Sunday, April 8, 2007

April 8th Log

2001, Jun Ichikawa, Japan

Repeat Viewing, DVD

"I'm not that lonely. I kind of like being by myself." Tokyo Marigold is a beautifully understated film. Loosely based off a novel by the great Mariko Hayashi (“One Year Later”) this film is written and directed by Jun Ichikawa, who’s films always contain a complexity underneath the quiet and subtle style and narrative. Tokyo Marigold is a film that just works. To me it is near perfection. I love how the richness of the emotions or more specifically of the character emerge from the simplicity. The film is centered around Eriko, a lonely self-absorbed woman living without direction through a life in which she seeks happiness an meaning. Perhaps persuaded by expectations or the pressure of conformity, Eriko discovers the emotions of falling in love and disappointment. Ichikawa uses the metaphor of the marigold as an emotional backdrop or connection to the story, as it is a flower that blooms only during the season before an inevitable decay. Ichikawa never forces the issue with the film and as we look closer it becomes apparent that the essence of both the film and the characters is what is hidden. This realization comes to Eriko in a fitting ending as she watches herself on a TV commercial. Tokyo Marigold is a film of such rich complexity, most of which lies within the character of Eriko. Eriko is wonderfully played by Rena Tanaka. Tanaka gives an endearing performance that flawlessly works with the understated beauty of Ichikawa’s direction. Told with a quiet simplicity, and shot with radiant color patterns, Tokyo Marigold has the stylish tone of a lyrical dream. I love this film!!

>>> Here is a scene from Tokyo Marigold:


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