Cleveland International Film Festival } March 22 – April 1, 2023 } Playhouse Square

(Kazoku Geemu)

Year: 1983
Country: Japan
Run Time: 107 minutes


One of Japan's foremost new directors, Yoshimitsu Morita shares an unusual approach to filmmaking with other young directors participating in the current renaissance of Japanese cinema. It is an individual form of expression that manifests itself in the almost musical editing rhythm of the film, which is of greater concern than the plot. Morita was born near Tokyo in 1950. Self-taught, he began experimenting with 8mm films before the release of his first comedy feature, "No-Yonamono," a very successful debut in 1981. THE FAMILY GAME is Morita's 5th feature, a devilishly satiric representation of middle-class family life in Japan today. The film's first look at the family shows them at the breakfast table, lined up like pigs at a trough, with manners to match, setting a surrealistic tone for what follows. Shigeyuki (Ichirota Miyagawa) is an adolescent under-achiever whose low grades will prevent him from joining his older brother at a superior high school, an absolute necessity to get ahead in Japanese life. So the family hires a tutor, Yoshimoto (Yusaku Matsuda) to help him with his entrance exams. The tutor's methods of persuasion barely prepare us for the hysterical food-throwing orgy he inflicts on the family before beating them up in response to their "petit-bourgeois" attitudes.

". . .Wickedly funny. . .a stylish deadpan comedy. . .a visual adventure. The succession of brilliantly colored, often geometric compositions satirize the worst aspects of what might be called Japan's economic modernism." -Vincent Canby, The New York Times

Yoshimitsu Morita (from the book by Honma Yohei)

Shiro Sasaki, Yu Okadu

Yonezo Maeda

Akimasa Kawashima

Principal Cast
Yusaku Matsuda, Ichirota Miyagawa, Juzo Itami, Saori Yuki

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