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The Pillow Book (1996)

Not Rated | | Drama | 6 June 1997 (USA)
Trailer
1:38 | Trailer
A woman with a body writing fetish seeks to find a combined lover and calligrapher.

Director:

Peter Greenaway

Writers:

Sei Shonagon (book), Peter Greenaway
5 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Release Date:

6 June 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Pillow Book See more »

Filming Locations:

Japan See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$2,372,744

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,372,744
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby SR

Color:

Color (Color)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the book U2 by U2, Bono and The Edge confirm that U2 and Brian Eno, as Passengers, were supposed to do the soundtrack, but the idea fell through. They went on to record and release a collection of songs for imaginary films titled Original Soundtracks 1. 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: If writings did not exist, what terrible depressions we should suffer.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Celebrity Naked Ambition (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Valse
extract from The Frist String Quartet "La Theorie"
Written by Walter Hus
Performed by Quadro Quartet
Courtesy of Het Gerucht / Uncle Dan's
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sensual, erotic & languid
25 July 2000 | by AfraciousSee 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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