Tokyo!

Rated NR 112 minutes 2009

This is a compilation movie featuring three short films, by Michel Gondry, Leos Carax and Joon-ho Bong. Gondry’s effort, the first of the three, is great. It’s a wildly misleading tale of a young couple staying in a friend’s cramped Tokyo apartment. While he pursues a career as an avant-garde filmmaker, she cuts pictures out of magazines and worries about her lack of ambition. Soon, she experiences a strange transformation, and finds a purpose in giving rest to the weary. Of course, it’s Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Science of Sleep), so it’s much stranger and prettier than that. The next film, by Carax, gets off to a good start when a deranged man rises from the sewers of Tokyo to wreak havoc on the city, but it has no ending and winds up being a little unsatisfying. The weakest of the lot is the entry from Bong (The Host), a tale of a “hikikomori,” that strange Japanese subculture of people who withdraw from society and refuse to leave their homes. Even if it’s the weakest, it’s still pretty good, and on the whole, Tokyo! is one of the best anthology films I’ve seen. It’s worth checking out for some inventive short filmmaking.

Film Credits

Official Site: tokyothemovie.com

Director: Bong Joon-ho, Leos Carax and Michel Gondry

Producer: Kenzô Horikoshi, Hiroyuki Negishi, Yuji Sadai and Michiko Yoshitake

Cast: Ryo Kase, Ayako Fujitani, Denis Lavant, Teruyuki Kagawa, Yu Aoi, Jean-François Balmer and Ayumi Ito

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Tokyo!

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