Tokyo-Ga

I have been lying to you. All this time, all those films. All of them were lies. It all goes back to some point last year when I accidentally told the dvd renty people that I wanted to rent every single Wim Wenders film ever made. Rather than cancel said order I just let them all come, a wave of Wim if you will. It was a good, it slightly weird time. Eventually they stopped coming, replaced with meaningless stuff like Transformers II : Age of Empires. Or whatever it was called. They never did send every single one of his films, they had apparently lied about having all of them. Anyway, about a week ago I was looking through the list of films I had previously rented, and noticed…Tokyo-Ga. It was on the list, but I never wrote about it. For all the time the ‘every’ in EFIHR has been a fraud. A lie! For this I truly am sorry. It is made all the worse by the fact that the film is so brilliant. I decided to re-watch to make it all better. There is a moment where Wenders describes the power of unplanned, unscripted film moments, the shining beacons in the gloss and manufacture of Hollywood. It is perhaps self conscious, but no less brilliant then that one of the perfect moments of Tokyo-Ga is when one young man, dancing with his friends in the park and sharing their unique take on Americana, accidentally hits another in the face. The resulting apology says as much about Japanese culture as the meeting itself. Tokyo-Ga invites these kinds of reflections. It is kind of, something like Mr Wenders ode to legendary film director Yasujiro Ozu. Its so much more than this though. Really, it is one of the most honest travelogues you’ll see. Its like poking around Tokyo with a slightly aimless, philosophical wanderer. Sometimes Wims ramblings are a little detached from the visuals, but they are universally thought provoking, and its powerfully good film making, never boring and completely visually captivating. How much is it actually about Ozo? We’ll to be honest, its not about him very much at all on the surface of things, but as you watch you realise that really he is there all the way though, like a sort of ghost. It makes the final scenes all the more heart wrenching, and moving. Finally, with the appearance of Chris Marker and Werner Herzog its a kind of whose who of philosophically grounded cinema. One day the rest of those Wenders films will turn up at my door, and I promise not to forget to write about a single one of them.

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