Tokyo!

2008 [JAPANESE]

Comedy / Drama / Fantasy

0
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 76%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 72%
IMDb Rating 7.1 10 9863

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN

Director

Cast

Julie Dreyfus as L'interpréte de Voland
Satoshi Tsumabuki as Takeshi

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by KissEnglishPasto 9 / 10

TOKYO! Gives You a 110 Minutes to Try and Piece-Together This Cinematic Enigma!

.....from Pasto,Colombia...Via: L.A. CA., CALI, COLOMBIA and ORLANDO, FL

When I was a kid, I really liked puzzles. As an adult, TOKYO! gave me a chance to try and piece this cinematic enigma together for 110 minutes. TOKYO! is a collection of 3 different short films, each one approximately 35 minutes long. Each segment has its own director, cast, story-line and is quirkily unique. The only obvious similarity: All three take place in the Japanese capital.

Starkly original, the film has an oddly voyeuristic undertow throughout. Perhaps this is attributable to each of the three vignettes being directed by a non-Japanese! Let's take a brief look at each short film: INTERIOR DESIGN- As a rudderless young couple go apartment hunting, One can't help but feel claustrophobic upon being shown an array of 100 to 300 sq. ft. apartments! As the mounting stress and tensions seem to push them in opposite directions, one of them experiences a most unusual way to cope! Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine) French, directs -8*.

MERDE is next, directed by Leos Carax, also French. Careful you don't step in this one! About a repulsive little s**t whose sole purpose in life is to occasionally slither out of the sewer, where he lives, and terrify as many of Tokyo's citizens as possible...until he goes too far! -10*.

SHAKING TOKYO is directed by Korean Bong Joon, where agoraphobia has forced a man to convert his tiny apartment into his obsessively tidy decade long self-imposed prison, until a convergence of Murphy's Law and Cupid rocks his world! -9* The thread of commonality that ties all 3 pieces together? How each person has encountered a signature formula to counteract the stifling oppressiveness and the pervasive isolation of life in the megalopolis. Here, the impact of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts: 10 Huge Stars! If you've ever felt overwhelmed by living in a huge city....

TOKYO! is "Brain Candy"! ... OVERALL: 9*STARS*....ENJOY/DISFRUTELA!

Any comments, questions or observations, in English or Español, are most welcome!

Reviewed by loganx-2 8 / 10

A Comfortable Chair, A Monster, A World Without Contact...

"Tokyo!" is a three-way with Michel Gondry, Leos Carax, and Joon-ho Bong, re-inventing Japans great city as modern fairy tales. Three fantasies of alienation, form into the most unique, original, and entertaining film of the year so far.

Gondry is up first with an adaption from a comic book by Gabrielle Bell "Cecil & Jordan in NewYork"(surprised was I, cus its one of my favorite stories by her, I did a presentation on it and everything) here retitled as "Interior Design". The two collaborated on the screen play, and it shows in a return to form, from his last good natured but slightly flat, "Be Kind Rewind". The story is of a couple who move to Tokyo, to screen an experimental film. The director is the boyfriend, and his girlfriend is his editor, transport, and support, though he claims she lacks ambition. They are looking for an apartment, and staying with a friend in a one room apartment. The boyfriend finds a job, the girlfriend looks for an apartment, job, and place to fit in becoming more marginalized all the time, until she begins to transform into...someone useful. Shades of "The Bedsitting Room" can be found here, but Gondry's trademark visual style is in full effect, featuring some amazing special effects, and fun set designs. It asks, Is it more important to be defined by what one loves, or what one does?

Caravax's segment, called "Merde" is about a creature, like an overgrown Leprechaun, who crawls up from the sewer and begins accosting random people on the streets, eating flowers and money, licking and shoving anything and anyone who crosses his path, all to the theme of the original Godzilla. Needless to say he becomes an overnight celebrity(in Japan Sada Abe became a celebrity after murdering and removing the genitals of her lover, she played herself in plays about her life after she got out of prison, and this was before WW1. Nowadays the people photograph their monsters with camera phones). The creatures rampages turn violent, in one thrilling and especially horrific scene, and he is arrested and put on trial. The reason this is the weakest of the three, is because the creature speaks a gibberish language, and during an interrogation scene, we have about five minutes of gibberish talk, not translated til the following scene, its not really funny or dramatic, just kinda tiresome and awkward like a Monty Python skit dragged out too long. Its easy to point to terrorism and racism as the grand theme here, "he's linked to Al Queda and the Aum Cult", etc, but misanthropy in general works just as well, and is in keeping with the alienation that courses through all of the stories. Denis Lavent's performance is the best in the film, he manages to make the most inhuman character real, somewhere between Gollum and a homeless paranoid schizophrenic.

It's similar to an early Gondry short film actually, where Michel takes a s*%t in a public restroom and David Cross in a turd suit follows him around claiming to be his son and shouting racial slurs at passerby's, til he eventually outgrows his s%&t cocoon and emerges from it in full Nazi uniform to Gondry's dismay.

On the note of rampaging monsters, the final film is from Joon-ho bong, director of "The Host", called "Shaking Tokyo" about a hermit or hikikomori as they are a called in the land of the rising sun. A man has not left his house in ten years, having only human contact in weekly visits from a pizza man, whom he never looks in the face, has his delicate life jostled when an earthquake renders an attractive pizza-girl unconscious, and he is forced into direct contact. Eventually he resolves to leave his house to find her again, only to discover, or for us to discover the world is not as we remember it. Its an painfully funny but true idea (like Mike Judge's Idiocracy), that in the future, the final frontier of a technological society will become actual face to face interactions between human beings. Any of these stories would feel at home in an issue of Mome or a Haruki Marukami book of short stories, they are vibrant, whimsical, modern fantasy, that are almost so universal in their simplicity they could be told anywhere. The movie could take place in any city really, with some tweaking, but the stories do resonate specially with Tokyo. Its the best thing I've seen in a theater this year, I was smiling continuously throughout. Its 2 hours, but it goes by like lightning. Some of the stories may seem slight at first, so entertaining, it cant but be meaningless. But this ain't the case, each director brings something unique to the table, like another under-seen triptych of recent, the Atlanta made horror film "The Signal", "Tokyo!'s" directors feel like a band, jamming together more than separate artists trying to upstage each other, like in something like "Paris Je'Taime". Funny, charming, dynamic, strange, sincere, absurd, movie making. A place of robots, amphibious mutants, monstrous trolls, magical transformations, and to quote Merde "eyes which look like a woman's sex". Two Frenchmen and a Korean, re-invent Japan the city which upgrades itself more than any other, and we are all the better for it. What a strange bright future we live in.

Reviewed by rooprect 8 / 10

What's the Japanese word for "trippy"?

"Tokyo!" is a collection of 3 short films each set in Tokyo, each made by a respected director who is not Japanese.

"Interior Design" is the first entry by French director Michel Gondry (known for "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" as well as all the cool Bjork videos from the 90s). This is actually an adaptation of a 4-page comic strip called "Cecil and Jordan in New York" by Gabrielle Bell. It begins with a somewhat mundane story of a young, penniless couple trying to scrape by in Tokyo, but it soon progresses into surreal, dreamlike, Michel Gondry territory. Spots of cute, satirical humor (poking fun at the pretentious artsy director boyfriend) as well as the under-appreciated girlfriend--an always welcome appearance of one of my favorite Japanese actresses, Ayako Fujitani (Steven Seagal's daughter, loved her in "Ritual")--make this a deliciously charming, mindbending treat to watch.

"Merde" (French for "sh!t") is a deeply satirical story of a repulsive criminal who lives in the Tokyo sewers, his violent activities, and society's bizarre reactions to him. Since the only real characters are the sewer monster and his kindred lawyer, there's not really anyone to get attached to. For that reason, this segment may seem unfulfilling to a lot of viewers (after all, who wants to watch a movie about a bunch of people you don't really like). But, more than any sort of human character study, this segment is rooted in deep social satire. That's where it gets its power. Directed by another French director, Leos Carax ("The Lovers on the Bridge"), this is an acidic film from start to finish. Sort of like a "Hunchback of Notre Dame" story but without any sympathy for the hunchback, this is a good film to watch when you're particularly disgusted with humankind.

"Shaking Tokyo" by Korean director Joon-ho Bong ("The Host") is a masterpiece of social disconnection. Set almost entirely in the meticulously tidy apartment of a "hikikomori"--a man with extreme agoraphobia who hasn't left his apartment in 10 years, it's surprisingly engaging despite its deliberately slow-moving presentation. The man is very likable in a nerdy way, and we instantly connect with him as someone who realizes that there's something wrong with the urban rat race, and so he withdraws into the most minimal sort of existence. But then by chance he encounters a strange visitor whose brief appearance causes him to, once again, question his chosen existence. A spectacular, mind-boggling finale rounds out this great piece leaving you with much to ponder. I also found the camera work to be the most pleasing here... You may notice cool tricks like the opening scene being shot entirely in 1 take, even though it guides us through several rooms and conveys the passing of time as if days are going by. Very nifty stuff here.

To me, "Shaking Tokyo" alone is worth the price of admission. But each of the 3 has its charm. If you're a fan of offbeat, surrealistic, artsy-but-not-annoying cinema, check these out for sure.

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