House of Sleeping Beauties (1997)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Melodrama, Romantic Drama  |   Run Time - 107 min.  |   Countries - Japan  |  
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Based on a book by Nobel prize-winning novelist Yasunari Kawabata, this erotic drama is about aging and long-repressed desires. At age 70, Eguchi (Yoshio Harada) is at the top of his career as a classic music critic and DJ. Editors are harassing him for his printed insights and women are giving him smoldering sidelong stares. When his old friend and supreme court justice keels over, Eguchi slides into depression. While drinking with his friends, he asks himself what has the ravages of age done? Finding one-night stands and the scrutiny of his sagging body by potential lovers embarrassing, he learns of his dead friend's solution to the matter -- a brothel of sorts that offers up women drugged and unconscious. When he stops by he learns from the kimono-clad proprietress (Haruko Wanibuchi) that he may not have sex with his inert playmate. Soon, Eguchi finds himself in a traditional Japanese room with a magnifying glass in hand and with a passed-out naked beauty splayed out on the tatami before him. Meanwhile, Eguchi's daughter-in-law (Yuka Oonishi) is about to leave her cold fish of a husband. She quietly pines for Eguchi, hoping that he can give her what his son could not -- a baby. When she learns of her father-in-law's newfound passion, she quickly arranges to work at the establishment. Director Hiroto Yokoyama reportedly spend ten years getting this work committed to film.

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Keywords

daughter-in-law, deception, extramarital-affair, forbidden-love, infertility, in-law, love, obsession, patriarch, professor, prostitute/prostitution, romance, sex, sexual-fantasy