Beautiful and absolutely heart-wrenching. As Bogdanovich points out in the interview for the Criterion edition, nobody is judged in McCarey and Delmar's vision, despite the emotional manipulations that many people have read into the film. Even though it appears to underline a deceitful contrast between the disdain and inability of the children to take care of their parents and the subsequent kindness from strangers that the elderly couple receives in their last day together, the film portraits such an earnest…
Based on his own third collection of tankas, Terayama’s phantasmagorical and surrealist take on a semi-autobiographical tale is uncompromising and eludes romanticization while dissecting itself. Although it bears significant similarities to Fellini’s Amarcord, this mesmerizing, genre-bending masterpiece rises above any kind of categorization and recognizes the impossibility of recreating and exploring the past without misshaping it.