(Japanese with English subtitles) Down-on-his-luck photographer Makoto (Ryuhei Matsuda) receives a letter from his old girlfriend, who, according to a friend, died a year ago in NYC. Eager ...
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Tsuneo is a university student working part-time in a mah-jong parlour. Lately the customers have been talking about an old lady who pushes a baby carriage through the streets. They say she... See full summary »
A young woman named Izumi (Keiko Kitagawa) suffers the loss of her boyfriend Junichi (Masaki Okada), who died from a fatal motorcycle accident. The shock from her boyfriend's sudden death ... See full summary »
Asako lives in Osaka. She falls in love with Baku, a free-spirit. One day, Baku suddenly disappears. Two years later, Asako now lives in Tokyo and meets Ryohei. He looks just like Baku, but has a completely different personality.
A widowed father and taxi driver who drives a German reporter from Seoul to Gwangju to cover the 1980 uprising, soon finds himself regretting his decision after being caught in the violence around him.
(Japanese with English subtitles) Down-on-his-luck photographer Makoto (Ryuhei Matsuda) receives a letter from his old girlfriend, who, according to a friend, died a year ago in NYC. Eager to find out the truth, he sets out on a journey of self-discovery and reminisces about the time he spent with the lovely Shizuru (Ryoko Hirosue).Written by
Very pretty people and imagery, but really needed more development
While this film definitely took some bizarre turns, I didn't let that ruin my overall pleasant experience watching it. Matsuda and Hirosue are respectively gorgeous people, even if their affection was at times a teensy bit like siblings. The photography and focus on techniques was excellent and - happily for a photographer - made up the majority of screen time.
Having American-British dual nationality, I'm not quite so ready to pick holes or take offence in the portrayal of Americans. Actually, I think they did a good job of showing US/Japan culture issues. I love NYC so much that I'm moving there this year, and you really can't go too crazy with a city that constantly surprises even those who were born there (Cassius is practically a stock city character in real life). Seeing as this story is told entirely first person from Masato's POV, viewers should give themselves over to his perspective as much as possible and not see it as a serious social commentary.
The Big Problem: English usage Seriously, if you're already filming in New York why not puh-lease look up a professional Nikkei Amerikajin translator to do the English in the script? It was almost completely unnatural to native English-speakers, to the point where it jarred you out of the most emotive moment.
Also, they really should have handed over Ryuhei's English training to his little brother Shota, who I believe (could be wrong) was studying in London around this period and who's English is pretty damn good. Considering Ryu-kun's character was teased for having 'Queen's English' in the beginning of the film, Shota's posh London inflections would have been perfect for big bro to learn from.
This big problem is most of my reason for giving it a 4/10. There's only so much actors and great photography can do, but it was still a sweet film.
Oh, and Cassius *so* would have had his way with Masato - who would ever say that Ryuhei Matsuda isn't 'their type'?
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