Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Tony Takitani

Christmas 2010 and the New Year were nicely rounded off with a Film Club In-House film show. This occasion took place at Julie, Alun’s and Conners home in Dumfries on Monday night. Firstly great thanks must go to the McMorran family for their wonderful hospitality extended to the very many that turned up on this rather dreeck evening. After we had tucked in to a stupendous spread, the first part of this evening’s entertainment was a 9-minute short called Separation made by Conner and some of his friends, our young film maker explained the highs and lows of producing this avant-garde film. I’m sure we all wish Conner great success with his future ventures into filmmaking. The main feature of the evening was the beautifully observed Japanese movie Tony Takitani (2004).

A sad and lonely man.
This stunningly photographed story illustrates a sad account of one mans loneliness. Alienated from normal Japanese society because of his English name and neglected by his jazz-playing father, Tony Takitani, a skilled engineering draughtsman, meets and marries the lovely Eiko and finds that for the first time in his life he seems to be contented and happy. Cracks in their relationship soon appear when he realises that his new wife has a compulsion for buying very expensive designer clothes! She suddenly dies in a tragic car accident leaving Tony on his own with only infrequent contact with his now elderly father. The draughtsman decides to hire a similar looking girl to his dead wife for the sole purpose of dressing in her clothes.

Eiko or is it Hiako?
Directed by Jun Ichikawa and based on a short story by Haruki Murakami, the plot is mainly driven by off screen narration with only very limited dialogue by the two main actors Issey Ogata (The Sun 2005) who plays both Tony and his father with Rie Miyazawa (The Twilight Samurai 2002) playing both Eiko and Hiako the women hired as a human clothes horse. Its standout soundtrack is entirely composed by Ryuichi Sakamoto, a man responsible for various film scores including Almodovar’s High Heels (1991) Brian De Palma’s Femme Fatale (2002) and the Keira Knightley vehicle Silk (2007) amongst many others. The film we were privileged to watch on Monday evening was an excellent example of Japanese cinema and I would thank our hosts once again for allowing us to watch it in the comfort of their home.

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