1 - 7, 2018
ORGANISED BY THE AUSTRIAN-JAPANESE SOCIETY (ÖJG)
MARGARETENSTRASSE 78, 1050 VIENNA
THE TOKYO NIGHT SKY IS
ALWAYS THE DENSEST SHADE OF BLUE
Thursday, October 5, 10:00 p.m
Yozora ha itsu demo saikou
mitsudo no aoiro da
Japan 2016, 107 min.
Tokyo at night: two people, Mika & Shinji, are not a couple but are united in their struggle against loneliness. Mika has a day job as a nurse, to which she is not very dedicated, and at night she entertains men in a girlie-bar. Shinji is an unenthused part-time construction worker at building sites for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Both are processing freshly broken relationships, are trapped in thinking they are losers, have dreams that have yet to be even sketched out, and are just following a vague longing for love and purpose. An undefined fear slowly brings them together, but in roundabout ways because their individual shortcomings keep hindering their attempts to connect. It’s only when they discover closeness that they can form the idea that love could provide an escape.
Film as meditation, inspired by the poems of the award-winning (and so far untranslated) Tahi Saihate, which manages to transform her poetry into powerful impressionistic images. A visual style that comes across as fresh and passionate not only in Japan manages to blend the city lights into a splendidly lyrical and impressive painting.
For director Yuya Ishii, who has already made no fewer than eleven films, this work marks a departure form his previous output, which was quite successful but had a lighter and more charming tone. With Tokyo Night Sky he reaches new stylistic heights through an often quite abstract adaptation of Saihate’s poetry. In leading roles are Sōsuke Ikematsu, who is in the first rank of young actors in Japan, and the 23-year-old Shizuka Ishibashi, daughter of Audition star Ryo Ishibashi, who is new to the world of cinema but has a very promising future ahead of her.