shomingekiblog is a blog associated with my former print magazine shomingeki published in German language. This blog will focuse mostly on english texts, translations from German into English and in some exceptions french texts. The official home page is at the moment: www.shomingeki.org. The official page for the German language version of shomingeki is: www.shomingekionline.org
shomingeki is now after 24 printissues available . Non-Profit.
Sunday, February 10, 2013
Kujira no Machi (The Town of Whales, by Keiko Tsuruoka, Japan: 2012 Berlinale 2013
You can call it a kind of Coming of Age
film. A boy (Tomohiko) and two girls (Machi and Hotaru) are high
school students. First of all we see them walking around the strange
deserted school, sitting in empty classrooms or swimming in an empty
pool just for them alone. It is also a kind of triangle relationship between three adolescents. Nothing happens and there is not yet something
like a plot. But the colours are emphasized, mostly warm red tones.
There is rather an option of a story than a story itself. The
focusing on moments in which is the option to form a story out of it,
but rather as an offering. You can accept this offering but you don´t
have to. It is a film where your eyes can move freely through.
These two girls and this boy are
already playing and experimenting with the gender roles they are supposed to adopt. They are confused. They don´t
know really where to go with this. And it is the same with the film,
which is a try or in better words - an approach to define itself as
a film. A film is often a journey and in this case literally.
While these three teenagers are trying
to approach the world, Machi is looking for her brother who disappeared 6 years ago. The Coming of Age film is now as well a
kind of Road Movie. They meet the brother´s friend, who seems ti be a transsexual person.
This is not more than a hint why Machi´s brother left home. He
appears only once , in a dream of Machi. We can further suppose that the girl is looking for a certain established image of her brother rather than for the brother himself.
This film has also a soundtrack which
is strangely restrained and which is also an equivalent of the
journey of the tree young people through a nearly deserted world.
It is not that the film does n´t come
to the point – it is rather that the film refuses even to focus
this point. There remains always an analogy between how the film
moves from moment to moment and the search of these three teenagers.
An unfinished film like an unfinished
But how absurd it seems, in its lack of
smartness lies as well a big piece of wisdom.
Keiko Tsuruoka remains with her
characters. Her film moves as hesitant like these young people. We
are close to a time when we tried to experience the world before the
violence of predetermination.
A subtle experimental film. A shy but
at the same time a very courageous and daring first long feature.