[ Directed by ]
[ Produced by ]
• NIIMURA Hiroshi
• SAWADA Masamichi
[ Cast ]
• ASANO Tadanobu YASAKA Sotaro
• FURUTACHI Kanji SUZUOKA Toshio
• TSUTSUI Mariko SUZUOKA Akie
[ Staff ]
• Screenplay: FUKADA Koji
• Cinematography: NEGISHI Kenichi
• Sound Recording: YOSHIKATA Junji
• Editor: FUKADA Koji
• Music: ONOGAWA Hiroyuki
[ Production Company ]
FUCHI NI TATSU FILM PARTNERS
[ Distributor (Japan) ]
Release Date: October 8, 2016
Running Time: 119 min
Genre: Drama, Children/Family, Feature
Screening Format: DCP
Screening Format with Subtitles
[ Story ]
Drama about an unusual co-habitation arrangement that disturbs a family’s tranquility. Helmed by Fukuda Koji, who has earned international accolades for films including Hospitalité and Au revoir l’été. Winner of the Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard section at the 69th Cannes Film Festival.
Suzuoka Toshio (Furutachi Kanji) operates a small suburban factory and lives with his wife Akie (Tsutsui Mariko) and daughter Hotaru (Shinokawa Momone). One day, Toshio’s acquaintance Yasaka (Asano Tadanobu) shows up fresh out of prison, and Toshio decides to let Yasaka move in without consulting Akie.
[ Official Site ]
[ Film Festivals, Awards ]
• 2016 Cannes Film Festival, Un Certain Regard, Jury Prize
• 2016 Tokyo International Film Festival, Japan Now
• 2016 Toronto International Film Festival, Special Presentations
A family story carried to excess, which is tinged with mystery. It’s a new film by Fukada Kōji, in competition at the Certain Regard in Cannes.
On the quiet outskirts of a Japanese city, Toshio and his wife, Akie, lead a normal life with their daughter. Everything changes, however, when Yasaka arrives, an old friend of Toshio, who has just been released from prison for killing a man ten years earlier. Inexplicably Toshio offers him a job in his workshop and a place to sleep in their home. Little by little, even Akie and the little girl make friends with Yasaka, to the point of making it a pleasant and familiar presence. The confidence and attraction that more and more binds the woman to her guest, however, will bring violent consequences, which will change the lives of all.
Almost a melodrama, were it not for the geometry and certain violent intrusions that insinuate themselves in the story and in the look of this film, delicate but also disturbing. The unexpected happens and scatters the cards of an almost perfect order, of a rhythm without smudging that, instead, immediately shows its emptiness and its irregularity. And it is already all clear in the first scene, when the family meets for breakfast. Mother and daughter on one side of the table, eat and chat with obvious and consummate complicity, perform the same gestures (which will be repeated in other subsequent scenes), as in perfect synchronous. On the other side of the table, the father eats and reads, isolated, silent, as if he were alone, without even looking at his mother and daughter by mistake. A ménage, therefore, profoundly unbalanced, but ready to be violently violated, or, better, enunciated in a more detailed than ever representation of every truth, that appearance wanted to deceive. It is curiously the whole question of mathematics, or of time, the rhythmic one, punctuated by the metronome of the harmonium, that we would make a mistake to consider only an instrument of lightness in this already very intense beginning.
And the discordant note is not hitchcockianamente the arrival of Yasaka, but the exact opposite. It is in the almost parallel lives that Akie and Toshio lead, without contact points, physical and ideal. “For me the family is an absurdity, declares by the director. Human beings are by nature beings who bring in them a solitude against which it is impossible to fight”. These premises include the parable on which the film focuses, which increasingly takes on the features of Greek tragedy, in which everyone, in their own way, becomes aware of those voids that were mentioned at the beginning, without being able to overturn in any so the situation. Toshio, Akie and their daughter (but also Yasaka, after having poured his anger against the child) will have to live with the state of things, with those sins of fathers who fall mercilessly on their children. Until death, which is liberation because the dissolution of bonds become chains.
A risky but successful operation of reappropriation of the schemes of the genre, but above all an essay on how to observe the human soul by a director. Trials of distance and proximity, up to a less conventional point of observation but, at the end real. Rohmer comes to mind, a director loved by Fukada and taken as an example (just think of the beautiful Hotori no Sakuko (Au revoir l’été, 2013), and his way of keeping away from the psychological research of the characters. space is the secret, environment, also made of waiting, within which to move and become real to the gaze of the spectator.