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The inoffensive


2019 / 75m - Japan
Cry poster

Hirobumi Watanabe's latest film. Watanabe has been making a name for himself lately, though this is only the first film I've seen from him. His films aren't that easy to come by, not too surprising probably as this is hardcore film festival material. Casual film watchers be warned.

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Cry doesn't have much in the way of a narrative. It follows the daily routines of a guy who works in a pig pen, and that's all there is to it really. There's a purposefully grating soundtrack, no dialogue and no dramatic events. If that sounds dull, better stay away from this one as that's literally all you'll be getting.

The stark black and white cinematography is a definite plus though and the soundtrack combined with the repetitiveness of the imagery does make for an interesting watch. It's a bit long for my taste, also a little too documentary-like, but if you love yourself some experimental/off-kilter cinema then it's definitely worth a shot.

And the Mud Ship Sails Away...

Soshite Dorobune wa Yuku
2013 / 88m - Japan
And the Mud Ship Sails Away... poster

A quirky Japanese slacker comedy with strong indie touches. The Foolish Piggies have had a pretty good decade, though it's tricky to get to their films in the West. While this wasn't entirely my type of film, there's enough quirkiness and oddness present to leave me with a pleasant feeling, and the incentive to watch the rest of their films.

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Takashi is a deadbeat. He lives with his grandmother in a small house, tries to get by on his benefits every month, and just roams around town to kill time. Nobody really pushes him to do better, until his half-sister turns up out of the blue. She wants to connect with Takashi, which finally forces him to make an effort.

The black and white cinematography is decent, but feels a bit lazy. The soundtrack is a bit more notable, but not exactly subtle or well-integrated. Shibukawa is a perfect lead though, and the film gets progressively weirder, venturing into territory I didn't quite expect early on. Good fun, with the potential to be quite a bit better still.