A mystery outside of San Francisco brings together small-town sheriff Paul Del Moral, Japanese author Aki Akahori, and a traveler from Reno who soon disappears, leaving behind his suitcase and a trail of questions.
In a small town south of San Francisco, Sheriff Paul Del Moral (Pepe Serna) is driving home through the fog when he accidentally strikes a pedestrian, a lone Japanese man. However, before an investigation can take place the man disappears from the hospital without a trace. At the same time, Japanese mystery author Aki Akahori (Ayako Fujitani) takes a trip to San Francisco in order to escape the press tour for her latest book--a potboiler in her world famous "Inspector Takabe" series. Feeling lonely and vulnerable, she begins a romantic affair with a mysterious Japanese traveler from Reno (Kazuki Kitamura). Her new lover is charismatic and charming but abruptly disappears from the hotel, leaving behind his suitcase and a trail of questions... Written by
This film was funded by a Kickstarter campaign and was initially released on iTunes and later Netflix. See more »
In this interesting movie there is a weird conflation of Asian names. When a sheriff from the fictional San Marco county, NV, goes in search of a JAPANESE suspect to the San Francisco's pet store Ocean Aquarium, he sees the large sign at the top of the entrance, written in both CHINESE and English. Later, the owner of the store is described as a woman with the KOREAN name "Ming Yung Kim." While the misguided view of 'all Asians look alike' is common in many occidental movies, this conflation is very curious in a movie partly funded by Japanese executive producers. Further, a scene inside the pet store displays rather prominently an Argentine flag on a desk-- light-blue/white/light-blue (with a sun in the white horizontal bar). Although this may appear to be a clue, it is not; according to Justin, the actual owner of Ocean Aquarium, it was given to him by an Argentinean friend and he keeps it there. See more »
Beguiling Plot Twists, Beautiful SF Closeups, Standout Performances
Ever see at these film festivals these badge wearers with the lanyards, the premium seating, eyes bugged-eyed from all the darkness, the concentration? How could someone see that many movies in so concentrated a time? And why? Here's your answer, one of those utterly joyous discoveries deep in the festival catalog that makes everything - the expense, taking off from work for a week, the fatigue - completely worth it. Brighter movie minds than mine can comment on things like the movie antecedents at work here (there are a ton!), to how this movie compares with Dave Boyle's earlier efforts, etc. What I can relate is that coast-to-coast smile that came over me as the movie found its gear (early) and then just held for an hour and a half as it propelled forward with one crackling and comedic plot twist after another. Standout and surprisingly deep performances from Auoko Fujitani and Pepe Serna (so, so good to see him in a role where he gets the time and physical space to really round out his character), the whole cross- cultural noir thing, and these gorgeous wanders around old San Francisco. I've seen some great films here at the Philadelphia Film Festival thus far, but at the mid-way point this one is shaping up as the clear take-away memory. Why would someone want to see four films in a day in pursuit of that hard-to-convey sensation of those beautiful and magical connections between ideas, storyline, casting and portrayals? This is why. Here's hoping this charming and well-built movie finds the larger audience it so richly deserves.
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