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Brilliantly stylized surrealistic minimalism at it's best
It's always fascinating to go back through a director's oeuvre and see how much their style has changed. While Nakashima is known for extremely flashy and fast paces stylistic trips, here in his second feature we are met by a contemplative mood and slow progression showing one heck on an absurd Sunday. He truly is a master of stylization, and this is certainly as present as ever, as is the absurd humor, but instead of throwing bright colors in our face this shows a remarkable amount of restraint.
This is almost the kind of film you could have expected from Weerasethakul or Tsai - and for those of you scared off by that I can calm you don't by saying that quite a lot of "action" do occur, including a car chase. We follow the alienated, cold and isolated lives of people living in an apartment complex in Tokyo. The camera is detached, never moving, just observing them. I'd say it's humorous rather than funny. The mood is equally detached, and this, as well as the characters odd personalities and antics is the base of the humor. It's slow pace and eye for details allow for build-ups and amusing observations.
I'm fully aware that this might be too slow for some, so I cannot recommend it to everyone, but if this sounds like your kind of cinema I pretty much know you are in for a treat! Surrealistic minimalism at it's best. It's about time to brush the dust off this tragically overlooked Nakashima and bring it back out into the light, because for the right type of person this will be one wonderful and utterly captivating experience.
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