[ Directed by ]
[ Produced by ]
• HARAFUJI Kazuteru
• MATSUSHITA Tsuyoshi
• OGAWA Shinji
• NEGISHI Hiroyuki
[ Cast ]
• SHIBUTANI Subaru OMORI Shigeo (Pochio)
• NIKAIDO Fumi SATO Kasumi
• SUZUKI Sarina Makiko
[ Staff ]
• Screenplay: KANNO Tomoe
• Director of Photography: TAKAGI Futa
• Sound: TAKEUCHI Hisafumi
• Editor: SATOH Takashi
• Music: IKENAGA Shoji
• Lighting: KONISHI Akie
[ Production Company ]
“Misono Universe” Film Partners
[ Distributor (Japan) ]
[ Production Studio ]
J Storm, BRIDGEHEAD
Release Date: February 14, 2014
Running Time: 103 min
Genre: Drama, Feature
Screening Format: DCP
Screening Format with Subtitles
[ Story ]
A musical coming-of-age drama set in Osaka and directed by Yamashita Nobuhiro (Linda Linda Linda). Shibutani Subaru of the idol group Kanjani Eight stars as an amnesiac who clashes fiercely with a young woman played by Nikaido Fumi (Himizu) and sings passionately.
A man who has lost his memory (Shibutani) interrupts a concert by a band managed by Kasumi (Nikaido). His powerful singing voice catches her attention, and she decides to take him on, calling him her lapdog. However, the man is unaware of his own shocking past…
[ Official Site ]
[ Film Festivals, Awards ]
• 2015 International Film Festival Rotterdam, Spectrum
• 2015 Jeonju International Film Festival, CINEMAFEST
• 2015 Moscow International Film Festival, 8 1/2 films
• 2015 Shanghai International Film Festival, Panorama
• 2015 Fantasia International Film Festival, Best Actor, Best Screenplay
Presented at the last International Film Festival in Rotterdam in the presence of the director himself and the main protagonist Shibutani Subaru, La La La at Rock Bottom is a film that deals with an important and always involving theme: the loss of memory, which brings with it the uneasiness of uncertainty about one’s own identity.
Shibutani plays the role of a small thug who one day, just out of prison, due to a beating, loses his memory and finds himself wandering the streets of Osaka. He comes across a band’s concert by chance and then, without apparent reason, snatches the microphone from the singer and begins to sing himself, before losing consciousness. The manager of the group, Kasumi, fascinated by the unknown, hosts him at his house, nicknamed Pochiman and allows him to lend a hand in the studio that she manages. Little by little glimpses of memories will begin to resurface in the young man’s mind, creating further problems.
The leitmotif of the film is undoubtedly music, which becomes almost an instrument of redemption of a life without outlets. The Japanese title in this is certainly more effective and evocative than the English one because it refers to the local Universe which is located in the complex of Misono, in Osaka, in which the scenes of the final concert were shot.
The music refers to the atmospheres of Linda Linda Linda, the film of 2005 that aroused the public’s attention for the young director. Yamashita also chooses for her last work as a real singer. Shibutani Subaru is in fact the leader of the band Kanjani Eight, very popular at the moment among young Japanese people (on the evening of the premiere at IFFR, on January 22nd, the group also offered the audience a short concert, after the screening of the film, to the delight of many, especially the many fans present in the hall).
The loss of memory, as we said, is closely connected with the identity of the individual, who lives the daze of not feeling more than belonging to a certain context or to a certain community (Shibutani seems to be committed to giving body to this state of mind , even if its range of expressiveness seems sometimes a little poor). In addition to this the absence of memories, indeed, the progressive partial recovery of their memories, puts the character in front of the need to make a choice between their past life and the unknowns of the future.
The characters of Yamashita are often figures a bit borderline, with difficulty to adhere to the rules of common life, and to the conscious or unconscious search for redemption. Pochiman then seems a bit like the protagonist of Tamako in Moratorium, Yamashita film of 2013 , both “blocked”, unable to react in the times and in the ways that society imposes, and therefore on the margins of the same. The scene in which the boy, during a karaoke evening with Kasumi and the group, remains silent and almost paralyzed in front of the microphone, lets perceive well the anxiety and also the melancholy of isolation.
The style chosen by the director is that of the comedy (the settings of the choristers in blue playsuits are very apt), but with a bitter taste.