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Wararaifu!!

A move into a new home triggers some affecting, light-hearted family history in the episodic charmer.

With:
With: Jun Murkami, Yu Kashii, Tomoko Tabata, Sosuke Takaoka, Anju Suzuki, Koji Kikkawa.

A move into a new home triggers some affecting, light-hearted family history in the episodic charmer “Wararaifu!!” Tube star and film actor Yuichi Kimura (“Nobody Knows”) improves on his clunky 2009 helming debut, “Nisesatsu,” with this endearing sophomore feature, this time remaining behind the camera to let his family-focused stories take centerstage. Low-key, low-budget pic is skedded for domestic release later this year. International exposure will be limited to fests.

As Shuichi (Jun Murakami) helps his parents move out of the suburban Tokyo house he grew up in, discarded possessions and familiar surroundings launch a series of associations. Flashbacks — some as brief as a couple of shots — are seemingly unremarkable anecdotes, but catch the warm nostalgia and personal significance of such memories. Family holidays, a found dog, a lost dog, schoolyard bullying and ongoing sibling rivalry are all grist for Kimura’s enjoyable mill. Thesps, including children, all deliver amusing, authentic perfs; helming appears plain but is executed with precision. Lensing is in flat indie style, but sound is thoroughly pro. Title is Japanglish for the expression “What a life!”

Wararaifu!!

Japan

Production: A Yoshimoto Kyogo Co., Phantom Film Co. production. (International sales: Phantom Film Co., Tokyo.) Produced by Nobuhiro Mizutani. Directed, written by Yuichi Kimura.

Crew: Camera (color, HD), Yoshihiro Ikeuchi; editor, Tsuyoshi Imai; music, Ikuro Fujiwara; production designer, Toshihiro Isomi. Reviewed at Pusan Film Festival (Window on Asian Cinema), Oct. 9, 2010. Running time: 94 MIN.

With: With: Jun Murkami, Yu Kashii, Tomoko Tabata, Sosuke Takaoka, Anju Suzuki, Koji Kikkawa.

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