Dir: Jun Ichikawa, 2004, Japan (75 min)
Issei Ogata, Rie Miyazawa, Shinohara Takahumi
Tony Takitani is a lonely illustrator who discovers the coordinates of his own emptiness when love arrives. Having never considered it before, he is awoken to compassion when he encounters Eiko, an impeccably dressed young woman who consents to life as a gifted housewife.
The film is full of signifying objects, trombones and cashmere coats
externalising emotions the characters are unable to grasp. Tony can only draw mechanical objects, which are rendered in minute technical detail. Eiko uses clothes to compensate for an inner void. Unfortunately shopping addiction consumes Eiko and a love of Chanel leads to her downfall.
Adapted from a Haruki Murakami short story, the film evokes a finite world, and is less about internal wranglings than conveying a temperature – a muted mood shot in grey and pale blue with a distanced voiceover breaking the narrative spell, as the camera constantly pans left to right through the rooms of Takitani’s life. Kate Taylor