Borderlands (Zev Berman, 2007): 6.5/10

The Magic Flute (Ingmar Bergman, 1975): 7/10

La Guerre Est Finie (Alain Resnais, 1966): 7/10

Speed Racer (The Wachowski Brothers, 2008): 8/10

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Location: milwaukee, wi

Monday, December 11, 2006

Tony Takitani (Jun Ichikawa, 2004)

I am currently reading Haruki Murakami's The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles (500 pages down, 100 to go!), and while I like it, I'm not as in love with it as I had hoped I would be. It's my first venture into Murakami, so Ichikawa's Tony Takitani gave me another outlet in which to check out Murakami's craft. While the sparseness of the film (which is much like that of Japon, only loneliness is reinforced, not contradicted, in the long shots here) makes for some fresh, thoughtful filmmaking, I thought that unlike Japon, I felt very little for the characters, even when they are emotionally devastated. It is so subtle that I couldn't build the necessary relationship with Tony that would have been essential to feel pity; but perhaps, in the end, that's Ichikawa's point. Tony doesn't make those necessary relationships either, not with his father, and not even, I would argue, with his wife.

The story revolves around Tony Takitani, who is completely alone and isn't particularly bothered by it until he is in his 40s and meets Eiko. She is much younger than him, and unlocks in him some human emotions that he had not earlier been able to access. They marry, but she has a major shopping addiction. She buys tons of designer clothes, eventually filling up a whole room with them. While it's not particularly problematic financially, Tony is worried by this, because he (rightly) thinks that it is symptomatic of some sort of hole in Eiko, something he cannot fill. This obsession of Eiko's leads to tragedy, and Tony's realization of who he really is.

At 75 minutes long, Tony Takitani is short and slight, but in a good way. There is a small amount of dialogue, mostly melancholy shots and sideways pans out of each scene (which got on my nerves about halfway through the film). Either Ichikawa failed for me in making Tony a truly separate person, one whom I could not feel much for, or he succeeded mightily in portraying a melancholy most people don't feel. Either way, it's worth seeing, but didn't fully impress me.


RIYL: Reygadas, Bergman

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Comments on "Tony Takitani (Jun Ichikawa, 2004)"


Anonymous Alex said ... (11:40 PM) : 

I just stumbled upon this blog and so far i'm impressed, if you're not too happy with Murakami you should read Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, it's one of my favorite books.


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