Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Shiki-Jitsu [Ritual day / Ceremonial day - 2000]

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Director: Hideaki Anno [Neon Genesis Evangelion, Karekano, Love & Pop, Cutie Honey]

The film tells the story of a director who meets an odd young woman in his home town. The story takes place over a period of 33 days. The film was both written and directed by Anno.

The actor playing the director is portrayed by famous indie Japanese filmmaker Shunji Iwai. In the original story, the character wasn't a director but a shopkeeper; Anno decided to change the plot.

The woman is played by Ayako Fujitani, who also wrote the original novel Tohimu on which Anno based his screenplay. Fujitani, the daughter of actor Steven Seagal, was inspired to write the book after an emotionally difficult time spent in Los Angeles, during which she played a small role in her father's 1998 feature, The Patriot.

Shiki Jitsu is characterized by beautiful photography, strongly contrasted psychological characters, and known psychological disorders. During the film there are many instances where animation and drawings are used to show the inner thoughts of "the Woman". Some people believe this is a result of Anno having an animator's background.

The film tells the story of a young Director returning to his home town (a suburb of a big Japanese city) and a strange young girl. At first the girl seems very eccentric. For example her saying "tomorrow is my birthday" every day, and wearing very unusual clothing.

But as the days go by, it appears that the woman has little touch with reality, and is constantly escaping into a fantasy world. The Director is a former anime director who is seeking to do a "real film" and embrace reality. The two eventually fall in love. Many parallels can be drawn between the Director and Hideaki Anno, particularly in regard to his relationship between anime and live action films.

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Blogger 1minutefilmreview said...

Wow, this seems cool! We're Iwai fans too!

7:04 PM  
Blogger cateris said...


9:35 PM  

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