ike Grains of Sand is a Japanese drama film released on December 16, 1995 by Toho Company Ltd. The Japanese title for the film is Nagisa no Shindobaddo The film was directed and written by Ryosuke Hashiguchi and features a lead role played by Japan’s highest selling female musician Ayumi Hamasaki. It won three major awards in 1996 and 1997 including an award for best screenplay and two international awards. It was featured in the 1996 Toronto Film Festival in Canada as well as the 1997 International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in Turin, Italy.
Director: Ryosuke Hashiguchi
Writer: Ryosuke Hashiguchi
Original title: Nagisa no Shindobaddo
– Yoshinori Okada : Shuji Ito
– Kouta Kusano : Hiroyuki Yoshida
– Ayumi Hamasaki : Kasane Aihara
– Kumi Takada : Ayako Shimizu
– Shizuka Isami : Rika Matsuo
– Bang-ho Cho : Teacher
– Kouji Yamaguchi : Touru Kanbara
Story: High school senior Shuji Ito falls in love with his best friend at school, the very popular Hiroyuki Yoshida. As their friendship develops, Ito wants to tell Yoshida about his feelings for him. But Yoshida develops a crush on new girl in town Kasana Aihara.
Like Grains of Sand is a beautiful film and deserves to be viewed as such, and judged as this, not just as a “GAY” film. After all Wong Kar-Wai that talented director of films like Chungking Express (1994) and Fallen Angels (1995), said while promoting his film Happy Together (1997) that “Trauma is trauma, love is love, pain is pain, and tears are tears, whether the relationship be heterosexual or homosexual, this does not change, these things are open to all, pain in love is universal” I am paraphrasing of course, but this is close to what he said, and what he wanted his film to portray to it’s audience.
This is a beautiful film, wonderfully acted by an almost totally teenage cast. Wonderfully photographed in mostly middle distance shots (not many close ups), by Shogo Ueno. And though there is not a lot of music during the film, what there is which is not played by the school bands, is magnificent.
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