Preparation for the Festival

Matsuri no junbi

dir. Kazuo Kuroki

TIFF Cinematheque - Retrospective

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Named after one of Gauguin's Tahitian paintings, this affectionate and insightful autobiographical portrait of a rural Japanese community was hailed as a major work when it played at the New York Film Festival.
Named after one of Gauguin's Tahitian paintings, Preparation for the Festival was directed by Kazuo Koroki, who established his reputation in the early sixties with the Resnais-influenced Hokkaido, My Love. Based on an autobiographical script by screenwriter Takehiro Nakajima, the film focuses on Tateo, a mother-dominated young man living in a rural Japanese community who realizes that he must leave the place he loves, finding it too closed and constricting. With great affection and insight, Kuroki characterizes the villagers who surround Tateo: his neurotic mother and philandering father, who lives across town with his mistress; his grandfather, who is obsessed with the idea that he fathered a child by a promiscuous young girl; a drunken friend, et al. Echoing Imamura's portraits of rural life (including the theme of incest), Preparation for the Festival was voted by Japanese critics as one of the five best films of the year and hailed as a major work at the New York film festival.