Release : Feb-28-2004 Duration : 115min.
©︎2004 Nippon Herald Films/Progressive Pictures/IMAGICA/Adness/Pony Canyon/The Sankei Shimbun
"24 hours is way too short for a day"
Kamachi Yamada --- the footsteps of a youth who lived out 17 years of a vibrant life
Kamachi Yamada's life was brought to a sudden end on August 10th 1977. He was just 17 at the time. This talented youth began drawings before turning two, taking people around by surprise. He even composed poems for his mother early in his school days.
His teen life was for music. Kamachi found himself hooked on The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Queen. This was also when he found his first love, which boosted his passion for art.
He always said "24 hours is way too short for a day."
But his life was cut short when he died of electric shock while plucking his guitar one summer day. A life that lasted only 17 years must have been too short for him to fulfill his ambitions. What is left behind are drawings, numbering over 1,000 and lots of poems. With the passing of time, more and more teenagers are coming to feel sympathies toward Kamachi, almost reaching to a point of a social boom.
Kamachi is reviving at last on the silver screen.
Kamachi's mother Chizuko raves this movie, the first-ever flick on her son
This is a movie full of youth that builds a bridge linking his times and now
Kamachi's works have been on display at museums and exhibitions, winning people's hearts on each occasion. Books featuring his artworks are available, along with CDs that contain the recitation of his poems. TV programs looking into his life have been also aired. But this is the first movie tracing the footsteps of his life. In this movie, Kamachi fell in love, nurtured friendship, faced tough times in entering a top high school. But this flick has more to offer than vivid memories of this youth. Later in the story, the focus shifts to modern day juveniles who use the Internet and mobile phones as major communication tools. This movie poses the questions, What Kamachi's way of life means to them who feel isolated from society? How come youngsters are being attracted to Kamachi even now? and Why his memory never fades away?
This film looks at Kamachi's life from the viewpoints of both youths in the past who shared their school days with Kamachi, and today's youths trying to live their own lives with him. This unique approach won Kamachi's mother's consent for the creation of a movie about him, even though she repeatedly turned down similar offers so far. This movie, which received her best praises, is a work of ever-lasting appeal.
A popular hip-hop dancing unit, Lead, are playing main roles, adding to the excitement surrounding this movie's long-awaited release.
Kamachi's poems spring up, his drawings dance on the screen. Big-names in the Japanese music scene lend their voices to revive Kamachi
This movie adopts two graphic techniques. One of them allows the words of Kamachi's poems to pop up one after another to the recitation by Shinya Taniuchi (who plays Kamachi). You can also see the process of how Kamachi painted drawings due to a special technique that successfully converted his drawings to moving artworks.
Hot singers like Bonnie Pink and Anam & Maki offered to cover The Beatles's hit tune "Please Mr. Postman," and "Twist and Shout," Kamachi's favorites.
If Kamachi were still alive, what melody would he attach to his poems?
This intriguing question prompted Lead to perform a rap version of Kamachi's poem "Arashi no Hibi," another highpoint of this film.
The film begins in Takasaki City, Gunma Prefecture back in the mid 1970s. Kamachi Yamada (Shinya Taniuchi), a junior high school student, always said "24 hours is way too short for a day." He just couldn't find enough time to fulfill his cravings for drawings, poems, and music that never ceased to inspire him. Being a youth who can push his back with his own hands, he declared that he enter Japan's most prestigious university straight on graduation. He also wrote down that he would rise up to the top of the global music scene.
But his ambitions stumbled on a hitch when he failed to get into an elite high school. He took some comfort when his mentor (Tomoro Taguchi) said "students trying to enroll into a good school are competing with other humans. But genuine artists are putting up a challenge against the God."
While studying at a cram school, Kamachi hit it off with Takashi, and soon after had a fateful encounter with Yoko (Fumiko Himeno), who was nicknamed "sweet pearl." Kamachi told Takashi one day "I must be with something beautiful," meaning that he wants to become friends with her.
Unable to resist his longings for her, he dared to confess how much he loved her. Kamachi held out his hand for a handshake, which Yoko shook back after saying "just being casual friends would be not so bad." This was the happiest day of his life.
20 years later, Shun (Hiroki Nakadoi), who spends his days holed up in his own room, puts up a Web site to recruit those who want to go to what he calls "another world" with him. He is the son of Takashi, who is now a practicing doctor. The Web site receives visits of Miyuki (Akane Osawa) and Yuichi (Keita Furuya). They are students who are studying at a cram school where Yoko (Fumi Dan) teaches. Miyuki buys a sleep-inducing drug from Shun. After taking some of the drugs she falls almost unconscious, but is saved by Yoko. Yoko then tells Miyuki how passionately Kamachi loved her, how hard he was trying to live out his own life, memories she has been putting deep in the back of her mind for so long.
Back in 1977, the day Kamachi learned that he had been admitted into the high school was also the day when Kamachi was told by Yoko "Maybe we can't be friends forever." Heartbroken Kamachi was given encouraging words from his best pal, Kosuke (Akira Kagimoto) "You know, no one is so sure about their future however rosy it looks now." Kamachi nodded in agreement. He ended 17 years of his life due to electric shock while playing guitar that summer.
Yuichi suddenly disappears with a message "I will do something big with drugs." Yoko goes after him into downtown Shibuya. Kamachi's words "You should live your life to the full" keeps echoing in the air all the while.