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With a script by Yoda Yoshikata, based on Takeda Izumo's ningyo-joruri (puppet play) "Ashiya Doman Ouchi Kagami" and a ballad drama "Yasuna", this was the last of what became known as Uchida Tomu's four-part classical performing arts series. An unconventional film suffused with experimental inspiration, incorporating elements of theater such as kabuki and butoh dance, and even animation, this story of forbidden love between human and animal can also be seen as the creator's commentary on discrimination rooted in class and social status. Its crazy tale about a court fortune teller driven mad by a murder, who ends up marrying his slain lover's dead ringer, a fox in human form, incorporates animation, kabuki and butoh, colorist experiments, collapsing sets, animal masks, revolving stages, and scroll compositions - never mind anthropomorphism, class warfare, identical twins, a doll baby that makes electronic mewling sounds, and even playful hints of bestiality. The political import of the fable is readily apparent - this is Uchida, after all - but the film's extravagant artifice all but swamps it.

"For me, the most wonderful of all Uchida films was 'The Mad Fox'. No film in recent years has surprised, fascinated, and also moved me as much. It takes you along on a long, labyrinthine journey. You have to make a bit of an effort at first and bring attention and patience with you, but how you are rewarded! And this grandiose ending – the sets break apart, and yet the world is a stage and there is always a new twist." Erika Gregor

Production: Toei (Kyoto)

Screenplay: Yoda Yoshikata

Cinematographer: Yoshida Sadaji

Art Direction: Suzuki Takatoshi

Composer: Kinoshita Chuji

Cast: Okawa Hashizo, Saga Michiko, Usami Yunya, Hidaka Sumiko

Format/screen ratio: 35mm, 1:2.35, Color

Running time: 109 min., 24 frames/sec.

Language: Japanese

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media
  • Logo des Programms NeuStart Kultur