shochiku Co., Ltd.
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