Saturday, July 28, 2018

Japan Cut Capsule Reviews: SIDE JOB, THICKER THAN WATER, and AMIKO

I don’t know what I think about Side Job. I think on some level I don’t have the understanding to full get or connect with the film. The film concerns a woman who is still living in temporary housing with her father as a result of the tsunami of 3/11. Slipping into Tokyo on the weekends to act as a call girl. While I can connect with the drama on a basic level the greater overtones of the damage left by such a huge tragedy eluded me (even when I saw the final image of the sign talking about being okay because we survived).

Despite my inability to connect the film is worth giving a shot for the strong performances and its exploration of how we react in the aftermath of tragedy.

Thicker Than Water is the story of three sibling orbiting around each other and trying to get ahead in the world. While I was entertained by the film it didn’t leave me with a great deal to say about it. Blame it on all the other films playing at Japan Cuts. I’m going to have to circle back around and give it another shot

Yoko Yamanaka’s Amiko is a micro-budgeted road film about a 16 year old outside who meets and falls in love with a boy in her class. When he suddenly disappears she follow him to Tokyo. Hip, happening and flashy this film is a snarky ball of energy. For better or worse this is very much the work of a very young filmmaker who is full of wide eyed enthusiasm. While the film as a whole doesn’t reach the epic heights of some of the moments this film should act as a calling card for a filmmaker with great promise.
(This film plays at Fantasia on the 31st)

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