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Movie Natters: May 15, 2009 Archive

Tokyo Sonata is strange and sadly wonderful

Posted at 10:33 AM on May 15, 2009 by Euan Kerr

Kiyoshi Kurosawa's "Tokyo Sonata" is a movie for the times. It follows the disintegration of a family after the father and main breadwinner loses his job as an administrator at a big company which is outsourcing jobs to China.

The father, Ryuhei Sasaki, descends into a deep funk, while refusing to tell his family he's unemployed. He leaves for work every day, then sits in a park with other unemployed executives who also cannot face telling their families the truth.

The other members of the Sasaki family, the wife and two sons know something is wrong, but put it down to the parents troubled marriage. Each begins to secretly go their separate ways.

As the family splinters so does the film. It's part dark comedy, part Shakespearean tragedy, and all social commentary. As each individual story spins out, it's sometimes a shock to suddenly be back on one of the other story lines.

Yet somehow is all works. this is a particularly Japanese tale, but it resonates to any culture where the challenges of family dysfunction are magnified by economic collapse.

Edu Film Fest showcases Minnesota's film future

Posted at 3:44 PM on May 15, 2009 by Euan Kerr

The future of Minnesota film met in Minneapolis today, or at least some of it, as a host of high school students from all around the state descended on the Riverview Theater in Minneapolis for the 2009 .Edu Film Fest.

The event is intended to give young filmmakers a sense of the business, and an opportunity to show their work, which seeing the work of others. Students from 25 schools around the state submitted a total of 125 films and videos for this year's competition.

Judges narrowed that down to the top 60, and tomorrow the semi-finalists will be screened at the St Anthony Main Theaters during the second day of the festival.

I joined Colin Covert, and Tim Campbell from the Star Tribune, Peter Schilling III, and Jim Brunzell of amongst other things KFAI's Movie Talk show to talk about film journalism.

There were some great questions from the audience, and even some disagreement from the panelists which is always fun.

It was clear that everyone was having a good time, but also heartening to see that there are so many youngsters in our midst who are ready to do the hard work of movie making. I look forward to seeing more of their work in the future.

May 2009
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