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What is it about About the Pink Sky that attracts me?
About the Pink Sky has everything that's important in an entertainment film: proper development of new and original characters. Izumi, a high school girl who reviews newspaper articles, has the quality of those teenagers in films like Shunji Iwai's Hana to Alice or Typhoon Club by Shinji Somai. I was engaged by the character. Some would say the story is mundane; no fascinating events happen in the film. However, in this film the story is not so importantnor is black and white. New character is what's necessary, such as in John Ford's films, where peculiarity creates character.
The film succeeds with its portrayal of the teenager. Family and teachers disappear, similar to Iwai and Somai's style. The story begins when Izumi finds a wallet with 300,000 yen inside on the road. She decides not to return it. She lends money to an acquaintance, then spends more for her friends in a cafe. One day, her friend Akemi notes that the wallet's owner, Sato, is actually a cool guy, so she is obligated to return the wallet as soon as possible. Her purpose is then to see Sato. Izumi is now involved with her friend and Sato.
About the Pink Sky indulges into the insight of a Japanese director. He destroys stereotypes with fascinating characters. For example, why do Japanese ask "How old are you?" for the first time? To understand "your position:" if you're 28 years old, you're a salesman, not a university student. In other words, assumptions are important. You listen carefully to what Izumi says, and then you have to listen carefully for the answer. Izumi brings hope for future directors in Japan. There are some other hopefuls presently. Keichi also tries to destroy stereotypes through new characters. This is through a style of entertainment that doesn't use force.
Why are we impressed by Jaws, Back to the Future, or Batman? What did we get from those films? They all have a dark present and hopeful future. About the Pink Sky is the same. I'm excited to see the truth of entertainment films appearing in Japan.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Self Indulgent.... Ai Ikeda is Izumi, a high school teeny bopper, who finds a wallet that someone has lost. She and her school girl friends track down the owner, but only after spending a chunk of the money that was in the wallet. This one is kind of a "week in the life of a high school chick" film, from Japan. Interestingly, its in black and white, which tells us right off that this is more about personalities and characters than the events that take place. Most of the girls' chatter is inane, and repetitious blather, but i guess that's what girls that age would be saying and doing. A fun running gag where they yell things at a noise meter on the side of the road. This seems to be the first major film for writer/director Keiichi Kobayashi.Wonder if it's auto-biographical. Great editing. One really gets the feeling that these are real, silly, school girls, saying things that they would say. Apparently the first and last film for for both Tsubasa Takayama (Sato, the owner of the lost wallet), as well as for Ikeda. Entertaining, if you don't mind subtitles. it DID win awards at the film festivals. It's pretty good overall, but kind of loses steam in the second hour. Some big reveals right at the end, but some of that should have been done earlier on, so we could follow along.
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