This adaptation of Emile Zola's novel "NANA," is about the sexual liaisons of a woman who through her relationships with different men, enjoys a life of pleasure and luxury. However, her lavish life-style does not always bring happiness.
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In Zola's Paris, an ingenue arrives at a tony bordello: she's Nana, guileless, but quickly learning to use her erotic innocence to get what she wants. She's an actress for a soft-core ... See full summary »
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A friendship is born when two twenty-year-old girls named Nana meet on the night train to Tokyo. Yet, they could not be any more different in appearance, experience or demeanour. One is a pop rock singer with an ambition to conquer the stage. The other wants to be with, and serve, her boyfriend.Written by
In the story, since both main characters have the same first name, to differentiate one Nana to the other, Nana Osaki affectionately called Nana Komatsu "Hachi", because she thinks Nana Komatsu behaves like a dog, faithful but sometimes annoying. This is actually a play of word. The female name "Nana" is a homonym of the Japanese word "nana" that means "seven", and while "Hachi" is a common dog name in Japan, it is also a homonym of the word "hachi" that means "eight". See more »
When Nobu is playing his tape to Nana the first time, you can clearly hear a bass guitar in the song. This is not possible at that time since Ren left for Tokio long before that and Shin wasn't in the band yet. See more »
Japanese women's struggle or harmony of self-identity?
An IMDbian recommended this and underlined that it is an adaptation of a popular "shoujo manga" (girlie/chick comics). The NANA sensation can be compared with the craze caused by Densha otoko (Train Man) in Japan. Even the American girls find time to flip through it. Well, as the last page of chick comics said goodbye to me some twenty years ago, and my old bones cannot hold much dross energy for punk or rock n' roll music after work, sorry, not much interest shed in the first place. Besides, Nana was never heard to me. Just that the very last rental ticket was idling so I grabbed the VCD without much expectation... but it turned out to be a delightful surprise.
The names of the two Nanas and their room 707 are very interesting. "Seven" in Japanese is pronounced as "na-na", a universal lucky number. Two Nanas live together in a "na-na-tse-row(zero)-na-na" room, they rob all the luck of the world! The family names of the Nanas exhibit tellingly their characters. Nana KOMATSU, the traditional Nana who only longs for getting married was born with a last name means "a small (ko) pine tree (matsu)". Imagine a tiny pine tree in a traditional Japanese still and quiet landscape painting, not a grand view, right? And the modern Nana, Nana OZAKI who is independent and strong enough to brave any storms in her life, is given by Heaven a grandiose label, "a huge (o) mountain summit (zaki)". Comically, Mount Everest sprang from my head when I made the analogy. Their names are so self-explanatory, so graphic, so vivid.
Two namesakes of paradoxical personalities live under the same lucky-lucky roof in harmony, both traditional and modern qualities exist, fuse inside one body (Room 707) without causing any conflict. On the contrary, they are helping and inspiring each other. They happily found each other. That is the ideal of the original author Ai Yazawa: the attitude, the attribute, the bearing, the idiosyncrasy of 21st century Japanese feminism (woman figure).
While watching it and laughing at the lousy English lyrics of the loud songs, I remembered two other movies: "La double vie de Véronique", which is right now stirring a little hot talk in town intriguingly. (It really beats me a lot why it suddenly becomes so popular in its second coming after its first screening in 1991???) Two identical Weronika/Véronique live their separate lives in France and Poland. She came across/found her so accidentally in a commotion and they got connected in a mystic way. They are actually searching for each other and found though a little late.
Another is Ingmar Bergman's Persona. Destruction, selfishness, atrocity, tragedy... are fitting negative words to depict this one, though. Elisabeth Vogler ("Vogler" -- Old German "Bird-catcher") a self-made-mute actress (Liv Ullmann) who so determinedly and cruelly wills to divorce herself from the pain of her own existence/façade which she has been playing for a long time and is now fed up with. She transfers absolutely her "self" (identity) on to Alma ("Alma" -- Spanish "Soul") a nurse (Bibi Andersson), who somehow envies her, and causes her collapse. The actress tries so hard to dump forcefully the pain she dislikes onto a weaker partner to make her like herself. A stronger "her" tortures the weaker "her" inside a dead quiet remote country house.
And how wonderful it is to see the 22-year-old Ryuhei Matsuda (bass guitarist Ren) has grown into fuller manhood and has shrugged off the enigmatic androgynous air he displayed in Gohatto (1999). (Gosh! He looks like neither boy nor girl... though with an enticing face.) Another good discovery.
The present day Japanese women are struggling with the pulling forces of the traditional and the modern feminist values, some may have found it, some still groping, some in the mid-way of a tunnel, some in a cul-de-sac. May every Japanese woman's identity be successfully located so as to achieve an inner "harmony", a pillar idea of the Japanese society and culture.
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