[ Directed by ]
[ Produced by ]
* OKI Makoto
* KATO Keisuke
[ Cast ]
* TANIGUCHI Ran Tani
* INABA Yusuke Ken
* MINE Goichi Gou
[ Staff ]
* Cinematography: TAKAHASHI Wataru
* Assistant Director: HIROHARA Satoru
* Screenplay: IGARASHI Kohei
* Lighting: TAKAHASHI Wataru
* Sound Recording: INAMURA Kentaro
[ Production Company ]
Graduate School of Film and New Media, Tokyo University of the Arts
Release Date: March, 8th, 2014
Running Time: 85 min
Genre: Drama, Feature
Screening Format: DCP, Blu-ray
Screen Size: American Vista (1: 1.85)
Sound Processing: 5.1 ch
Screening Format with Subtitles
· English (DCP, Blu-ray)
[ Story ]
Drama directed by Igarashi Kohei, who earned acclaimed while still a student at Tokyo Zokei University. The tenuous bonds among workers at a garbage incineration plant site come into relief when a dog gets lost at the facility. Nominated for the Filmmakers of the Present category at the 67th Locarno International Film Festival 2014.
December 30, 2017. Nightshift workers Adachi (Adachi Tomomitsu) and Tani (Taniguchi Ran), which whom he is secretly having an affair, unsuccessfully looking for a dog that has gotten lost in a garbage incineration plant Then, Tani begins to sense that there must be a ghost in the facility.
When you start watching a “festival film”, sometimes you do not understand if we are witnessing a work of genius that we can not understand. Then, with the passing of the minutes, things are clarified and often we realize that we are faced with a weak and confused realization that somehow because he liked some breeder (always a festival). This is also the case of Hold Your Breath Like in Lover, the second film of the thirty-year-old Igarashi Kōhei, a final essay produced by the Graduate School Film and New Media of the Tokyo University of Arts, where Igarashi graduated.
On December 30, 2017, not far from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the Constitution is reformed and a National Defense Force is created that begins its military operations. In an incineration, plant employees spend the last days of the year between work and personal events. Tani would like to close a clandestine affair with a colleague, Adachi, and get married to make a family; Yanais changes the Christmas decorations with those for the new year; Gou spends time with the survival games and comes to the plant on his day off to play video games with Ken. Everyone is looking for a dog that does not seem to be there. To all this is added the feeling of the presence of lost people: Tani’s father, formerly director of the plant, and a fellow-friend who disappeared in the war.
All these characters, who share similar problems of life (adultery, children coming, family problems, mourning), move on the scene with inspired inspiration, often immersed in a tension that we can not know, perhaps the weight of living. More than walking, they pass. They pronounce rarefied sentences that cut dense silences of alleged meaning. They come out in the rain but do not take one of the many umbrellas from the umbrella. And, to crown the whole, the missing dog is called Nobody. In short, a true catalog of “author’s” obviousness.
The thing that struck me most in this awkward and unhappy exercise of diploma is not so much the rhetoric of gestures (an example for all: a woman cries, a man enters the room, raises his hand and walking “brings” the hand up to face of her to caress her) or the didactic style that becomes banality (another example: the long, endless final walk that ends with a white fade), as for the total unconsciousness of the director of how there is an unbridgeable hiatus between the premises of the history announced at the beginning (the next military turnaround, lives without future) and the actual development of the affair. And it is not enough that the reference to the possible threat of a near future of a right-handed and nationalist Japan has a foundation of truth in the behavior of Prime Minister Abe. What matters is that what we see on the scene could happen in every place and in every time, indeed we have already seen so many times, it does not communicate anything to us. The same incinerator, which is too emblematic of a “non-place”, in reality never explicitly explains the peculiarity of the choice. So the story actually narrated is devoid of dynamics and drama, the characters are not carriers of anything. Even the title, which in the original sounds like “Holding your breath” (for the fact of living in a world without a future, sic!) And that in the festival version becomes pompously “Hold your breath like a lover”, on closer inspection the director could spare us.
What the film induces to reflect, however, goes beyond the (un-) narrated history and relates rather to the very conception of the film. In this, it is emblematic of a cinematographic tendency, and not only that, according to which it has become fashionable to narrate a story in a complete manner. There is no longer history but there are only sensations, the ashes of being. It is a way of thinking and expressing connected to a perception of reality due more and more to fragmented virtual experiences (the multiple forms of the network), where the perceptions of them are replaced by real experiences.