Kon Ichikawa

From Academic Kids

Kon Ichikawa (市川 崑 Ichikawa Kon) (born November 20, 1915, Mie Prefecture, Japan) is one of the better known Japanese film directors.

He gained his western credibility in the 1950s and 1960s with a number of bleak films - two antiwar films with The Burmese Harp and Fires on the Plain, Conflagration in which a priest burns down his temple to save it from spiritual pollution, Alone in the Pacific and the technically formidable An Actor's Revenge about a Kabuki actor.

Many of his films are literary adaptations, works including Tanizaki Junichiro's The Key (1959) and The Makioka Sisters (1983), Natsume Soseki's Kokoro (1955) and I Am a Cat (1965), and Yukio Mishima's The Temple of the Golden Pavilion (as Enjo (1958)).

His films were often screen-written by his wife, Natto Wada, and when she ceased this activity at the end of the 1960s it marked a change in his films.

It can be said that his main trait is technical expertise, irony, detachment and a drive for realism married with a complete spectrum of genres. Some critics class him with Akira Kurosawa, Kenji Mizoguchi and Yasujiro Ozu as one of the masters of Japanese cinema.

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