Dir(s). Michel Gondry, Leos Carax and Joon-ho Bong
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
Ahhh - so… Velcome to Japan… A place of the fantastic, where three oddball fairy tale twisted fantasies merge to create an entertaining film broken across three parts…Michael Gondry delivers an adaption of a comic book by Gabrielle Bell called Cecil & Jordan in NewYork or ‘Interior Design’ as it is called here. After the misstep of Be Kind Rewind, Gondry is back into his head messing stride with a tale about a couple in Tokyo looking to buy their own place. Whilst the guy goes about getting funding for his nutty film project meeting the great and the good, his girlfriend takes on the apartment hunting but feels left out. And in body-horror style she begins to transform into a chair.
This opening sets a nice pace which then ramps up with the second tale called Merde. Director Leos Carax delivers the stand out of the three Tokyo! Tales – where a strange, red haired man goes on a mental rampage through the city. Licking, flicking cigarettes at babies and generally causing havoc. This crazy guy lives in the sewers and it isn’t long before his playful mischief has a bodycount as on one of this forays through downtown Tokyo he brings a load of hand grenades – cue random death a go go...Finally is the weakest of the three tales called Shaking Tokyo – directed by Joon-ho ‘The Host’ Bong. This is a romance of a sort where a guy who likes to stay indoors develops a crush on a pizza delivery girl. The path of love however does not run smoothly because she likes his hermit like way of life so much that she shots herself away too. Will the man venture outside to find the girl he fancies?
"Tom Wade looked perturbed on his way to work"
Tokyo! is thought provoking and engaging throughout, certainly worth checking out if you’ve a taste for something a little more weird than you’re average viewing. Three highly creative directors deliver excellent value as you get to experience surrealism, horror and love all in quick succession.
Arbitrary Darkmatters final rating of: öööööööö (8 - noodles for the brain)
Darkmatters quick reference guide:
Spiritual Enlightenment 6
“the camera moving at typical Gondry speed, from fast motion overhead shots to slow pans, like a fractured subconscious. In the process the self-involved Akira (who pitches concepts to his girlfriend in lieu of engaging in conversation) watches his film career take off after he screens his Metropolis-like feature at a porn house, while the unsure Hiroko (played by Ayako Fujitani who happens to be the daughter of Steven Seagal) struggles to find her own identity..”