Delightfully disturbing. Once in a while I see a film or read a book, or hear a song the atmosphere of which is so dark, menacing, and absurdly hilarious that I instantly fall in love. This is one of such cases. The video narration shows a woman who cares for her paraplegic lover and is sinking deep into grief. The audio narration tells a very peculiar story with the same characters. And there's a bottle of warts.
I would’ve liked to see this as a short film. I followed it closely but around two-thirds of the way though, the characters and plot sort of ceased to mean anything to me. Everything became to abstracted and visually dull/lifeless that the charisma that the movie started with was gone. Not to sound too critical. It’s an ambitious concept— and that it stopped resonating with me is just my personal reaction.
I couldn't get through more than ten minutes of it. The eyes were rolling hard. Perhaps it's one of those that develops slowly. Name five movies that are great despite developing as the speed of drying paint. 1. Wings of Desire 2. nope. Just Wings. There are no more. What were these people thinking? The little I saw was heavily ponderous and and ineffectively so. BORING!
"We became interested in [people's] need for narrative to make sense of our lives and how stories become a kind of fragile architecture through which we navigate our understanding of the world. ...We became quite obsessed with the idea of nurturing the ambiguity of the Kuro character, not for the sake of being ambiguous but to retain its presence as something unknowable....- Koyama and Noriko, Mubi Notebook
What an experience. The movie is beautiful and exhausting at the same time. Poetry and cruelty blend in a flow of a beauty-horror stream of two dis/connected audio and visual narrations. In any case, this reinforces my ideas concerning dangered, stunning Japanese aesthetics: could I ever be able to understand it, beyond feeling it? To me, Romi's character remains disturbing and unsettling, as much as compassionate.
Joji Koyama and Tujiko Noriko (who also stars) present an intriguing, mesmerising film of one character reminding another of time they spent together in Japan. The film uses narration juxtaposed alongside vague imagery, making viewers decide how much they want to believe, if any, of the tale being told.
Meaning is relayed in interstitial bursts of synchronicity: we understand at wavering times the relationship between sound and image. If this sounds academic it occasionally is, until I realised what I'd been experiencing was weirder, darker, sadder than envisaged. As a dual concoction it's startling, but as often the case with experimental I wish I'd had the cheat sheet before viewing. 3.5
Ok, this is a strange one, a dual narrative with no on-screen dialogue, directed by Joji Koyama and Tujiko Noriko. The lead charancter Milou, while looking after her quadriplegic boyfriend, recounts her relationship with the elderly 'Mr Ono'. Clearly influenced by Chris Marker, it is an unsettling experience, particularly as the meaning of the title becomes clearer. A puzzling short from the smaller festival screens.
this visual poetry is immense. there’s at times a discord between null / static shot and voiceover that speaks of straining moments, but it really makes sense of a past struggle told through words. realism should be captured in this way more often, not requiring a parallel of action & dialogue, but rather a parallel of characters habits. milou still remains a mystery to me...