Miyoko Asagaya kibun (2009)

“Miyoko Asagaya kibun” (2009)


to live, to tell, to engage

To assume the biography of someone, as the central subject to work on, and leak it into a film has to be one of the most difficult tasks in cinema. I say this based not on any personal experience, but on the amount of projects undertaking such a goal that fail completely, some glorious, others with no grace at all. I think there are several approaches that can be made:

-you take the facts out of the biography, especially the most well known, if the life in question has any, and you stage them. This is the most lazy, and common approach. Any “life of Christ” produced for television to be exhibited in Easter time will do this;

-you make an epic out of the life. You exaggerate the facts, and dramatize them to make them “life or death” questions. Usually this is done by engaging us into a very specific world, where the portrayed life is central to the lives of everybody around him/her. This specific biography must allow it, but this is a cinematic approach, because it’s the specificities of cinema as a medium that allow this approach to work. But i don’t think it’s a necessarily interesting approach. Gandhi falls here. Ali as well. The recent “king’s speech” may also fall here, or halfway between this and the first approach;

-you take the life for what happened in it. There is a life or bits of it to be told, the subject actually lived in a certain place, for a certain time, married to a certain person, etc etc. You account for all that, and than you forget it, and make an intuitive film about what one might call essence of that personality. It is supposed to be someone who matters right? Someone who meant something, on some specific area, isn’t it? So, what Did he change? How did he move things? If you please, how did he come to those actions or things, based on how he lived and what he was? This is the most valid approach. Many of the films i see that work on this basis still fail, that’s why i think this is a very hard thing to do in film, but i treasure those failures, i applaud their makers, people with courage, valid filmmakers, all of them who attempt it. “Life and death of peter sellers” worked in this, i think because of Rush. “your name here” failed gloriously in portraying Dick’s mind. This one, i suppose it fails, at least it fails to engage me, but i can’t account for the person being portrayed because i’m not into his manga. This does grasp the soul of a man, but as a film it doesn’t work beyond the clever devices used:

His life as sexual obsessions. That obsession passionately concentrated on his girlfriend. That obsession so grand that it changes and shapes the lives of the people surrounding them: his mistress, and his friend whom he engages into sex with his girlfriend. Voyeurism, leaking into manga stories. A storyteller who forces the stories upon himself and his friends and girlfriend, more than collecting the stories from what naturally happens to him. He dangerously pulls the stories out of people. And filmmakers pulled this film out of his biography. I applaud. This film may work with others, it failed me, although there is flesh here. I’ll look more for this filmmaker.

My opinion: 2/5

This comment on IMDb



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