Friday, August 29, 2014

Tokyo - The city of glass

WARNING: May contains trace of spoilers! People allergic to the discussion of any plot's elements before seeing a movie are strongly advised to take the necessary precautions for their safety and should avoid reading further.

A powerful tale of madness in Tokyo that explores the nature of sex and love!

“Toru, a graduate student who runs a bar in Shinjuku Ni-chome, Tokyo's gay district, meets Yong, a Korean man, and he falls in love. This seemingly ordinary event is somehow linked to a 20-year-old homicide case, and Confession of a Mask by Yukio Mishima is the key connecting them. Toru's life takes an expected turn when a detective begins investigating two people whom Toru knows, Haruko Agaki, his old university professor, and Yusuke Honma, the lover ofthe victim in the 20-year-old murder. There are skeletons in someone's closet.”

(Text from the Festival's program)

This movie is quite interesting because movies rarely talks about the Japanese gay scene — unless they want to make a parody of it. Unfortunately, the storytelling is VERY confusing. There are lots of flashbacks and, for a while, it looks like there is two parallel stories, but they finally meet -- very clumsily -- in the end. However you eventually get what the story is about. It's a movie about love, dream, hope, and obsessive narcissism.

Also there is a lot of shonen love in this movie. Way too much or at least more than it is necessary to convey what the movie is about (and many people left the theatre at the first graphic and realistic gay sex scene; Those can be a real turn off for most prudish viewers and, lets be frank here, there are lots of those).

Despite these caveat this is nevertheless a good and enjoyable movie if you are interested in Japanese popular and underground culture.

You can also find an interesting video on Youtube showing the red carpet entrance & presentation of the production team, as well as interviews (all in Japanese unfortunately).

Tokyo: The city of glass (東京〜ここは、硝子の街〜 / Tôkyô: Koko wa Glass no Machi): Japan, 2014, 110 min.; Dir.: Kazuhiro Teranishi; Scr.: Oroba Irie & Kazuhiro Teranishi; Phot.: Shigeru Iwamatsu; Ed.: Kumiko Arai; Mus.: Naoto Okabe; Cast: Atsushi Kimura, JK, Tomoko Nakajima, Maroka Uchiyama, Ginzi Yoshikawa, Reiko Tajima. Film screened at the Montreal World Film Festival on August 22nd, 2014 (Cinema Quartier Latin 15, 19h00 – the theatre was half full but there was less people at the end) as part of the “Focus on World Cinema” segment.
For more information you can visit the following websites:

Tokyo: The city of glass © 2013 Tokyo movie.

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