Eiga Sai, here I come..

by Carol Ranas
4 minutes read
Joel and I decided to give it a go to catch the Eiga Sai festival in Shangrila. After our schedules, we decided to meet at Shang. I arrived early, at around 12NN. The schedule for today was ‘Fourteen’ at 2PM and ‘TOKYO TOWER Mom & Me, and Sometimes Dad ‘ at 4:30PM. Joel came at around quarter to 2, so we decided to catch the 2PM film. 


The cinema was packed, so I was excited. As the film progresses, I grew impatient for there are plenty of dead air and blurry shots. I observed some people already left, thinking it bore them to death. I also seen Joel sleeping, seeing him asleep had also tempted me to nap a bit (since I was really a sleepyhead), but I managed not to. After the film ended, it seemed like everyone was eager to go out, and I heard some of the college students saying that they really did not understood the film. Others were like making guesses and explaining to their company the bottom line of the story. I felt bad that time, because the film failed my expectations. I had a hunch that the story was good and there were some values that we must have seen, because otherwise, they would have just shown any sappy romantic Japanese film.
 I did some research afterward to verify my hunch, and it was indeed a deep drama film. It won an award in a prestigious award giving body worldwide.
Here is the synopsis courtesy of imdb:

“Sensitive and refined drama in which experiences from the puberty of a female teacher and a piano student reflected in the world of the younger generation they have contact with. Ryo is a young teacher who, unlike her colleagues, does not adopt an authoritarian attitude to the adolescents she has in her care. She does not realise at first that, by doing this, she is putting herself at risk. The 14-year-olds feel misunderstood by the adults who insensitively snuff out their young ambitions. When their frustration grows, the adolescents turn into secretive and hard-bitten kids. As a result, Ryo is thrown back in time and confronted with her own dark past, in which she resisted the insensitive world of her superiors. Then she meets Koichi, a man she knows from her studies. He was a talented pianist in his youth, but his ambitions were also made impotence by an adult. Now he works for the local electricity company and he has allowed himself to be persuaded to give piano lessons to the son of a colleague. It becomes clear that Ryo and Koichi have shared experiences that they can only now relive and then come to terms with. Fourteen is an atmospheric and subtle drama in which two different generations mirror each other in the most vulnerable period of their lives.”

The story was good, basing on the synopsis I found.  I am guessing that the cinematography was the catch. There were plenty of dead air during the film, there were also blurry, shaky and annoying shots. There were characters that were given much emphasis that was unnecessary and just led to more confusion. The story of the main characters did not progress until the latter part of the film. The story was not portrayed properly by the arranged cinematography.
 I hope there were no representatives from the Japanese embassy that time, because it would have been such a shame on our part as Filipinos (with the whining and sarcasm that I heard, URGH,unforgivable). The film festival was made to make us Filipinos appreciate their culture through their films and strengthen the friendship ties between countries.But unfortunately, that film was too complex for us to comprehend.
Eiga Sai is only till this week, maybe I’ll catch another film and hopefully, the experience would be good.

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