Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Japan Japan (יפאן יפאן)

Imri is a twentysomething living in Tel Aviv, drifting through one-night stands, flatmates, jobs, and life in general, dreaming of going to Japan and filling the rest of his time with Internet porn and Abba singalongs. The film, based on a mix of script and improv, captures the essence of Imri's rudderless short attention span, although the "blipvert" pace may be a bit overwhelming for the pre-MTV generation. It's a mix of rapid-fire multiple images staying on screen for perhaps only a single frame, with long awkward scenes devoid of any overt action or dialogue.

There is indeed, as Frameline says, plenty of male nudity right from the get-go, but Imri is so much adrift in life as to make it a challenge for anyone — his parents, his friends, the viewer — to focus your attention on him. You get the feeling something big, good or bad, is going to happen, but you aren't at all sure it's worth the wait. Worth seeing if you're in your teens or 20's, or nostalgic for that time in your life. Recommended with some reservations

Japan Japan, dir. Lior Shamriz, 2007 Israel 65 min.

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