La Maison de Himiko (Japan Movie); メゾン・ド・ヒミコ; Mezon do Country: Japan ; Type: Movie; Release Date: Aug 27, ; Duration: 2 hr. He claims to be the boyfriend of her estranged father, Himiko, who now runs a seaside rest home for elderly gays. Mezon do Himiko Poster .. Release Date. seniors: and internet 36–7; invisibility of 37–8; in participatory co-living 41, 44– 5 husband; konkatsu (dating to lead to marriage); marriage, BalineseJapanese ; 30, 71 medical care see aged-care Mezon do Himiko (La Maison de Himiko).
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Saori begins the film trapped in miserable circumstances.
In a society where people are sensitive to emotions and make sure to regulate them in public to maintain their roles, Shibasaki gleefully plays a character whose physicality broadcasts her inner anger to the world with little regard for what people may think.
Slight in build but curdling with an ocean of inner ire she slouches around in every scene as if powered by resentment over having to engage with life.
House of Himiko | Revolvy
Forget makeup, she has a permanent frown plastered on her face. Her manner is curt and her disgust for others, and herself, is plain to see. It is understandable when you consider her broken family background and her present financially straitened circumstances. Her apartment, just glimpsed is cramped and rather bland while her office work is pure monotony with a predatory boss looking to sink his claws into his female workers.
Most of the shots of her city life are of drab, rainy, humid anonymous urban locations. When she travels to the coastal town where La Maison de Himiko is, the atmosphere of the film changes into a more vibrant one and Saori begins to open up in her new surroundings. The titular house rests on the coast basking in the warm embrace of the sun for most of the day. Most of all, it is a place that encourages people to be together as can be seen by sofas, the long dining tables and the swimming pool and an open kitchen where everyone contributes to the cooking and eating together.
These personal experiences and the items they bring such as family photographs, reminisces of mothers or children, past jobs, all humanise a supporting cast who play their roles with coolness and respect. As she gets to know the band of gays she works for, this hatred is soon mixed with grudging interest that gradually becomes acceptance and friendliness as she becomes part of a supportive group of people who act as a family and she gets to know the men who reveal more about themselves to this outsider.
Maison de Himiko 「メゾン・ド・ヒミコ」 – Genkinahito
Sympathy arises as La Maison de Himiko has allowed the audience to see that these men are people and thus complex and lets us make the connection for ourselves with little manipulation. This is a lesson that Saori learns herself when she comes to understand her father Himiko and his lover Haruhiko are no longer easily dismissed as the root cause of her misery.
Min Tanaka, swathed in feminine robes, makes few appearances as Himiko, bedridden as the character is, but his presence is felt throughout the film thanks to his strong and cool masculinity which gives the sense of an unshakable and uncompromising belief in what he is and has done. The story is not perfect.
These elements give the story a slightly schematic feeling, as if boxes are ticked as gay-related issues are neatly dealt with and audience expectations met, but they are couched between the other, more down-to-earth characters and there is that wonderful Japanese ambiguity and darkness that gives it an edge. Happiness for the characters is never certain, forgiveness is not something easily found, total acceptance of homosexuality is something these men may never see in their lifetime but as long as Le Maison de Himiko remains open and they look out for each other, things will work out.
What I enjoyed the most about the film is really how honest it was and how the characters are genuine. Take note that I watched the second half of the film without subtitles and relied on my very little Japanese.
But despite that, the film isn't short of what it intends to do. The contrast is particularly strong here. The narration straight-up unfolds the narration and the setting.
And we are introduced to Saori Kou Shibasaki who's always in a scowl, looks pissed and feels frustrated.
Maison de Himiko 「メゾン・ド・ヒミコ」2005
That frustration bubbles up when the she starts working at the House of Himiko. And the film takes time to get to know the characters through Saori's eyes.
Hence, it's not a narrative that just focuses on homosexuality alone but also how others come to accept them. Saori's hatred is apparent. She refuses to hide her anger. She lets it out. To the people there.
House of Himiko
To her father Min Tanaka. To Haruhiko Joe Odagiri. But like Saori, these characters don't flutter.
The film magnifies how people put on this wall, creating their own disillusionment and why this exists. Haruhiko tries to act together.
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But eventually breaks down later.