Japan Japan

"OK"

Japan Japan Review


Japan Japan is the kind of film you're more likely to see at a special screening at your local modern art museum than on the shelves at Blockbuster. More a piece of performance art than an actual film, it takes a very narrow slice of life from modern-day urban Israel, examines it from every angle, toys with it, and then walks away quietly. Unusual? Yes. Satisfying? Well, you kinda have to be in the mood for that sort of thing.

"Cinema is dead," moans 19-year-old Imri (Imri Kahn) as he ironically begins his 65 minutes on film. A bored and aimless young gay man, he's out of the army and looking for something to do in Tel Aviv despite the fact that the only real skill he has is surfing the web for hardcore Japanese gay porn, some of which is cut into the film to provide periodic jolts. In fact, it's his fascination with this particular form of entertainment that is fueling a very vague notion that the key to his happiness will be emigration to Japan.

But first he needs to find a place to live and get a job. Landing a messy room in a messy flat shared by a potentially psychotic young woman is easy (hey, Tel Aviv is just like New York!), and Imri gets work at a shoddy party supply store where his task is to make sure that items on the shelves are lined up neatly. Breaks from the boredom are provided by Imri's easily amused friend Neema (Neema Yuria), who joins Imir on long beachside walks during which they don luridly colored wigs and sing Abba songs. Much of the action is clearly improvised, which is interesting in its own way but which also comes with a risk: the drudgery of daily life can be really boring, which is why we have screenplays to jazz our movies up a bit.

Interestingly, Japan Japan arrived on the heels of The Bubble, a scripted film about equally aimless young Israelis wasting time in the big city while ignoring the heavy political issues just outside their doors. That film is certainly more entertaining to watch, but perhaps the two make a good double feature: The Bubble for setting the scene, and Japan Japan for diving deeper and more edgily into it. I only wish Imri's life were a little more interesting.

Lazy lazy.



Japan Japan

Facts and Figures

Run time: 65 mins

In Theaters: Friday 28th March 2008

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

IMDB: 4.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Lior Shamriz

Producer: Lior Shamriz

Starring: Imri Kahn as Imri, Amnon Friedman as Amnon, Irit Gidron as Irit, Naama Yuria as Naama

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