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TOKYO!


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#1 James Compton

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 03:16 PM

I saw the film TOKYO!, yesterday. It was thoroughly entertaining. It's three stories told by three
different directors. All three stories take place in TOKYO. the first one was weird and cool in a Gondry style.The first was by Michel Gondry. Looked like 35mm 1.85 FUJI, probably 500T. The second film was mad funny. It was digital. It worked in some parts and was very ugly and distracting (but the main character was also) in others. The third story had the most impressive cinematography of them all. I really enjoyed the framing and Jun Fukumoto's lighting. The final story was shot on KODAK, maybe 5205 and 5219. I'd highly recommend this film for any one looking for something different.
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#2 Jean Dodge

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 09:57 AM

" the first one was weird and cool in a Gondry style.The first was by Michel Gondry."

I guess that's why!

Micheal Lerner as STUDIO HEAD: "We're looking for that 'Barton Fink' feeling, and you, being barton fink must have it in spades!" :p

I saw TOKYO tonight and enjoyed too - it's not great but parts of each third work quite well. The center story, directed by Leo Carax is indeed very cheap looking digital but it seemed to be intentional in places - there is an execution scene that mimics Sadaam Hussein's hanging and the almost cell-phone video quality helps sell that. The story is a sensationalized fairly tale, like a cross between an odd japanese news program and an old myth about a troll. Carax has not made a film in many years, it was interesting to see that he chose video to tell this story. I think he wanted to to play something like our collective memory of the O.J. Simpson trial - where we all feel like we "saw it happen" but in reality all we saw was a bunch of bad cable news reports of everything, and maybe a TV movie of the week or two. He actually does use cell-phone video at one point inside a TV reporter's segment we see that carries much of the story.

Carax has been working for decades now, but slowly. His first film BOY MEETS GIRL was stylized black and white, almost a pop art confection, and his most well known film LES AMANTS DU PONT NEUF is famous for the giant set they built to recreate one of Paris' most famous bridges across the Seinne - an enormous set - some say it was the most expensive French film eve made. It too starred Denis Lavant and had a street level grit-meets-mythic quality to it, although with a very different feel.

Even though it seemed the most sloppy and technically looked the worst of the three film, I felt it was the best film of the three and the cinematography served the tale effectively. If it had the look of CSI MIAMI it might have also been making a good commentary on the virtual reality of tv-world, but I doubt people would have understood the intention.
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