6.7/10
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The Pillow Book (1996)

Not Rated | | Drama | 6 June 1997 (USA)
A woman with a body writing fetish seeks to find a combined lover and calligrapher.

Director:

Writers:

(book), | 1 more credit »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Ken Ogata ...
The Father
Hideko Yoshida ...
The Aunt / The Maid
...
Judy Ongg ...
The Mother
Ken Mitsuishi ...
The Husband
Yutaka Honda ...
Hoki
Barbara Lott ...
Jerome's Mother
Miwako Kawai ...
Young Nagiko
...
Jerome's sister (as Lynne Frances Wachendorfer)
Chizuru Ohnishi ...
Young Nagiko
Shiho Takamatsu ...
Young Nagiko
Aki Ishimaru ...
Young Nagiko
Hisashi Hidaka ...
Calligrapher
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Storyline

As a young girl in Japan, Nagiko's father paints characters on her face, and her aunt reads to her from "The Pillow Book", the diary of a 10th-century lady-in-waiting. Nagiko grows up, obsessed with books, papers, and writing on bodies, and her sexual odyssey (and the creation of her own Pillow Book) is a "parfait mélange" of classical Japanese, modern Chinese, and Western film images. Written by Michael C. Berch <mcb@postmodern.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

book | paper | paint | chinese | japan | See All (254) »

Taglines:

From the creator of The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover comes a sensuous tale of passion, obsession and revenge. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| | |

Release Date:

6 June 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Livro de Cabeceira  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$105,922 (USA) (6 June 1997)

Gross:

$2,293,037 (USA) (15 August 1997)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Goofs

Mike visible during wide shot when Nagiko kneels and Jerome signs his name on her back. 01:03:59 into the film on PAL DVDs. See more »

Quotes

Nagiko: Anything coloured Indigo is splendid; Indigo coloured flowers, Indigo thread, and especially indigo paper.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Holiday (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Ranryo Ou
Court music of Japan
Performed by Tokyo Gasuko
Courtesy of Victor Entertainment
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User Reviews

 
Sensual, erotic & languid
25 July 2000 | by (England) – See all my reviews

At the beginning of the film we see a little girl being written upon by her father. The film then moves to the girl as an adult, and seeking lovers who will write on her body again. She meets a bisexual Englishman, who also likes to be written on, and she finds out he is also a former lover of a man who has previously betrayed her father.

Greenaway uses some of the techniques from Prospero's Books, in the way the film is shown, with small rectangular boxes containing other images. The film is beautiful to look at, as per usual with Greenaway's films. There is also a seductive French song that plays at times during the film, a sensuous lady performs this tune, and it is very appropriate to the film. The film is erotic, with plenty of nudity on view. I do think the film is a bit languid at times though, and this hurts it, but it's still an impressive piece of cinema.


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