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Tokyo!
Three foreign directors—two from France and one from South Korea—take “affectionate aim" at Tokyo and offer their interpretations with surreal shorts.
T

okyo!
Directed by Michel Gondry, Leos Carax, and Bong Joon-ho
(Not Rated)

***

Three directors give their takes on Tokyo.

The “defiantly odd” Tokyo! isn’t out to win over audiences, said Stephanie Zacharek in Salon.com. In this “bumpy and sometimes perplexing” omnibus, three foreign directors—France’s Michel Gondry and Leos Carax, and South Korea’s Bong Joon-ho—offer divergent portraits of the Japanese capital. Horror and sci-fi are at the core of these surreal shorts, said Maggie Lee in The Hollywood Reporter. As outsiders, they interpret life in Tokyo with “footloose imagination and a nonchalant attitude” toward the usual conventions of filmmaking. In his antic fable about a sewer-dweller who wreaks havoc on the sidewalks of Tokyo, Carax creates an allegory on the “historic legacy of militarism, xenophobia, and the judiciary system.” Gondry builds his Kafkaesque story around a couple desperately trying to make Tokyo their new home. Joon-ho tackles the Japanese phenomenon of hikkikomori—extreme recluses who stay at home for years—with his quiet love story. All three directors take “affectionate aim at the Japanese capital,” said Justin Chang in Variety. Though the film as a whole is “uneven,” each director makes his short his own.

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