6.7/10
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2 user 5 critic

I Have to Buy New Shoes (2012)

Atarashii kutsu wo kawanakucha (original title)
Freelance writer Aoi Teshigahara lives in Paris, France. Sen Yagami is a photographer who came to Paris, France due to his younger sister Suzume's insistence. Over the next 3 days, Aoi ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Miho Nakayama ...
Aoi Teshigawara
Osamu Mukai ...
Sen Yagami
Mirei Kiritani ...
Suzume
Gô Ayano ...
Kango
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Storyline

Freelance writer Aoi Teshigahara lives in Paris, France. Sen Yagami is a photographer who came to Paris, France due to his younger sister Suzume's insistence. Over the next 3 days, Aoi Teshigahara and Sen Yagami fall in love. Meanwhile, Suzume meets her boyfriend Kango, whom they have been in a long distance relationship. Written by anonymous

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6 October 2012 (Japan)  »

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I Have to Buy New Shoes  »

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User Reviews

 
under-realised characters, poorly executed film
26 January 2016 | by (Japan) – See all my reviews

A brother and sister travel to Paris, but the sister has a hidden agenda. When the brother is left stranded, he bumps into a fellow Japanese and an unlikely holiday romance blossoms.

At the 75-minute mark, this film takes a new, interesting direction. Miho Nakayama at that point reminds us that she is a formidable actress, and Osamu Mukai as the stranded Sen gives subtle, nuanced reactions to the new developments. Very few viewers are likely to get to this point though. The first five minutes are tough to get through - a ridiculously clunky set up sees Sen abandoned by his sister at the banks of the River Seine, followed by an equally incredulous, almost slapstick sequence where Nakayama slips on Sen's passport and pantomime falls to the ground. From then on we have basically a Paris travelogue with two highly implausible characters. There is no shading, sub-text, or sense of lives lived off-screen with these characters. There is no need to wonder what they are thinking - they tell us, talking to themselves in empty rooms and on the streets, in brazen spouts of exposition. There is no need to wonder what they are feeling: Sakamoto's plinky-plonky score is layered on wall-to-wall throughout, even over dialogue, of which there is lots. There is no will-they-won't-they suspense built up between the potential lovers, more a resigned sense of "Jeez, get on with it!" Paris is photographed home video style, no use of light or shadow. There is no discernible colour palette. The director favours hand-held shots and for the most part framing and composition are shoddy and sub-par. Technically, it looks like beginning student filmmakers got to shoot with an A-list cast.

Shunji Iwai's name is connected to this, but it is an Iwai plot with no Iwai poetry, or Iwai visual flair. Sen's infantile younger sister has her own playpen drama with her boyfriend in a slightly annoying sub-plot. The whole thing remains frustratingly unresolved.

The introduction of Aoi's backstory in the final third hints that there was an engaging story to be told with these characters, but the filmmakers missed the chance. In sum, a mishmash of ordinary made-for-TV aesthetics and amateurish screen writing make this instantly forgettable.


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