Wim Wenders’s new movie, co-scripted by him with writer-director Takuma Takasaki, is a bittersweet quirky-Zen character examine set in Tokyo which solely comes totally to life within the closing prolonged shot of the hero’s face, drifting backwards and forwards between happiness and unhappiness. There are some pretty magic-hour scenes from cinematographer Franz Lustig, capturing within the boxy “Academy” body.
Hirayama, performed by Koji Yakusho (from Shohei Imamura’s The Eel) is a middle-aged man employed as a bathroom cleaner, who drives round serenely from job to job in his van, listening to traditional rock and pop on old-school audio cassettes: Patti Smith, the Kinks and naturally, given the title, Lou Reed. At every location, he alters right into a jumpsuit and together with his brushes and mop matter-of-factly will get on with the job in hand.
With a hand-mirror, he has to examine below the rest room bowl and behind the urinals for … properly, by no means thoughts … he by no means finds something terrible, and in reality the bogs are by no means remotely horrific. On his lunch-hour he reads and takes images of bushes and smiles acceptingly at all the things that presents itself to his senses. He has a selected fondness for the town’s “Skytree” tower. Hirayama has a goofy and unreliable younger assistant whose goal is to level up Hirayama’s tolerant maturity and calm.
However who’s Hirayama? His small and ascetic residence is stuffed with books, music cassettes and containers of his images: he’s clearly a really clever and cultured man who possibly as soon as loved nice social standing and has chosen this monkish existence for causes of his personal, in retreat from private ache possibly? Solutions seem to emerge when he peeps around the door of a sure bar, and in addition when his cool niece (Arisa Nakano) comes to remain and he’s then confronted by this lady’s mom, his sister, who tells him their father’s dementia continues to be an issue and appears surprised by what Hirayama does for a residing as of late.
Excellent Days has a type of ambient city allure and Yakusho anchors the movie together with his understated knowledge and presence: rightly, Wenders doesn’t reveal an excessive amount of too early about his hero and doesn’t attempt to tie all the things up too neatly. However I discovered one thing a little bit too subdued on this movie, although the evocation of Tokyo itself may be very uncliched, regardless of the emphasis on one thing that’s the topic of so many touristy jokes: the loos. Not good, however participating sufficient.