Friday, July 10, 2015

You must go see 100 YEN LOVE(2014) at Japan Cuts 2015

Sakura Ando gives one of the best performance I've seen in 2015 in 100 YEN LOVE. This is one of those performances that looks so easy and yet you know that she is doing something truly special.

Ando plays a 32 year old slacker who lives with her mom and doesn't do much all day. She doesn't help with the family business and occasionally watches her nephew who moved in when Ando's sister's marriage collapsed. When her mom finally lays down the law and demands she gets a job at a 100 yen shop. On the way to and from work she passes a gym and falls in love with a boxer who trains there.

I love this film. There is something so real and wonderful about it. These are people who are so familiar to me as to seem as though they are long time friends. There is a humor and sense of a life lived in the film that bleeds off the screen.

When I sat down to see this film I had already had a concentrated dip into the realm of Asian films with about 25 films from the New York Asian Film Festival and  12 titles from Japan Cuts with in the previous 2 weeks. My attitude had become rather jaded as similar films from around the world were bouncing around in my head. If something didn't thrill me with in the first tewnty minute or half an hour it was doomed. 100 YEN LOVE grabbed me from the first frame. It then knocked me out when Sakura Ando appeared on the couch chain smoking and playing video games with her nephew. Its was one of those movie moments where you go Oh shit this is wonderfully unexpected and you let your guard down and you just go with it.

This is a great great film with an even greater performance at its center.

An absolute must see film- the film plays Thursday the 16th at the Japan Society as Japan Cuts Centerpiece. A Q&A will follow the film as will a party.

For details go here.

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