The Funeral

Overview

The directorial debut of Juzo Itami, this irreverent black comedy satirizes death and burial customs in a surprising manner for a Japanese film. Trendy film actress Chizuko (Nobuko Miyamoto) and her actor husband Wabisuke (Tsutomu Yamazaki) must rush from a movie set to mourn Chizuko's honored elderly father. The three-day wake is dramatized with rich comic detail and a funny supporting cast including Shuji Otaki, Kin Sugai, and Chishu Ryu as a greedy priest. Although Itami had yet to perfect the deft comic touch...
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Overview

The directorial debut of Juzo Itami, this irreverent black comedy satirizes death and burial customs in a surprising manner for a Japanese film. Trendy film actress Chizuko (Nobuko Miyamoto) and her actor husband Wabisuke (Tsutomu Yamazaki) must rush from a movie set to mourn Chizuko's honored elderly father. The three-day wake is dramatized with rich comic detail and a funny supporting cast including Shuji Otaki, Kin Sugai, and Chishu Ryu as a greedy priest. Although Itami had yet to perfect the deft comic touch which made Tampopo (1986) such a treat, this darkly funny satire is still wonderfully entertaining and surprisingly touching.
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Special Features

Interactive menus; Filmographies; Scene access; Production credits
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Tom Wiener
The Loved One did it first, but The Funeral did it better. Tony Richardson's 1965 adaptation of the Evelyn Waugh portrait of life and death in Los Angeles was a hit-and-miss film that tried to take in too many targets. Juzo Itami's debut film is more modest, though just as outrageous in some of its scenes (the mistress of the bereaved son-in-law demanding sexual satisfaction in the woods near the site of the wake, for instance). Itami, unlike Waugh and Richardson, is an insider; he's aware that when it comes to funerals, many contemporary Japanese are caught between their instincts (do it quick and cheap) and their sense of tradition and duty. Most telling are the scenes in which the grieving daughter and her husband resort to an instructional video for tips on, for example, how to register the right kind of moans at the service. As with a wedding, the expenses keep mounting, with each person who provides a service taking full advantage of the grieving family's distraction and ignorance. Though Tampopo has proved to be Itami's biggest hit in the States, this film offers a more substantial meal; it will certainly appeal to fans of HBO's superb drama series Six Feet Under.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/29/1999
  • UPC: 720917510927
  • Original Release: 1984
  • Rating:

  • Source: Fox Lorber
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1)
  • Presentation: Pan & Scan
  • Language: Japanese
  • Time: 2:04:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Tsutomu Yamazaki Wabisuke Inoue
Nobuko Miyamoto Chizuko Amamiya
Kin Sugai Kikue Amamiya
Ichiro Zaitsu Satomi
Chishu Ryu The priest
Nekohachi Edoya Ebihara
Shuji Otake Shokichi Amamiya
Technical Credits
Juzo Itami Director, Screenwriter
Yusuke Okada Producer
Akira Suzuki Editor
Yasushi Tamaoki Producer
Joji Yuasa Editor
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
2. The Bad News [21:19]
3. Funeral Preparations Begin [13:21]
4. The A. B. C.'s of a Funeral [12:50]
5. A Special Guest [3:23]
6. A Full House [17:34]
7. The Final Goodbye [18:50]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Movie
   Scene Access
   Production Credits
   Filmographies
      Juzo Itami
      Nekohachi Edoya
      Nobuko Miyamoto
      Shuji Otake
      Chishu Ryu
      Kin Sugai
      Tsutomu Yamazaki
      Ichiro Zaitsu
   Trailer
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