Win Free Tickets To Tokyo!

tokyo_city_11x17_72dpiI’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.

Tokyo! directors Bong Joon-Ho, Leos Carax and Michel Gondry.
Tokyo! directors Bong Joon-Ho, Leos Carax and Michel Gondry.

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.

18 Replies to “Win Free Tickets To Tokyo!”

  1. Curious to see Tokyo on film. I’ve been there several times and always get a kick of watching films about Tokyo so why not ?

  2. so my reason for wanting to see this is kind of long, but i’ll condense it.

    i had tickets to see this during the AFI fest because my coworkers gave me some extra standby tickets. i was supposed to see this with my friend and her new boyfriend, but in the course of planning it, her boyfriend became so aggravatingly annoying with details and demanding that i explain why the movie was worth it to stand in a standby line for, that i told her that they could have my ticket and see it if they wanted because 1) she really wanted to see it, and 2) i think i would’ve dropkicked him if i had to meet him.

    i instantly regretted it because i really did want to see the movie, and it was pure annoyance that made me give up my ticket.

  3. the hubs and i like michele gondry a lot. if a production’s got his name on it, we’ll see it. plus it’s tokyo, a city we’ve visited and love. and, my personal reason – steven seagal’s daughter – i’m curious to see the spawn of seagal act.

  4. @chrisin140: I’m looking forward to one day telling the story of my afternoon with Steven Seagal; what a tool! His daughter Ayako, however, was (IMHO) a delight. I thought she was terrific in the film, and she was also at the screening last week. Very pleasant and *funny*.

  5. Let’s see. Well the JP in my user name is from .jp. I am addicted to Tokyo and go there annually. It’s been in my Netflix queue since it was released in Japan. And the best reason is that I have been bed ridden for the last week and need something to do once I start feeling better.

    That and I can probably totally relate to all of the films on a different level.

  6. Gondry and Japan? Damn!
    Let’s put it this way, I knew what “hikikomori” meant before this article.

  7. Okay, let me give it a shot.

    First off: I work in the film industry and am a huge Gondry fan. Got the Palm Pictures DVD the day it came out, etc etc.

    Second: I have first-hand hikikomori experience. I lived in Japan for awhile, and am conversationally fluent (actually had a Japanese-language-only dinner party at my place on Saturday). While there, I made friends with a guy who, if not for his overbearing mother, would have been a hikikomori. My friends and I were, to our knowledge, his only friends.

    After we moved back home, he killed himself.

    Story here: http://jasonporath.com/blog/2008/05/maa-kun/

    So, to put it lightly, hikikomori is a topic close to my heart.

  8. Thank you for playing THE HOST to this ticket contest, I’d love to win because I have MEMORIES OF MURDER when it has come to losing past contests. I’d like to see TOKYO! because, of course, it’s HUMAN NATURE to enjoy winning a prize, but also because this triptych offers something more than the usual BOY MEETS GIRL Hollywood MERDE that induces in me a desire to close my eyes and study THE SCIENCE OF SLEEP.
    If I win, I’ll be trembling like LOVERS ON A BRIDGE as I watch the movie unspooling through THE ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF A SPOTLESS MIND (i.e. mine.) and enjoy a head SHAKING TOKYO trip through the exterior and INTERIOR DESIGN of a unique city. If you prefer someone else’s entry, please BE KIND REWIND to the top of my post and give me a second chance. Anyway, however you decide, no BAD BLOOD here. I may be verbose, but I am a nice guy – after all, BARKING DOGS NEVER BITE.

    -keekle

  9. Y’all are doing it to me again. These are all great responses, but (AFAIK) I only have one pair of tickets to give away. It’s going to be tough to pick a winner…again! Keep ’em coming, though. You’re all making very compelling cases. I love it!

    @jporath: Thank you for sharing your story. I am very sorry for your loss. Not a happy ending, but you have memorialized your friend well.

  10. I was gonna make a case to get those tickets, but I can’t beat jporath’s reasoning. I love Gondry, but I never knew “Bong” was a name until now. And when I lived in Japan, I was the exact opposite of a hikikomori. So again, jporath deserves those tickets was more than I do.

  11. Thanks to everyone who played along. All great responses, and I love that you guys make it so hard to pick a winner. The winner has been notified via email.

    For everyone who didn’t get that email, I still definitely recommend seeing the film. It opens this Friday, March 20, at the Nuart in West L.A., as well as the Edwards Westpark 8 Cinema in Irvine. I recommend the 7:15pm screening on Friday at the Nuart, as Ayako Fujitani (star of Gondry’s “Interior Design”) will be there to introduce the film.

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