I was lucky to see Tôkyô!, Michel Gondry’s newest film, last week at SFIAAFF. It’s a triptych, a series of three vignettes that take place in my hometown, each part made by a reputed director–Gondry, French tortured-love expert Leos Carax, and Korea’s Joon-ho Bong. I posted the preview several months ago, and it’s finally coming out in theaters in the US this spring. A quick no-spoiler synopsis:
Gondry’s film, titled Interior Design, is about a couple who moves to Tokyo. The lead actress, Ayako Kamitani, is the hapa daughter of Steven Seagal. She’s pretty awesome in it, as is her co-star, Ryo Kase. They’re trying to find an apartment and a job and their car gets towed and it’s just a lovely, lovely story. Kooky, Gondry fun. I could watch it over and over.
Carax’ section is called Merde. Shit in French. It’s about a scary green guy that lives in the sewers and disrupts societal order. Slightly disturbing in a sick funny way. I didn’t think all the stereotypes were entirely accurate but the whole segment was so strange that it didn’t even matter.
I don’t remember what Bong’s was called, but it was about a hikikomori who falls for a pizza delivery girl. The actor who plays the shut-in is Teruyuki Kagawa, who also played the father in Tokyo Sonata.
It’s really interesting to watch a film about Japan that’s made entirely by non-Japanese directors. I thought it was much more insightful and colorful than Lost in Translation, and I highly recommend it.