Tokyo! | Chicago Reader

Tokyo!

Inspired by anthologies like Paris, Je T'aime (2006) and New York Stories (1989), this 2008 feature combines shorts by three international directors. Michel Gondry's fey Interior Design begins as a comedy about an impecunious young sci-fi filmmaker (Ryo Kase) and his supportive girlfriend (Ayako Fujitani) but morphs into a surreal reflection on surviving in a frighteningly overpopulated society. Leos Carax's Merde updates Godzilla with its story of an anarchic sewer-dwelling westerner (Denis Lavant) who terrorizes the city by assaulting pedestrians, ingesting inanimate objects, and speaking an arcane language. The best, Shaking Tokyo, stars the versatile Teruyuki Kagawa (Tokyo Sonata) as an agoraphobic whose world is rocked by a pizza delivery girl (Yu Aoi) and an earthquake; director Bong Joon-ho (The Host) exquisitely balances humor and pathos in his take on automation and ennui. In Japanese and French with subtitles. 110 min.

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