I have been a bit quiet lately because I have embarked on a new project on another website (more on that) and I have moved to another city in Japan for a couple of weeks. I have also been hanging out with friends who took me to an onsen and then a maid cafe. Despite a hectic schedule I managed to watch one film, At the Terrace. My review for the film At the Terrace is up over at V-Cinema. Here’s a preview with trailer and images following:
At the Terrace
Terasu ni te 「テラスにて」
Release Date: October 2016 (Tokyo International Film Festival)
Running Time: 95 mins.
Director: Kenji Yamauchi
Writer: Kenji Yamauchi (Screenplay),
Starring: Kei Ishibashi, Kami Hiraiwa, Ryuta Furuta, Kenji Iwaya, Hiroaki Morooka, Takashi Okabe, Atsushi Hashimoto,
Playwright and director Kenji Yamauchi premiered his film At the Terrace during the 2016 edition of the Tokyo International Film Festival where it garnered positive buzz from critics for its mix of sensuous and caustic comedy. Based on one of his plays, Trois Grotesques, Yamauchi refuses to cleave away too far from his source and keeps things simple with a film shot in a single location with a cast of seven actors, all of whom were players in the preceding play itself. Perhaps because of their familiarity with the material, the director and his cast bring about a film that, while not being particularly cinematic, proves to be awfully amusing and painfully funny as it explores some bitter feelings and bad behaviour bubbling away underneath polite Japanese exteriors of a group of acquaintances.
The film opens at a lavish house somewhere in the suburbs of Tokyo. The house is owned by Mr Soejima (Kenji Iwaya), the director of a company, and his wife Kazumi (Kei Ishibashi), both of whom are hosting a night-time party which is concluding on a happy note if the shouts and cheers of happy people who are going home slightly inebriated are anything to go by.
They are at the front of the house.
The action actually takes place entirely on the titular terrace at the back of the house. The first character (human character, at least) we meet is Haruko Saito (Kami Hiraiwa), a beautiful young lady who has wandered onto the terrace to check her phone in private. She has attracted the attention of Tanoura (Hiroaki Morooka), a timid and sensitive engineer for the Toyota car firm. It seems he has fallen for Haruko little realising that she is married to a graphic designer named Taro Saito (Ryuta Furuta), a confident looking man sporting a flashy purple suit and a bit of a beard that masks an occasional devilish grin.