25 November 2017 | Mozjoukine
Japanese poetry derived love story.
This one is determined to be purest art movie. It is derived from a book of poems and centers on exploited one eyed construction worker Sôsuke Ikematsu, hired on the the 2020 Tokyo Olympics who pairs with Shizuka Ishibashi a nurse and part time girlie bar waitress who feels deserted after her mother's suicide. Her friends tell her to stop talking about death. The film totally lacks the forward momentum of a commercial movie, going through developments that have no baring on the outcome and creating a dozen moments where you expect to see an end title come up, unavailingly.
The background is quite vivid - the detailed construction site which is destroying the workers' bodies, the dormitories and bars where they drink to make their lives less miserable, the girls-only apartment block where Ishibashi is keeping a surprisingly high maintenance turtle in a temperature controlled tank with an air raid warning monitor. The pair wander through the Shibuya and Shinjuku districts of Tokyo encountering oddities like a flying airship, a lovable puppy that is captured, caged, put down and incinerated in cartoon animation and an ignored girl busker, who no one takes any notice of, singing about armpit sweat.
Director Yûya Ishii explained that his film is meant to show the things happening around people of which they take no notice. He has a following on the festival circuit. Bracket him with Hirokazu Koreeda.