Film REVIEW — SEVEN WEEKS — #JapanCuts2015
The uncanny Tanimaru entices us with a review of SEVEN WEEKS:
It runs almost 3 hours so I had to watch in Chapters (as it is laid out)
Obayashi Noubuhiko’s SEVEN WEEKS is a lush visual delight.
It took more than ten years to get it made and was inspired by the late Suzuki Hyoji, who was a resident of Ashibetsu (where the film is set) and who began a film workshop that was just in it infancy when he passed away of pancreatic cancer. Obayashi and Suzuki became great friends, so the film is an homage to their friendship and the love of cinema.
Ashibetsu as a location is a jewel in the vast nature of Hokkaido.
It is a long film, almost 3 hours, but after some time, you surrender to the pace of small town life in Hokkaido and enjoy the pleasure of nature’s bounty.
The cast is first rate, veterans along with capable and compelling newcomers.
Reincarnation is also a theme explored in the film via a character who is clearly the next chapter of a character who dies young.
I enjoyed the film, but it is for the patient and the true lover of cinema.
In Ashibetsu, Hokkaido on March 11, 2:46 PM, Mitsuo Suzuki (Toru Shinagawa) takes his last breath at a ripe age of 92. His dispersed family members arrive during his last moments–all quirky, selfish and human in their own way. When a strange and striking woman (Takako Tokiwa) arrives asking if she was too late, questions are asked and a feverish history begins to unravel spanning Mitsuo’s long life. Director Nobuhiko Obayashi (of cult-classic HAUSU fame) burns through 171 minutes with his unmistakable visual sensibility full of vibrant colors and rhythmic editing that pounds with life and fierce energy to communicate with the viewer.
Japan. 2014. 171 min. Blu-ray, in Japanese with English subtitles. Directed by Nobuhiko Obayashi. With Toru Shinagawa, Saki Terashima, Takako Tokiwa, Yumi Adachi, Tokie Hidari.
“Seven Weeks pulses with more hot-blooded vitality and audacity than most films by [Obayashi’s] younger compatriots” -Don Brown, The Asahi Shimbun
Part of JAPAN CUTS 2015.
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