ACHILLES AND THE TORTOISE

MATERIALS

DOCUMENTATION

PHOTOS

TAKESHI KITANO

ORIGINAL TITLE

AKIRES TO KAME

2008 || Japan || 119 mins || Color || in Japanese || Feature

WORLD SALES

Celluloid Dreams (Paris)

FESTIVALS / AWARDS

Venice 08 - Competition

SYNOPSIS

Machisu, the only son of a rich collector, has a child’s love for painting. Praise from a famous artist friend of his father inspires the young boy to dream of becoming a painter himself. Precocious Machisu begins to paint everyday and everywhere, even during class, to the dismay of his teacher. When tragedy strikes, little Machisu’s privileged life ends, leaving him orphaned, but with an incomparable passion for art …

As a young man, poor loner Machisu manages to attend art school with money earned from working. He is introduced to an unconventional world of bold creativity but he also gets his first bitter taste of harsh criticism from a dealer. Encouragement comes in the form of attractive clerk Sachiko who is convinced that she alone understands him. Marriage is soon followed by a daughter, as love and hope drive Machisu to commit even more deeply to his art …

Upon reaching middle age, Machisu has yet to sell a painting. But he remains dedicated, supported by his devoted wife Sachiko, who has become his indispensable creative partner. With each new work, Machisu tries to push himself to greater limits of inspiration. Hungry for recognition, their creative attempts escalate beyond what neighbors and even their own teenaged daughter Mari can tolerate. Will Achilles ever overtake the Tortoise?

CAST

Beat Takeshi as Machisu (adult), Kanako Higuchi     as Sachiko (adult, Yurei Yanagi as Machisu (young man),
Kumiko Aso as Sachiko (young woman), Reo Yoshioka as Machisu (child)