A woman hires actors and strangers to pretend to be her friends and family at her wedding.
A woman hires actors and strangers to pretend to be her friends and family at her wedding.
梦之花嫁, Rip Van Winkle no Hanayome, 립반윙클의 신부
I've watched like fifty films over the past week, and have barely slept; probably going to need to, quite literally, hibernate soon and/or force myself into a coma for a short while so that, when I awaken, I'll once again have the energy to lift a glass of water to my lips without my fingers going limp and glass shattering all over my kitchen & under the goddamn fridge, where things go to become unreachable and cackle in our faces at their newfound immortality.
Mozart and chopin, light music under the light afternoon sun, stainless walls and floors so white and clean like a bride's dress, a voice so soft it could crumble at a gentle breeze's touch, but the story itself is like an avalanche crashing down onto us, so loud and chaotic and nothing like what the overall aesthetic had suggested, tearing the illusion apart. It is a form of restlessness amidst harmonious set design that reminds me of Abbas Kiarostami's Like Someone In Love. Instead of purity, we were forced to accept that the prevalent whiteness of the film is actually conveying an emotional void, the loneliness of an untouched canvas, the tedium felt by a directionless, unfinished art -- people…
Living fictions. Moving from one narrative to the next. Play acting as the only possible way of being in an improvised society taking over by multiple fictions. Deep down, there’s an allegory about Japan as a land whose public life is a form of make believe, but it take back seat to Iwai’s pet preoccupations (the urge to connect, the disappointments in living at society) and an emphasis in existing at the moment in all its beguiling possibilities. Haru Kuroki, performer of the year, no matter what Iwai throws at her she is just game and adapt, as it is nothing.
a truly wondrous film -- a cinematic spectacle that lets you mouth-agape devour it in a freewheeling, late malick sort of way, except with a much more concrete storyline. well actually, several storylines in the course of the 3-hour cut i watched. maybe it's because i had no idea what i was walking into (just read the letterboxd synopsis, which is misleading and gives away almost nothing), but i was surprised at each turn, even within a single 'typical' scene that you would expect to go one way. by the end of the third hour, i couldn't believe it was the same movie i had witnessed in the first hour, but it never feels incoherent. it's so weird and beautiful! feel blessed to have discovered it thanks to a random one-off screening at village east cinema. hope more people get to see it soon.
If All About Lily Chou-Chou was the A Brighter Summer Day of the message board era, then A Bride for Rip Van Winkle is the Mahjong (Or Yi yi?) of the age of social media. A sprawling three hour epic of loneliness, Haru Kuroki stars as Nanami, a young woman adrift in a world where the virtuality of identity has spread from the internet to pervade every aspect of life. Not in a sci-fi sense à la the dystopic Her, but in the blithe mutability of everyone she meets. She finds her fiancé online, but never really gets to know him. For her wedding, not only do her divorced parents pretend to still be a couple for the groom’s family,…
Tokyo. The biggest metropolis in the world. Someone could disappear in the middle of a crowd there and no one would notice. Quite depressing, isn't it? Almost ten million inhabitants in one city, and yet none of them really communicate.
A city full of lonely people, who, despite being consumed by the epidemic of the modern age still have human needs and holes to fulfill.
Loneliness. It is everywhere and internet offers an escape from it. It is so easy to find a friend, a boyfriend, or a problem-solver. It is like buying online, but it is just a trick. It is not real. But it is good, isn't it? So, who is going to renounce easiness? After all there…
the multiplicity of the human personality and the way we adapt by any means necessary just to get by. a drifting girl in a heartless world, one who bows to everyone and never straightens her spine. her quiet apathy fans the flame of another girl's desperation, a girl with nothing to lose. a girl with no knowledge of genuine affection. a girl who knows how it ends, and takes advantage of it. social paradigms a westerner like me can never truly understand (Mulholland Drive from a parallel universe?). a place where every song is in the minor key, where a life lived at all, good or bad, is better than seeing it pass by.
A melancholic masterpiece by Shunji Iwai, perhaps even his best work since Hana and Alice. This really hits home hard. The curiously titled A Bride for Rip Van Winkle is a beautifully low-key and understated portrait of loneliness in the Facebook age. It’s at once a cautionary tale on meeting online friends IRL and an intimate three-hour character study about a young woman who loses everything in the wake of a failed marriage. Haru Kuroki plays the lead and delivers a hushed yet powerful performance as Nanami. Kuroki’s acting has become one of my favorites of the year so far. I immediately took a liking to her character because she uses “Campanella” for her blog username, which is obviously from…
the best way i can encapsulate my experience with this film is that it feels like drifting into a gentle dream, after you've spent your night on the phone. it's turning 5AM, a song playing in your earbuds fades away as you fall asleep. sunlight is pouring thru grey clouds into your window. the sky's hazy, since it's only dawn. soft rays of bluish white illuminate dust above the windowsill. the dream you're in is weird, but not too out there. the narrative doesn't feel realistic... but it all feels real to you. what you're experiencing is a reflection of your life and your loneliness manifested in dream form, probably influenced by the phone activity too. you embark on a journey…
godamn what do i even say about this. what kinda foreign entity is that fucking camerawork. it's like a character of it's own the way the camera tells this story, floating through the air in one shot and filming from the bottom looking up in the next like a baby exploring the world. theres some shots in here that almost feel like interactive POV videogame cutscenes. swaying away from the characters until they're almost out of frame and pulling back in, sometimes even slowing down and staying behind as they move on. it's easily the best cinemtography i've seen this year and maybe ever. this shit feels beyond natural.
big part of why im so shook bout it is the setting…
“Happiness has a limit for me. A limit where I can’t take any more. This limit comes to me much quicker than other people. It comes even quicker than a tiny ant’s. Because you know… this world we live in… it’s actually full of happiness. Everyone is too kind. The mailman brings up a heavy package just because I ask him to. Someone gave me an umbrella, once on a rainy day. But then… All this happiness at once, I can’t stand it. It’s much easier just to pay for it. That has to be why money exists. People’s sincerity and kindness…if this all came out clear as day everyone would just be so thankful. They’d be crushed by happiness. That’s why you exchange it for money and pretend not to see it. Kindness…it’s everywhere. Everywhere in this world. That’s why I buy it, with money. I buy it. Because I can’t stand it anymore.”
i’m sad & lonely 😔💓
I would give anything for those tears.
In his latest work, Shunji Iwai desconstructs valors of family, struggle, disconnection between relatives in contrast to connection with supposedly strangers, loneliness, the simple wish for a loving company, and the amount of reality behind supposedly false relationships. Iwai constantly works once again with techonology, social media interaction and digital dialogues filled with heart to develop his themes, as he dives all the way into a speech about how people from different places, who only met through a make believe attendance, can understand and complete each other. Similar relations can be seen in Iwai's All About Lily Chou-Chou - connected people completely disconnected, disconnected people deeply connected -, and he…
Woulda been 5 stars if they didn’t mistreat the Betta fish.
Somewhere between 2-5 stars
Let me cut an hour 1/2 out of this
some of the music felt like it was sampled from tracks discarded from a Kingdom Hearts game that never saw the light of day
Please know that a betta needs AT LEAST 5 gallons of water in a tank to be happy. Would YOU want to be stuck in a wine glass your whole life?
There is nothing more frustrating to me than a film where every major conflict is caused by the protagonists inability to explain things. Some fantastic shots and scenes bogged down by baffling plot twists and dead-end themes.
Very disappointed Dutch-American folk legend Rip Van Winkle did not make a single appearance in this film, awaking in modern day Tokyo and learning of the American revolution from a man named Takeshi
"...All this happiness at once, I can't stand it. It's much easier just to pay for it. That has to be why money exists..."
An calm and anti-climactic film, but at the same time with so many twists and turns, narrative changes and a quasi lesbian love affair.... well, that was a three hour EXPERIENCE!
A film about loneliness and the messiness that becomes involved in our attempts to cure it.
FUCKING BEAUTIFUL. Shunji Iwai's All About Lily Chou chou still haunts me until this day, that's why I checked out his other works. After seeing his most recent feature, I came up with a conclusion: He's really a fucking genius and I need to see more from him. Indeed, we don't just watch Iwai's protagonists drown in sadness, we drown with them.
This movie talks about loneliness, manipulation, fake family, being able to agree just to anyone around you. I feel her character, coz there are times when saying “no” is not an option and you just have to go with the flow of things.
trying to get over my slump and randomly picked this not noticing it’s 3 hours long... but i enjoyed it.
watching this film reminds of an article I read that japan recently appointed a “loneliness minister” in charge of dealing with isolation and loneliness (due to the rising suicide rates brought about by the pandemic). I think this film tells you why such needs to exist, probably not only in Japan but in other parts of the world as well.
the beautiful scoring really pulls you in to this cinematic universe iwai created. there’s so much going on i feel like I’ve seen two different films in one but it was well orchestrated.
tragically beautiful, my heart aches
Sarah 120 films
no "why isn't this movie here" please, I am a critic specializing in lesbian feminist film I can promise you…
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