Tokyo! (2008) – New Cinema Wallpaper of the Day

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Interior Design
by Michel Gondry
 
Ayako Fujitani and Ryo Kase in Interior Design
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Ryo Kase and Ayako Fujitani in Interior Design
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Shaking Tokyo
by Bong Joon-Ho
 
Teruyuki Kagawa as a nameless hikikomori in Shaking Tokyo
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Teruyuki Kagawa as a nameless hikikomori in Shaking Tokyo
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New Cinema Wallpaper of the Day
Friday, August 8, 2008

Tokyo! plays at the upcoming Fantastic Fest and Sitges Film Festival.

It’s hapless youth gone lost, gone jobless, gone mad, gone wild, gone Gondry! The Interior Design fable section of the anthology film Tokyo! could easily be reminiscent of so many recent entries of cinema (Garden State) where hapless youth in their late 20’s struggle to make sense of who they should be and at an even greater loss for finding the right road of life. Reminiscent yet oh so damn Gondry and we love the director for that as he turns in a modern fairy tale of a young couple struggling to make ends meet in the cluster and dizzying maze of Tokyo! Part surreal, part one of the funniest characters you have ever seen in a struggling filmmaker in Ryo Kase as Akira (the smoke scene in particular!) and the amazing revelation of Ayako Fujitani as Hiroko who firmly puts herself in my conscience as a great actress to watch. I already knew Ryo is great and he instantly makes any film he is in better, but Ayako Fujitani has an incredibly difficult part here and she more than pulls it out and makes it her own.

With Shaking Tokyo, Bong Joon-Ho seems to be running in the complete opposite direction of the kinetic jaw dropping splendor of The Host, yet with equal passion for storytelling and drowning each frame with his unmistakable voice of cinema. The jolts of action in this segment are few and far between, but don’t let that put you off, this quiet gem has more silent energy and life than most feature length films. Soft, strangely dense and punctuated by the best acting performance of the year by Teruyuki Kagawa as a nameless hikikomori. I really hadn’t stood up to take notice of Teruyuki Kagawa until he stole the show in Miike’s Sukiyaki Western Django. There he easily put in the best comedic performance of 2007. In Shaking Tokyo he drops his range down to a very minimal core of mesmerizing form… there isn’t a frame you don’t really believe he is this completely despondent hikikomori in need of some pizza girl love. And I should note you have to pay attention for some carefully placed cameos in this segment.

Related Coverage:
::: Watch a clip from Merde over at Twitch!

INTERIOR DESIGN SYNOPSIS

Michel Gondry’s INTERIOR DESIGN is the surreal fable of a couple who move to Tokyo in search of a future. While Akira’s ambition (to direct movies) is clear, Hiroko drifts, gradually losing control over her life. Left alone, she wakes one morning to find a hole in her chest.

SHAKING TOKYO SYNOPSIS

Tells the story of one of Japan’s many hikikomori – citizens who have withdrawn from all contact with the outside world.

When a pizza delivery girl faints in his apartment during an earthquake, the unthinkable happens – he falls in love. And when she does not return, he is forced to take an unimaginable step: for the first time in 11 years, he leaves the dead security of his apartment for the streets of Tokyo, only to discover a city of hikikomori.

Image Source:
Official stills that were used in the original international release of the film.

Related Links:
::: Fantastic Fest
::: Sitges Film Festival
::: IMDb Profile

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