Tokyo!Director: Leos Carax, Michel Gondry, Bong Joon-ho, Ayako Fujitani
Directors Michel Gondry, Bong Joon-ho, and Leos Carax each direct a segment of this triptych feature about life in 21st century Tokyo. The saga begins with Gondry's segment, entitled "Interior Design," about a young couple who moves in with an old friend while attempting to establish themselves in Tokyo. Hiroko (Ayako Fujitani) and Akira (Ryo Kase) have just arrived in the city. They're eager to launch their careers, but first they'll have to find a place to stay. Though Hiroko's old friend Akemi (Ayumi Ito) opens her doors to the ambitious young couple, her boyfriend isn't exactly thrilled by the new living arrangement. As Akira takes his first steps toward becoming a filmmaker, the neon jungle beckons to Hiroko. Before long, Hiroko begins to experience a startling metamorphosis that instills her with a newfound sense of peace and purpose. The second chapter, Leos Carax's "Merde," follows the debased exploits of an unsightly subterranean creature (Denis Lavant) who emerges from the Tokyo sewers to taunt and torment the unsuspecting denizens of the city. Stealing cash, pilfering cigarettes, frightening old ladies, and even going so far as to salaciously lick schoolgirls, the gibberish-spewing troublemaker dubbed Merde sparks a media frenzy that sends all of Tokyo into a panic. The situation spirals as Merde discovers an arsenal of hand grenades in his underground lair, and begins throwing them in the streets at will, creating an environment of total urban terror. Later, Merde is apprehended and pompous French magistrate Maître Voland (Jean-François Balmer) arrives to defend the deviant in a Japanese court. The only person capable of speaking his client's unintelligible language, Voland stands at the center of a media circus that soon engulfs all of Japan. When Merde is convicted by the court and sentenced to death, justice takes a turn for the surreal. The trilogy winds to a close with Bong Joon-ho's "Shaking Tokyo," in which a reclusive pizza addict who hasn't left his apartment in over a decade falls for a pretty delivery girl at the very same moment an earthquake hits Japan. A so-called hikikomori who never dares venture outside, the lonely shut-in (Teruyuki Kagawa) subsists almost solely on pizza delivery. When a beautiful delivery girl shows up at his door and promptly faints when the ground begins to shake, it's love at first sight. Later, the agoraphobic man discovers that the object of his affections has become a hikikomori herself, and boldly ventures out of his apartment in order to declare his love. The moment he sets eyes on her, the ground starts to rumble once again.
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- Liberation Ent
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Cast & Crew
|Etienne Charry||Score Composer|
|Caroline Champetier de Ribes||Cinematographer|
|Celine Guignard||Costumes/Costume Designer|
|Mitsuo Harada||Production Designer|
|Yuji Hayashida||Production Designer|
|Kenzo Horikoshi||Executive Producer|
|Toshihiro Isomi||Production Designer|
|Hironori Ito||Sound/Sound Designer|
|Hiroyuki Negishi||Executive Producer|
|Takeshi Ogawa||Sound/Sound Designer|
|Yuji Sadai||Executive Producer|
|Lee Byung Woo||Score Composer|
|Fusao Yuwaki||Sound/Sound Designer|
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"Tokyo!" chronicles three different tales crafted by three separate directors, each story as unique, artful and compelling as the next. Michel Gondry, Leos Carax and Bong-Joon-Ho each manage to create a startling piece of cinema that not only causes you to question what it means to be human, but also brings a smile to your face as well. Gondry's film, "Interior Design", explores a young couple trying to make their way in the megapolis that is Tokyo. As a young woman finds herself feeling more and more useless in the face of the city's constant grind, she begins to undergo a strange transformation which will leave fans of Gondry's surrealistic works such as "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" or "The Science of Sleep" thoroughly entranced and enamored. Meanwhile, Leos Carax provides filmgoers with a riff on Godzilla by having a sewer dwelling humanoid dubbed "Merde" terrorize the city while terrifying its inhabitants with his irrational demeanor and disregard for rules. When Merde is finally captured and put on trial, a media circus inevitably ensues surrounding the death sentence of this strange denizen of Tokyo's underworld. A social commentary on media spin, xenophobia, and culture shock, "Merde" is all about shock and awe. Finally, Bong-Joon-Ho (The Host) directs a lighter piece centering around a man who hasn't left his house for 10 years, his only social contact taking place when ordering and paying for deliveries via the telephone. After an attractive young pizza delivery girl faints in his living room during a sporadic earthquake, this so called hikikimori finds that he has fallen in love, and ventures back out into the world to find the object of his affection. "Shaking Tokyo" is a romantic comedy at heart, but still manages to maintain a mysterious darkness which was amazingly intriguing. Together, these three pieces create a cinematic experience that I found truly unique and immersive, drawing me into the film and never really letting go. A foreign film directed by three unrelated foreign directors about a city not their own, "Tokyo!" proved to be highly engaging and emotionally resonant at heart. I'm excited that this film is finally coming to Blu-Ray, and can't wait to add it to my collection.
In TOKYO!, three visionary directors (Michel Gondry, Leos Carax, and Bong Joon-ho) come together for an omnibus triptych examining the nature of one unforgettable city as it's shaped by the disparate people who live, work (and run amok) inside an enormous, constantly evolving, densely populated Japanese megalopolis-the enchanting and inimitable Tokyo. In the tradition of such films as "New York Stories", "Night On Earth", "Paris Je T'aime" and its forthcoming sequel "New York I Love You, TOKYO! addresses the timeless question of whether we shape cities, or if cities shape us-while in the process, revealing the rich humanity at the heart of modern urban live.
this movie was Incredibly-awful! I feel like I suffered through all 3 films just to see which one I'd like better. I wanted more than anything to just cut the movie off but I kept giving it another 15 min to peak my interest. OMG it was horrible. I honestly considered getting up & washing dishes or recleaning my house while the movie was playing. I'd tell myself..ok just one more chance...15 more minutes. I was severly disappointed! Don't waste your time or money.