Majime, an eccentric man in publishing company, who has unique ability of words, joins the team that will compile a new dictionary, 'The Great Passage.' In the eclectic team, he becomes ... See full summary »
A mellow drama following the moral decline of a housewife turned bank employee who embezzles a fortune from her customers and indulges in an affair with a younger man. Set in 1994, shortly after the burst of Japan's economic bubble.
After failing his university entrance examinations and being left by his girlfriend, Yuki Hirano decides to join a forestry training program only to discover that the job is much harder ... See full summary »
Tsuneo is a university student working part-time in a mah-jong parlour. Lately the customers have been talking about an old lady who pushes a baby carriage through the streets. They say she... See full summary »
After the collapse of their relationship, Kiwako abducts the 6-month old child of a man she was having an affair with. Raising the child as her own, it is four years before the authorities catch up with her and the young child.
32-year-old Ichiko (Sakura Ando) lives at home with her parents, passing the days in self-indulgent grunginess. Ichiko's recently divorced younger sister Fumiko has moved back home with her... See full summary »
"The Kirishima Thing" comes well-recommended with its major 2013 Japan Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director among others. This the reason why I chose to watch it first among the festival entries.
Kirishima is the star volleyball player and most popular guy of a certain high school. One day he mysteriously just quit the team and disappeared. Understandably, his teammates in the volleyball team and his close friends Hiroki and girl friend Risa, are all greatly affected by his sudden absence. This film also follows all the other kids in school (such as the film nerd and the band saxophonist girl) and how Kirishima's disappearance also affected them indirectly.
It was interesting to see the interactions of the attractive young actors like Ai Hashimoto, Mizuki Yamamoto, Suzuka Ohgo and Masahiro Higashide, who were all very natural in their acting. However, there is hardly a coherent story line that the film follows. We know one student had a crush on another one, and there was a lot of staring and longing that did not lead anywhere. I cannot see a definite point of the film as a whole. It felt like just going on and on without a clear message that it wanted to convey. Maybe there is no message nor story, just a documentation of what happened and nothing more.
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