Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Miyoko Asagaya Kibun


'Miyoko', is the second full length film by director
Tsubota Yoshifumi, and is based on the wrought
relationship of real life manga artist Abe Shinichi,
(born 1950 in Tagawa, Fukuoka), and wife Miyoko,
played by Marie Machida who's previous appearance's
include 'Kamikaze Girls', 'Tokyo Gore Police' and
recently 'Panic 4 Rooms', and has Mizuhashi Kenji
as Shinichi Abe, it spans the years from the early
seventies to the nineties and centres mainly of their
time in the area of Asagaya, Tokyo. The film's title
'Miyoko Asagaya kibun' roughly translating as 'Miyoko,
Asagaya Feeling'. Shinichi Abe, a down on his heels
artist at the time, draws influence by manga master
Shinji Nagashima, he has no luck with the publishers,
Shinichi's editor is played by Shiro Sano, Shinichi
uses Miyoko and friend Osamu for inspiration for his
manga comic, 'Garo'. Miyoko previously caught
Shinichi with her friend, in a somewhat compromising
situation and Shinichi's suspicion's about
Osamu and Miyko's relationship, threaten to push
things over the edge. The relationship is fraught
with jealousy and sometime misguided affections.

Tsubota manages to blend the montage dreamlike
sequences to just the right effect, a scene where
an impoverished Abe extracts a tooth from his mouth
and places it on the table, and then sees a miniature nude
Miyoko come and pick it up, offering it back to him,
before banging his hand down on the table, to dispel
his hallucination. At times I was thinking a suitable
subtitle for the film could be 'Portrait of the artist
in the foetal position' as many of the scenes end in
this way as Shinichi's despair was compellingly caught
by Mizuhashi. Each character seems to fall into a
manga induced dreamworld, although not relying
wholly on any animated scenes, which prevented
the film falling into the animation/real film combination,
knowing that Shinichi is a manga artist with
the combination of the scenes using montage, work
perfectly together. Shinichi's editor on a visit to the
artist's home to collect a manuscript falls prone to
this, after visualizing a scene from the manga
he's just collected, he begins to appreciate Shinichi's
talent. The film successfully gives the feeling of
a loosening of the reins, as Shinichi and Miyoko's
relationship balance precariously on the line.

The film's soundtrack features scores from
contemporary Japanese artists, Tenniscoats,
Chihei Hatakeyama and also one of Shinichi
Abe's favourites Sparta Locals, among others.
Shinichi Abe's manga haven't yet made it to an
English translation, hopefully with this film, that
might happen in the future. Many thanks to
Asian Media Wiki for use of the image.

1 comment:

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