Wednesday, March 10, 2010

5 Centimeters A Second: A Chain Of Short Stories About Distance (2007) NYICFF Flashback

I missed this at the New York International Children's Film Festival and had to wait for the DVD release...

Three interconnected stories about love and loss and how some hearts change and some don't.

Part One: A boy goes to meet a girl who lies at the end of a long train ride.
Part Two: A girl in the boy's new high school tries to attract his attention.
Part Three: Years later.

The tales are bittersweet, lovely, and delicate. They perfectly capture the feelings at differing stages of being in love, both as a winner and a loser. They are not perfect, but since they are almost tone poems of emotion it's okay, because the emotional weight of the film is what you will recognize and will turn you to mush.

What would parents and young kids have made of this at the Film Festival? I know the kids would have trouble processing it since their experience wouldn't allow for it (they haven't loved like this yet), and the parents would probably be broken hearted..."Mommy why are you crying?" How do you explain this sort of emotion to a child?

As for me, I have no idea what to say...similar and yet different to the director's Voices Of A Distant Star, this is a film about distance and communication (or lack thereof) and how the heart approaches what it yearns...

I am moved to somewhere beyond words by this film. Echoes of my own life aside, there is something about the emotion that moves you to "why am I crying?...I don't know..." The wall against such things had been punctured and while the tears were never a torrent there were a few moments where they definitely flowed.

It's not perfect; frankly I don't know what it is, but it moved me...

Take my advice, and that of the song at the end...tell the person you love that you love them.

Currently out on DVD in the US and elsewhere.

Addendum. In theory the three films can be seen as separate films. Forget it. While the first two would work that way, they don't really seem like much until you get to the third film. It builds on the first two to make something heartbreaking.

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