Tuesday, July 9, 2024

BETWEEN THE WHITE KEY AND THE BLACK KEY (2024) opens Japan Cuts 2024 tomorrow

Set in the  1980's and based on the memoirs of jazz pianist Hiroshi Minami, BETWEEN THE WHITE KEY AND THE BLACK KEY is the story of a man who wants to play jazz. Directed to go to the cabarets by his teacher, he ends up on an odd adventure partially set in motion by playing the Love Theme From The Godfather to the wrong person.

This is film as jazz. It's a film that is loose and seemingly improvised and yet tight and focused. It's a film that has the rhythms of jazz quartet playing a set. Its a film that doesn't feel like any other I've ever run across even, though it feels very familiar -- just like great jazz.

If you want to see to see a film that Hollywood would never touch, this is it. This is a film full of life and quirks and the sort of off beat nature that Hollywood would destroy if they ever thought that they could cash in on it.  It's a prime example of the sort of wonders that lie outside of the American cinematic mainstream.

As much as I admire this film's construction and uniqueness, it is not a film that I full warmed to. Sure I enjoyed it, but at the same time I never fully connected to it.  Blame it on the quirkiness of some of the characters keeping me arms distance from the story. It's far from fatal but there is so much I love here I wanted to love the whole package.

My pickiness aside, this film is a cinematic joy. Buy a ticket and go.

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