1 - 7, 2018
ORGANISED BY THE AUSTRIAN-JAPANESE SOCIETY (ÖJG)
MARGARETENSTRASSE 78, 1050 VIENNA
OVER THE FENCE
Thursday, October 5, 8:00 p.m
Japan 2016, 112 min.
Ryô TAKADA, based on the novel by Yasushi SATO
The film was nominated as Best Film at Kinema Junpo Awards in Japan. Director Nobuhiro Yamashita is well known to fans of his irresistible comedy Linda, Linda, Linda (2005).
In search of a fresh start after his recent divorce, Shiraiwa returns to his hometown of Hakodate (Hokkaido). In order to continue to receive unemployment money, he attends a vocational school where he studies carpentry. During the day he patiently endures the lectures of the teacher, and spends his evenings at home alone, surrounded by boxes that he still hasn’t unpacked, with his beer and take-out dinner. Unlike his fellow classmates, his dull daily routine and his loneliness don’t seem to bother him.
His life takes a sudden turn when a classmate invites him to a hostess club one night where he encounters Satoshi, a girl he’d seen before doing a stunning imitation of an ostrich’s mating dance, which had made a lasting impression on him. Satoshi is strangely fascinating and this awakens a desire within Shiraiwa to get closer to the mysterious stranger, while she too pushes for deepening their relationship. But their attempts at intimacy prove more difficult on account of the heavy burden of their respective pasts, which jeopardizes the precious moment.
Over The Fence is a passionate and bizarre scenario between two unconventional personalities who both try to escape the predetermined structures of their lives and thereby question the idea of normality. Director Yamashita presents us the third part of the Hakodate trilogy based on writings by Yasushi Sato, the author from the Northern town. Yamashita trades his usual cheerful, upbeat style for one of decidedly more gravity and depth, but not without sparking occasional moments of impish humor. Shiraiwa is played by acting veteran Joe Odagiri, whose restraint is a stable counterweight to the passionate nature of Satoshi, who is played by Yu Aoi with exceptional intensity.