Repast (めし, Meshi) is a 1951 Japanese drama and shōshimin-eiga film directed by Mikio Naruse and starring Setsuko Hara.[1][2][3] It is based on the final and unfinished novel by Fumiko Hayashi,[4] and was the first in a series of adaptations of her work by the director.[5]

Japanese theatrical release poster
Directed byMikio Naruse
Written by
Produced bySanezumi Fujimoto
CinematographyMasao Tamai
Music byFumio Hayasaka
Distributed byToho
Release date
  • 23 November 1951 (1951-11-23) (Japan)[1][2]
Running time
98 minutes

Plot edit

Michiyo has moved from Tokyo to settle down in Osaka with her salaryman husband, whom she married against her parents' wishes. A few years later into the marriage, her husband treats her carelessly, and she is slowly worn down by domestic drudgery. The situation worsens when her pretty niece, fleeing from her parents' plans for an arranged marriage, comes to stay and the husband responds to her flirtatious behaviour. Dissatisfied with his efforts to improve their household life, she leaves with her niece for Tokyo to stay with her family for a time, but finally returns, resigning to marital conventions.

Cast edit

Production edit

Repast was the first of a series of six films directed by Naruse based on works by Fumiko Hayashi, "a novelist whose pessimistic outlook matched his own" (Alexander Jacoby).[5] It also marked a successful return for Naruse, whose films of the preceding 15 years were regarded as lesser works by critics.[3][6] According to screenwriter Toshirō Ide, he and his co-writer Sumie Tanaka had wanted to finish the story with the couple's divorce, but this was vetoed by the studio in favour of a conclusion with, as contemporary critic Takao Toda put it, "mass appeal".[4] As a result, Tanaka left the project prematurely.[4]

Legacy edit

Repast was screened at the Museum of Modern Art in 1985[7] and at the Harvard Film Archive in 2005[8] as part of their retrospectives on Mikio Naruse.

Awards edit

  • Blue Ribbon Award for Best Film, Best Actress (Setsuko Hara), Best Supporting Actress (Haruko Sugimura) and Best Screenplay (Sumie Tanaka, for Repast, Boyhood and Wagaya wa tanoshi)[9]
  • Mainichi Film Award for Best Film, Best Actress (Setsuko Hara), Best Director (Mikio Naruse), Best Cinematography (Masao Tamai) and Best Sound Recording (Masao Fujiyoshi)[10]

References edit

  1. ^ a b "めし (Repast)". Japanese Movie Database (in Japanese). Retrieved 28 January 2021.
  2. ^ a b "めし (Repast)". Kinema Junpo (in Japanese). Retrieved 6 January 2022.
  3. ^ a b Anderson, Joseph L.; Richie, Donald (1959). The Japanese Film – Art & Industry. Rutland, Vermont and Tokyo: Charles E. Tuttle Company.
  4. ^ a b c Russell, Catherine (2011). Classical Japanese Cinema Revisited. New York and London: Continuum International. pp. 106f. ISBN 978-1-4411-1681-9.
  5. ^ a b Jacoby, Alexander (2008). A Critical Handbook of Japanese Film Directors. Berkeley, California: Stone Bridge Press. pp. 268–273. ISBN 978-1-933330-53-2.
  6. ^ Thrift, Matthew. "Repast in The best Japanese film of every year – from 1925 to now". British Film Institute. Retrieved 17 February 2021.
  7. ^ "Mikio Naruse: A Master of the Japanese Cinema Opens at MoMA September 23" (PDF). Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved 20 July 2023.
  8. ^ "Repast". Harvard Film Archive. Retrieved 21 July 2023.
  9. ^ "2nd Blue Ribbon Awards" (in Japanese). Cinema Hochi. Archived from the original on 7 February 2009. Retrieved 28 January 2021.
  10. ^ "6th Mainichi Film Awards" (in Japanese). Retrieved 28 January 2021.

External links edit