How Selfish I Am
Romaji: Jibun no Koto Bakaride Nasakenaku Naru Yo
Running Time: 106 mins.
Release Date: October 26th, 2013
Director: Daigo Matsui
Writer: Daigo Matsui (Screenplay), Sekaikan Ozaki (Original Work)
Starring: Maho Yamada, Sei Ando, Shunsuke Daito, Mei Kurokawa, Sekaikan Ozaki, Sosuke Ikematsu, Kaonashi Hasegawa, Taku Koizumu, Yukiji Ogawa,
How Selfish I Am is an episodic musical drama exploring the loves and travails of a group of people in Tokyo, all of whom are connected together by the music of the rock group CreepHyp. A glib comparison might be Short Cuts by Raymond Carver/Robert Altman on a smaller scale with a post-rock soundtrack but just as much darkness and more visual and aural dazzle.
The film is the culmination of a long collaboration between filmmaker Daigo Matsui and the band CreepHyp, this is the final result of a series music videos made over the last few years¹ based on a story originally conceived by CreepHyp’s frontman, Sekaikan Ozaki. The episodic nature of the original music videos is carried over to a feature film format and expanded upon as it draws everything together into a final product which acts a musical showcase for the band, a creative director, and a strong ensemble cast.
The film is told over the course of a few years and from multiple perspectives split between two girls and two guys, all of whom are scudding along the bottom of the Tokyo social scene.
We start off with Kumiko (Ando), a lonely girl working at a cosplay bar/brothel who pines after her ex-boyfriend (Onoue).
Kumiko is followed by Mie (Yamada), a mousy, introverted and put-upon office lady who adores CreeHyp, and has a Twitter addiction (@mieephyp0819 – yes, I write down Twitter handles in films) and a ticket to CreepHyp’s concert which she may miss because of problems at work.
Tsuda (Daito), the guy collecting tickets at the concert, is undergoing something of a meltdown as his beloved pop idol is about to retire.
The final, and longest sequence, involves a young homeless man named Rikuo (Ikematsu) who lives in two vans with a young woman (Kurokawa) who, due to a trauma in her past that has damaged her, refuses to speak.
The four stories weave together to create a sometimes funny but mostly tragic tales demonstrating the bleaker side of the Tokyo dream, all loneliness, frustration and desperation.