Saturday, September 01, 2007

Shimotsuma Monogatari (Kamikaze Girls)

Perhaps one of the craziest yet very interesting and amusing movies I have seen. There are so many layers in this movie that I have to see it again to really grab all the details in this visually astonishing movie.

The movie is astonishing because of the crazy way is edited, the images and colors they use and the sequence to tell the story. For many moments I felt I was watching a teenager Kill Bill, so I think that for the first time I’m really starting to understand Quentin Tarantino’s influence by Japanese cinema, which appears to be a fusion from old and contemporary Japanese filmmakers masters. Very interesting.

But going back to this 2004 movie by Tetsuya Nakashima, it tells the story of two teenager girls, one that is totally Rococo –and dresses accordingly- and wishes to have been born in France during that period, and the other that was bullied by everyone until she became a thug. So, you have two extreme opposites that during the story become friends and develop a strong bond as both finally find what they are good at.

Based on a teenage novel by Nobara Takemoto, an author well known for giving to her work a tender and ironic view of the popular urban culture and of the Japanese youth searching for an identity. The story is nice, but what are outstandingly different are the way they tell the story and the production technical values. Very interesting.

My thinking behind this movie is that is what teenagers in the world nowadays like and perhaps it defines in a way, what the future of cinema could go when these audiences become older.

Beautiful Anna Tsuchiya plays Ichigo the rebel girl and she’s very famous in Japan after doing a career as a model and being part of the Spin Aqua band. Also very famous is beautiful Kyoko Fukada that plays Rococo Momoko, she’s a well known singer in Japan.

The movie was so popular in Japan that a very successful manga followed this multiple award winner movie. The movie got 14 awards and 2 nominations in different Japanese festivals and awards.

Definitively a must be seen if you are interested in what I can call new possible trends of pop cinema; also if you want to enjoy the very good performances by two young and beautiful Japanese actresses. But be prepared for very MTV/anime type of editing and storytelling.

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