Jasper Sharp jasper_sharp
Fri Nov 23 07:01:59 EST 2001

I didn't get round to catching much at this years London Film Festival - 
well, nothing in fact until I finally motivated myself to crawl up to the 
National Film Theatre at Waterloo to see if there were any spare tickets for 
The Enchantment and Shikoku director Shunichi Nagasaki's newest, A TENDER 
PLACE/ YAWARAKA NO HOO, an overwhelming three and a half hour epic shot on 
DV with no music on the soundtrack. Lovely Yuki Amami plays a 32 year old 
mother who, aided by an ex-police detective terminally ill with stomach 
cancer, is searching for her 5 year old daughter that went missing during a 
family holiday in Hokkaido five year's before.
This was the most compelling and engrossing pieces of cinema I've seen in a 
long long time, more remarkable because for once the DV format didn't seem 
to be screaming out to draw attention to itself, just a way of realising an 
epically ambitious psychological drama, which as Tony Rayns states in the 
festival brochure, features "a novelistic depth of characterisation and 
richness of plot". Yes, this is what DV should be about, making use of the 
increased flexibility and reduced shooting costs afforded by the medium 
rather than delivering in your face shock tactics a la VISITOR Q or as a 
cheaper alternative to film in Shiota's GIPS.
Has anyone else seen this? It was produced in 2000, and apparently the story 
was taken from a novel, though figuring the information was written in the 
festival brochure I wasn't quite rigorous enough with my old notebook, so 
don't know who the original writer was.
Highly recommended to everyone, should it ever make it past the festival 
Hmmm - three and a half hours of Eskimo drama to look forward to on Sunday 
night with ATARJUNUAT THE FAST RUNNER, the world's first Inuit production. 
Now I really can't think what to expect with this one....

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