Tokyo is a city of transitions in three short films. A young woman who finds her life useless experiences a metamorphosis. A disheveled Caucasian emerges from a manhole to face arrest, trial, and execution; he calls himself "Merde" and speaks a language only his look-alike attorney understands. Is he human? A recluse experiences human contact when a pizza-delivery girl faints at his door during an earthquake. He conquers fear to seek her out. A chair, a corpse, a hermit: sources of urban connection? Written by
Greetings again from the darkness. Three odd shorts merged together because of their Tokyo locations. Normally I am not a fan of the segmented, multi-director approach. The best that come to mind are Paris je'Taime and New York Stories. Tokyo is not at that level.
The always interesting Michel Gondry (yes, he's French) has the best segment. Interior Design provides two story lines ... the fine line between generosity (helping a friend) and taking advantage of that friend; and the loneliness of losing one's self in a relationship. Gondry works wonders in a short time and I absolutely loved the chair as a metaphor.
The second segment comes from another Frenchman, Leos Carax. By far the weakest and least accessible, Merde is about our facing the fear of an unknown terror. We are startled in the beginning as we are introduced to Merde, but the story falls apart after he is incarcerated.
Korean Joon-ho Bong (The Host) presents Shaking Tokyo in the third segment. Dealing with a totally reclusive and obsessive character who, after 10 years, makes his first contact with another person and is captivated. There is some comedy here but also commentary on the need to connect.
Overall, some interesting shorts, but don't expect any tie to the three stories ... other than the fascinating title city.
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