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The Family Game   The New York Times 1/4/1984

“Everybody in my family is too much,” says a voice on the soundtrack as, during the opening credits, we see the members of that family lined up, side by side, at the narrow, possibly imported Scandinavian dining tale, noisily slurping their food and sticking elbows and arms into each other’s face.


With these arresting images, Yoshimitsu Morita, a new young Japanese director, opens his wickedly funny “The Family Game” a stylish, deadpan comedy about Japan’s comparatively affluent, utterly directionless, new middle class.


In addition to directing, Mr. Morita adapted the screenplay from a novel by Yohei Honma, I assume he is also responsible for the extraordinary visual design.


It’s risky to make predictions on the basis of just one film, but “The Family Game” is so rich that Mr. Morita would seem to be one the most talented and original of Japan’s new generation of filmmakers.

                                                                    (by Vincent Ganby)                                    

SOREKARA (And Then)  Variety 28/5/1986


Director Morita and scripter Tomomi Tsutsui(working from a novel by Soseki Natsume) approach the material reverently, providing rich roles for an excellent group of actors.A particular standout is the director’s boldness in spicing up with what could have been a visually constricting costumer. Noteworthy is the use of special photographic effects when, for example, the idler rides the local tram or walks through the family garden. Yonezo Maeda’s photography is especially impressive in carrying out these effects, as is Kazuo Yabe’s lighting.


Overall, “Sorekara” runs a bit long, and is a bit too formal in its pacing in spots. But make no mistake: this is work of a high order. Pic should be reviewed by fest directors on the prowl for product, and might well become fodder for specialized commercial distribution.


                                                                                     (by Sege.)

(HARU)   Time Out 12/3/1996


The Japanese, as everyone knows, started in the slow-lane on the I-Way, but are fast getting up to speed. How fast is evident in Yoshimitsu Morita’s “Haru”


Morita has created a new hybrid: the film/novel of linked letters. “Haru” is movie you read, a novel you see.


We’ve all read or heard of this kind of thing before: Boy meets girl on the Internet, the boy really meets girl off the Internet, and both live happily ever after.


Morita is too clever, throwing in plot twists that ring more of color box-office calculation than artistic fascination with this strange new method of communication ― so intimate, so anonymous, encouraging the boldest of truths, the baldest of lies.


                                                                       (by Mark Schilling)

(HARU)  Variety 18/5/1996


Last but not least, there’s Morita’s wonderfully judged script (which establishes characters through the printed word) and his immaculate, confident direction. Visuals are almost classically composed, with clean, ultra-sharp lensing by Hiroe Takase.

It’s a risky conceit, but “Haru” is a captivating piece of cinema, with an emotional pay-off, due to the fact that, underneath all the techno wrapping, this is basically a boy-meets-girl romance: in an age of electronic relationships, when everything seems to have changed, in fact nothing’s changed at all.    

                                                                           (by Derek Elley)

LOST PARADISE    The Gazette Montreal 30/8/1997


As Yoshimitsu mentioned yesterday through his interpreter


“The film has helped encourage a discussion about the nature of immorality. Is what these two people are doing so horribly wrong? It has helped confront a central hypocrisy in Japanese culture.”


“Love is universal. So is the desire of happiness. If the film works outside Japan, it will be because people recognize those qualities in the film.”

                                                                                                                                                                     (by John Griffin)

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