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We Can’t Go Home Again

Tokyo twentysomethings search for meaning in the metropolis, but auds will discover little of value in Japanese indie criss-crosser "We Can't Go Home Again." Conceived by Tokyo critic-cum-docu helmer Toshi Fujiwara, this chatty feature bow exhibits all the worst technical trappings of indie DV projects. Indie fests that specialize only in amateurish fare are the most likely berth for this lackluster effort.

With:
With: Tetsuya Yamada, Mao Torii, Kazuhiro Yamauchi, Kurumi Takasawa, Stsushi Shimoda, Aye Kato, Yufuko Kuroda, Toshi Fujiwara.

Tokyo twentysomethings search for meaning in the metropo-lis, but auds will discover little of value in Japanese indie criss-crosser “We Can’t Go Home Again.” Conceived by Tokyo critic-cum-docu helmer Toshi Fujiwara, this chatty feature bow exhibits all the worst technical trappings of small DV projects. Only fests that specialize in amateurish fare will show interest in this lackluster effort.

Pic calls upon non-actors to impro-vise and extrapolate on their own Tokyo stories. Most of the perform-ances are decidedly stilted, but Mao Torii, who plays an insecure em-ployee of a publishing house, has a naturalistic screen presence that shows promise. Her scenes talking with the helmer (who plays a film critic) about the authenticity of non-professional thesps in pics such as Fritz Lang’s “M” is the seed for this dull experiment that confuses the technique with the result. Only point proved is that filmmaking is not as easy as it looks. Lensing is DV flat, and poorly lit. Music soundtrack is inappropriately loud and sound recording falls into the usual techni-cal traps of capturing distracting extraneous noise.

We Can't Go Home Again

Japan

Production: A Compass Films production. (International sales: Compass Films, Tokyo.) Produced by Hirofumi Kan, Jun-ya Hirato, Alexander Wadouh. Directed by Toshi Fujiwara. Screenplay by Fujiwara and improvised from ideas by Tetsuya Yamada, Mao Torii, Kazuhiro Yamauchi, Kurumi Takasawa, Stsushi Shimoda, Aye Kato, Yufuko Kuroda.

Crew: Camera (color, DV-PAL to 35mm), Fujiwara; editor, Fujiwara; music, Simon Stockhausen; art director, Katsunori Ito, Kanji Ohshima. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival Film Festival (Forum), Feb. 12, 2006. Running time: 111 MIN.

With: With: Tetsuya Yamada, Mao Torii, Kazuhiro Yamauchi, Kurumi Takasawa, Stsushi Shimoda, Aye Kato, Yufuko Kuroda, Toshi Fujiwara.

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