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Tokyo! (DVD Review)

25 Jun, 2009 By: John Latchem


Street 6/30/09
Box Office $0.35 million
$24.95 DVD, $34.95 Blu-ray.
In Japanese and French with English subtitles.

This anthology of three short films by three non-Japanese directors focuses on life in Tokyo and the unique relationship between big cities and the people who live there. Segments include Interior Design by Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), Merde by French filmmaker Leos Carax and Shaking Tokyo by Bong Joon-ho (The Host).

Funny and imaginative in typical Gondry fashion, Interior Design tells the story of Akira and Hiroko, a young couple who move to the city and find life a bit more expensive than they bargained for, especially when their car is impounded. Akira hopes to make it as a filmmaker, but Hiroko has trouble adjusting, leading to a dreamlike sequence of her self-transformation.

Merde is a bizarre Godzilla homage about a sewer-dweller who climbs onto the streets and begins attacking everyone he sees, causing panic among the city’s residents. The story is a thinly veiled allegory about racism and Japanese fears of foreign contamination.

In Shaking Tokyo, a shut-in falls in love with a pizza delivery girl, and after an earthquake takes to the streets to find her. This is actually the most straightforward of the trilogy and is really a very sweet story.

The DVD includes featurettes on the making of each part, and interviews with the directors.

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