You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Don’t Look Back

Starting like a kidpic but slowly developing layers of depth and resonance, "Don't Look Back" is further proof of an interesting new talent in writer-director Akihiko Shiota. This one is too modest to go farther than festivals, but makes an interesting appendage to his first feature, "Moonlight Whispers" (reviewed on page 58), also on show in Locarno.

Starting like a kidpic but slowly developing layers of depth and resonance, “Don’t Look Back” is further proof of an interesting new talent in writer-director Akihiko Shiota. This one is too modest to go farther than festivals, but makes an interesting appendage to his first feature, “Moonlight Whispers” (reviewed on page 58), also on show in Locarno.

Ten-year-old friends Akira and Koichi, kids in a featureless Tokyo suburb, seem to have an average childhood — larking around in school, chased by gangs of elders and teased by girls for being “stupid.” Then they start to drift apart: Akira befriends Nomura, who has a frightening collection of war toys (and movie posters including “The Longest Day”) and lives alone with his strung-up, divorced mother; and Koichi takes up with a thuglet at school. As a pattern of simple betrayals emerges, pic develops some moving moments, especially around the lonely, slightly nerdy Nomura. As in “Whispers,” Shiota shows youngsters engaging in patterns of behavior way beyond their ages and shoots in a careful, economic style whose ellipses the audience can fill in through various visual clues.

Don't Look Back

(DRAMA -- JAPANESE)

Production: A Euro Space/The Film School of Tokyo production. (International sales: Euro Space, Tokyo.) Produced by Kenzo Horikoshi, Hiroko Matsuda. Directed, written by Akihiko Shiota. Camera (color), Kazuhiro Suzuki; editor, Takefumi Tsutsui; music, Yuichi Kishino. Reviewed at Locarno Film Festival (Filmmakers of the Present), Aug. 7, 1999. Original title: Dokomademo ikou. Running time: 74 MIN.

With: With: Yusaku Suzuki, Shingo Mizuno, Yuria Haga, Yuuya Suzuki.

More Film

  • Jane Fonda appears in Jane Fonda

    Sundance Film Review: 'Jane Fonda in Five Acts'

    Starting like a kidpic but slowly developing layers of depth and resonance, “Don’t Look Back” is further proof of an interesting new talent in writer-director Akihiko Shiota. This one is too modest to go farther than festivals, but makes an interesting appendage to his first feature, “Moonlight Whispers” (reviewed on page 58), also on show […]

  • 'I Think We're Alone Now' Review

    Sundance Film Festival: 'I Think We're Alone Now'

    Starting like a kidpic but slowly developing layers of depth and resonance, “Don’t Look Back” is further proof of an interesting new talent in writer-director Akihiko Shiota. This one is too modest to go farther than festivals, but makes an interesting appendage to his first feature, “Moonlight Whispers” (reviewed on page 58), also on show […]

  • The Happy Prince

    Sundance Film Review: 'The Happy Prince'

    Starting like a kidpic but slowly developing layers of depth and resonance, “Don’t Look Back” is further proof of an interesting new talent in writer-director Akihiko Shiota. This one is too modest to go farther than festivals, but makes an interesting appendage to his first feature, “Moonlight Whispers” (reviewed on page 58), also on show […]

  • Sundance Film Review: 'Skate Kitchen'

    Sundance Film Review: 'Skate Kitchen'

    Starting like a kidpic but slowly developing layers of depth and resonance, “Don’t Look Back” is further proof of an interesting new talent in writer-director Akihiko Shiota. This one is too modest to go farther than festivals, but makes an interesting appendage to his first feature, “Moonlight Whispers” (reviewed on page 58), also on show […]

  • Bajrangi Bhaijaan - Salman Khan

    Eros Confirms Wide Release in China for Salman Khan's ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’

    Starting like a kidpic but slowly developing layers of depth and resonance, “Don’t Look Back” is further proof of an interesting new talent in writer-director Akihiko Shiota. This one is too modest to go farther than festivals, but makes an interesting appendage to his first feature, “Moonlight Whispers” (reviewed on page 58), also on show […]

  • Lion

    Hollywood Increases Domination of Australian Box Office in 2017

    Starting like a kidpic but slowly developing layers of depth and resonance, “Don’t Look Back” is further proof of an interesting new talent in writer-director Akihiko Shiota. This one is too modest to go farther than festivals, but makes an interesting appendage to his first feature, “Moonlight Whispers” (reviewed on page 58), also on show […]

  • Frances McDormand SAG Awards

    SAG Awards: Actors Fall Hard for 'Three Billboards' but the Oscar Race Is Far From Over

    Starting like a kidpic but slowly developing layers of depth and resonance, “Don’t Look Back” is further proof of an interesting new talent in writer-director Akihiko Shiota. This one is too modest to go farther than festivals, but makes an interesting appendage to his first feature, “Moonlight Whispers” (reviewed on page 58), also on show […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content