I’ve got free tickets to Tokyo!, and you won’t even need a passport. No, not that Tokyo. I’m talking about the new movie from directors Michel Gondry (“Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind,”) Leos Carax (“Lovers On The Bridge,”) and Bong Joon-Ho (“The Host.”)
Last week I was invited to a VIP screening of Tokyo! at the Egyptian theater in Hollywood. I should say right here that my motivation for attending wasn’t that Sapporo was sponsoring the event. Well, not my sole motivation. I was looking forward to seeing the movie, and an opportunity to chat with Michel Gondry, who was also in attendance.
Tokyo! is a triptych (the whole is comprised of three separate shorts,) each director offering his own surreal interpretation of life in that huge, bustling city. Gondry’s “Interior Design” follows a young woman who experiences a transformation. In Carax’s “Merde,” a bizarre man spreads panic in the streets of the city. Bong’s “Shaking Tokyo” is the story of a hikikomori, a shut-in, who falls in love.
Beyond the cut you’ll find my thoughts on the movie and how you can win your very own tickets to see Tokyo! when it begins it’s limited engagement at the Nuart on Friday, March 20. Click it!
My favorite of the three stories was “Shaking Tokyo.” The hikikomori in the story has shut himself in completely, his only contact with the outside world being his phone, which he uses to direct various delivery services to bring him everything he might need. Then one day a beautiful young woman delivers his pizza, and he falls in love. (Don’t tell anyone, but I might be a closet-romantic.) There are other obstacles to this love beyond his own fear of leaving the house. You’ll have to see the movie to discover what the resolution might be.
I also really enjoyed “Interior Design” which stars Ayako Fujitani who, it turns out, is the real-life daughter of Steven Seagal. (Remind me to tell you the story of my experience with Seagal. Wow.) Fujitani is easy to empathize with as a young woman who is struggling with her own feelings of lack of direction and ambition. She experiences an unusual transformation, and is pleased to discover her innate usefulness.
Carax’s “Merde” was (I thought) the strangest of the three stories, and my least favorite. An interesting story, although I thought a particular device was a bit played out by the end. I’m being intentionally vague, as I don’t want to give too much away; it’s still worth seeing for yourself. There were a couple of laughs in this one that I particularly enjoyed.
Tokyo!‘s producers were kind enough to provide LA MetBlogs with a pair of tickets to the limited engagement at the Nuart Theater in West L.A., opening this Friday, March 20. In the comments, tell me why you want to see this film. Are you a fan of one (or all) of the directors? A Japanophile? (I’m pretty sure that’s not the correct term, but you know what I mean.) Are you a film buff with a penchant for the unusual? The winner, chosen at my whim, will get a pair of tickets good for your choice of dates during the run of the engagement at the Nuart.