Saturday, April 28th, 2012


Koji Fukada’s strange odd wee movie teeters between being a droll farce and an absurdist comedy, and it is very
intriguing to say the least.
Mikio is a meek little man inherited a small printing business from his father and which he runs from a narrow rickety building which is also home for him and his Natsuki young new wife
and their child.  His newly divorced sister has
moved back in to this cramped space too.  One day Kagawa a total stranger turns
up bearing news of the family’s missing parrot, and he also claims to have been
an acquaintance of Mikio’s father.  He very quickly inveigles himself into a job and before the day is out
has also moved into a tiny room upstairs.
Then next day totally unannounced
Kagawa’s white wife shows up and moves in too without a word.  Annabelle claims to be Brazilian, but is maybe
from Bosnia (!) and her halting English is as bad as her Japanese. It doesn’t
however stop her sunbathing naked and leading weak Mikio astray. Meanwhile Kagawa
gets stranger by the day and takes Natuski aside to inform her that he knows she has been cooking
the printing shop books so that she can pay the blackmail demands of her ex-con
brother, and so he brings the situation to a head by actually giving the brother a
job in the Print Works which he has by now made himself de facto in charge of.
If the wee house is not
already full to bursting Kagawa then invites about 20 assorted European/American
travelers to move in too.  They are, he
claims, just visiting relatives.  It
makes little sense but it does stir up the xenophobic fears of the nosey local neighborhood
watch committe who get the police to raid the housel
Even as I write this now I
still cannot fathom what it was all about (and I’ve not even touched on all the
sub-plots) but I have to admit I sat there right to the very end eager to know
how it would turn out.  Bored?  Never! 
Confused? Yes, most of the time?
I have to say though there is
something strangely intoxicating about the whole very weird piece.  Maybe the fact that one can relate to Mikio
and Natuski lives which seem to be so straightforward as they plodded blinded through every
day, and that it took a stranger in their midst, who by shaking the whole thing
up made them realize that they weren’t that happy after all. 

Or then again, maybe not!  The jury’s still out on this one.


Posted by queerguru  at  01:42


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