Film Review: Au Revoir l’Été (2013) by Kôji Fukada

“Au Revoir l’Été” by Kôji Fukada is a bit gem of a film, easy and but multilayered and visually enchanting. It’s a story of transition to maturity, the Japanese title “Hotori no Sakuko” could be translated “Sakuko on the sting” and that is precisely it.

“Au Revoir l’Été” is screening at Vesoul International Film Festival of Asian Cinema

 

Sakuko (Fumi Nakaido) is a 18 yr previous scholar who has simply failed the College entrance examination and goes for a brief vacation to a small seaside resort together with her aunt Mikie (Mayu Tsuruta). They’re each seeking to get some quiet and constructive trip of this vacation; Sakuko wants to review and put together for her subsequent session of exams and Mikie is engaged on a translation. On the resort, we get to know Ukichi (director’s common, Kanji Furutachi), Mikie’s ex lover, who runs a lodge on the town, his scholar daughter Tetsuko (Kiki Sugino) and his nephew Takashi (Taiga), a runaway survivor of the Fukushima catastrophe who helps him with the lodge chores. All the pieces appears to be excellent and by the e-book, the solar, the ocean, the bicycle runs, the lazy summer time days, however slowly Sakuko begins to note one thing barely off. Nothing is actually because it appears and folks round her are hiding some opaque sides. Below the respectable façade, Ukichi’s lodge is in actuality a Love Resort the place pale underage women promote their our bodies to businessmen, Mikie is in a relation with a married and sleazy College professor who loves seducing his college students and even Takashi – who all people pities for his dramatic previous – has a really private tackle his exile that no one has ever cared to take heed to.

Sakuko takes all the pieces in, observes and elaborates. In an amusing central episode of the film, the characters are reunited round dinner, for a birthday celebration and talk about about love and relationships and move fairly rapidly from embarrassment to rage, from pleased karaoke to bodily violence; all this below the eyes of a very silent and puzzled Sakuko.

Sakuko and Takashi are “on the sting” of the age of disillusion and desperately grasp and maintain on to that little fragment of childhood nonetheless left in them, forming a bond that’s honest and much from hormonal. Like two kids, they cycle, play with the fireworks, run away from dwelling when the strain turns into insufferable, solely to return dwelling compliantly the morning after. On the finish of summer time, Sakuko will return to Tokyo a unique particular person and nothing would be the identical once more, however the quiet ending of the film, with out superfluous twists or undesirable morals means that ultimately, effectively … c’est la vie!

The French title spoon-feeds a Rohmer inspiration and sure, there are all of the French director’s aesthetic components, a quiet seaside city, dreamy younger women in pastel clothes on bicycles, sound of crickets within the sunny afternoons, however widespread locations apart, this film is intrinsically Japanese in the best way it confronts some social themes, the guilt and disgrace of a latest previous and the angle towards girls. All that is conveyed with pure and trustworthy dialogues and a sleek tempo that generally reminds of Koreeda of “Nonetheless Strolling”.

Fukada Kôji has written and directed this film with a delicate and measured contact and the selection of the 4:3 format, as an alternative of taking millimeters away from the viewers, donates as an alternative a particular grace and intimacy to the pictures (certainly helped by the square-empowering Instagram period).

“Au Revoir l’Été” was introduced in 2013 at Tokyo Worldwide Movie Competition and can be adopted in 2016 by “Harmonium”, a movie that couldn’t look extra totally different from its earlier however that in actuality is an excessive and dramatic elaboration of the identical theme. Grownup life is a multifaceted path of unhealthy surprises and lies that generally – like in “Harmonium” – can spin right into a crescendo of emotional chaos. However Sakuko doesn’t know this but and “Au Revoir l’Été” sits firmly on the basic “coming of age” floor. It would effectively be one of many tritest themes in cinema, however the excellent stability of freshness and familiarity prevents it from feeling stale.

By IPTV

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