Old Fart Who Loves Japanese Pop Culture 日本の大衆文化を愛する中年

Japanese Dramas, Manga, Anime and Japanese Movies, Jpop, and anything else about Japanese pop culture that I find interesting.

日本のドラマ、マンガ、アニメ、J-POP、その他私がおもしろいと思った日本の大衆文化について

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Sunday, September 04, 2005

Shigatsu monogatari (1998) AKA April Story


Yesterday I watched Shigatsu monogatari (1998) AKA April Story which features the actress Takako Matsu who stared in Love Generation. If you liked Love Generation I highly recommend it. Matsu is sweet in this short 67 minute drama about a girl Nireno Uzuki who heads to Tokyo for college and once she gets there she is asked why she wanted to be there. That's all I'll say about the plot as it is integral to the film, I'll just mention a few of the scenes that struck me.

The film starts as Uzuki leaves her family their goodbyes are interrupted by the station master on the train platform in her home town of Hokkaido. You never see her, while at the station, her father proudly explaining to the station master that is daughter is setting off for Tokyo as the train pulls away, the camera reveals her slowly waving mitten. Her family looking excitedly on yelling last minute goodbyes which are inaudible.

In Tokyo a chauffeur, holding an umbrella is brushing a limousine, I thought it was snow at first but then I realized that it was really flower petals, I do not know if they were apple or cherry blossoms or even if that makes a difference. A van pulls up and a workmen hops out asking for directions, the chauffeur explains and the van pulls away as a family all carrying umbrellas to protect from the blossoms shower, herd a bride in traditional dress into the back of the limo.

A favorite scene of mine is photographed in a downfall, with the rain striking a battered borrowed red umbrella it is just beautiful, time seems to slow to the point of almost non-existence.

My reason for watching April Story was the day before I had watched All About Lily Chou-Chou and I wanted to see more by the director Shunji Iwai this film is very different, the actors are older college age adults, and the tone is much lighter, as set by the moving men in the early part of the film. I wish it was longer, I had more I wanted to know about. Like. What was the story with her neighbor? What about her friend from school Kitao Teruko?

Then I have questions about the Japanese culture, Uzuki rides a bike around Tokyo but never locks it, is this normal. Won't it be stolen? The petal storm in the beginning of the film is this true is it widespread through out the city? In college does every student join a club? Do new tenants bring presents to the residents of buildings that they are moving into?

Now it's time to watch the third of Shunji Iwai films I'll have seen this weekend. Hana to Alice (2004) which I saw for the first time last fall and liked very much.

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2 Comments:

Blogger G2 said...

I finally got the time and was calm enough to watch the movie. I think the length is just right. we got more things to ponder. I love that last scene with pouring rain too. What a delightful movie!

3/14/2008 01:53:00 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

@G2 I'm really glad you liked it, it's one of my favorites.

3/14/2008 11:26:00 AM  

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