Previously at the ICA - Films

Yoshitaro Nomura, The Castle of Sand, 1974

Yoshitaro Nomura Film Season: The Castle of Sand

22 Apr 2014

The Castle of Sand is the film for which Nomura will forever be most associated. It’s a sprawling, twisting police procedural that criss-crosses rural Japan and uncovers a tragic story of anger and discrimination, in search of the solution to a murder mystery.

A pair of detectives, one rookie, one senior, are investigating the Tokyo rail yard murder of Miki, a much-loved policeman who was a pillar of his community. Their single extremely slender clue has taken them to the north part of Japan’s main island, though they are soon forced to return to their baffled colleagues in frustration to search for more clues.

Based on Matsumoto’s highly popular 1960 serialisation in the national daily newspaper the Yomiuri Shimbun, the film version had been a project in gestation for fourteen years at the studio Shochiku, who by 1974 were trying to make films for the mass audience that cinema had by then lost to TV. The Castle of Sand was an unexpectedly huge hit in Japan. It remains a classic of the mainstream, and ranks still as one of the greatest of all Japanese films among Japanese critics. It combines a cool, careful police investigation in the first half with a sweeping, emotional payoff in the second, a lengthy flashback that evokes silent-era storytelling.

The Castle of Sand, dir Yoshitarô Nomura, Japan 1974, 143 mins, subtitles, 35mm, cert 12A

Please note that all films are 18+ unless otherwise stated. The feature will start at 9pm with no trailers.

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