|Index||2 reviews in total|
Top marks for Claude Gagnon for this quiet study of an ageing teacher who has been rejected by his family and lost friends to death, and is in Japan taking a retreat. Realistically, he meets a pair of Japanese women, one of whom speaks English, having visited the USA several years earlier. She agrees to show him round. At the end of the day, she becomes emotional, says how comfortable she feels with the old man, and he grabs her and kisses her passionately. She makes an incredible row as they make love, he is confused, but she is shouting for him not to stop. A day or two later, she appears in his hotel nursing a wound sustained when her brutal husband attacked her. The old man (Gabriel Arcand) agrees she should travel with him to Okinawa, and the film traces their journey. After some up and downs, Arcand's character loves a quiet traditional weaving shop enough to settle there for the rest of his life, while his lover's (Yûki Kudô) husband moves out, leaving her reunited with her son. This is a lovely film, capturing a rarely seen part of southern Japan, and exploring an interesting relationship between Arcand (a composer in real life) and Yûki Kudô (a singer in real life). Well worth seeing.
I enjoyed this Canada-Japan co-production for a number of reasons.
First, it brought me the beautiful scenery of Okinawa, a place I know
little about previously, and its art of making cloth from the fibre of
banana trees. Now I have a strong urge to visit there some day to
sample the beauty and tranquillity of that location. Second, this is,
in a way, a romance story between an ageing, depressed and lonely
baby-boomer from Quebec and a pretty Japanese woman much younger. So it
is a story about an older male and a younger female, and hence a
formula plot for male fantasy. Mine for sure.
Direction by Claude Gagnon, who did C.R.A.Z.Y. in the past, is solid, and acting by both actors very believable. However, because of its subject matter, I don't think the younger folks will enjoy this film as much as the older folks.
Although there is no nudity in the films but on two occasions you are treated to the screams (of joy, I assume, and I mean real screams) from a woman at the height of her sexual activities with an older man. So we may have some credibility issue here. Another point is any man that can please a woman to that extent could simply have no reason to be depressed. That would be my thought.
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