Sunday, August 29, 2010

Kamome Diner (Naoko Ogigami, 2006)

"The first Japanese movie made in Finland!" is the sort of point only the most hardcore festival-goer could ever be sold on, but considering the rich / dubious tradition of Western filmmakers using films as an excuse to explore their fascination with / fetishization of Japan, there's something inherently fascinating about a Japanese filmmaker's fascination with / fetishization of another culture and national cinema (it should be pointed out that, across the history of cinema, there's one country that gets fetishized / caricatured / explored by foreigners even more than Japan: the US).

But the truth's that there isn't that much to talk about with this one. Ogigami indulges the usual cinephile-tourist gestures, like casting Markku Peltola, and there are some good shots of cookware (which look like IKEA catalog photos, and like IKEA catalog photos, nearly convinced me again that I need better pots and a new spatula). Like Yoshino's Barber Shop this has "its moments," though like that movie this is also intensely (though not defiantly) unambitious and frankly a little dull: a movie to yawn halfway through but never feel completely "bored."

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