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Taiheiyo hitori-botchi (Alone Across the Pacific)

Posted by martinteller on January 8, 2010

A disappointing film from Ichikawa, especially considering it was made in the same year as the magnificent Revenge of a Kabuki Actor.  A young man decides to sail his tiny yacht from Osaka to San Francisco, just for the hell of it.  Ichikawa cranked out a lot of movies in his lifetime, and this feels like one of the more half-hearted efforts.  The marine cinematography is superb, capturing the enormity of the Pacific, the cramped confines below deck, and a few exciting sequences.  There’s some nice attention to detail and good use of the ultra-wide frame.  But there’s just not much heart and soul or depth to it.  Star Yûjirô Ishihara is likeable enough in the lead role, but we don’t really get too attached to him or get invested in his journey.  Because the journey itself is almost entirely geographical; he doesn’t evolve much as a character.  Perhaps the whole thing is a response to the Japanese “Sun Tribe” films (Ishihara had a small role in Crazed Fruit, and most likely did other work in the genre), some kind of critique on the restlessness of youth.  But I didn’t really get that from it.  Just sort of felt like an average survival/adventure tale.  Rating: 6


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