Just Only Love 愛がなんだ (2019) Dir: Rikiya Imaizumi

Just Only Love   

愛がなんだ Ai ga Nanda

Running Time: 123 mins.

Release Date: April 19th, 2019

Director: Rikiya Imaizumi

Writer: Rikiya Imaizumi, Kaori Sawai (Screenplay), Mitsuyo Kakuta (Original Novel)

Starring: Yukino Kishii, Ryo Narita, Mai Fukagawa, Ryuya Wakaba, Noriko Eguchi, Mariko Tsutsui, Ayumu Nakajima, Reiko Kataoka, Moeka Hoshi,

Website IMDB

Love makes people lose perspective. Take, for example, Teruko (Yukino Kishii), a 28-year-old office lady helplessly in love with magazine editor Mamoru (Ryo Narita). When we join her, she is in a downward spiral as she neglects her work and friends and chases after his affections. It’s a shame he takes her for granted as she obsesses over him. She has fallen into a one-sided love. Is she crazy to pursue it or just myopic? Viewing her from a neutral position, we want to shake her and say that all she is experiencing is just only love.

Adapted from a work by novelist/screenwriter Mitsuyo Kakuta (Rebirth, Paper Moon), the film shows how love makes fools of us all if we allow ourselves to become obsessed. The story stays with Teruko but gives us other examples of love, including photographer Nakahara (Ryuya Wakaba) the eternally-waiting wannabe beau of Teruko’s best friend Yoko (Mai Fukagawa), and eventually Mamoru who loses his own head over somebody else.

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Over the Town 街の上で Dir: Rikiya Imaizumi [Osaka Asian Film Festival 2021]

Over the Town    Over the Town Film Poster

街の上で Machi no Ue de

Release Date: April 10th, 2021

Duration: 130 mins.

Director: Rikiya Imaizumi

Writer: Rikiya Imaizumi, Hiroyuki Ohashi (Script), 

Starring: Ryuya Wakaba, Moeka Hoshi, Kotone Furukawa, Minori Hagiwara, Seina Nakata, Ryo Narita, Hirobumi Watanabe,

OAFF Website IMDB

Very rarely the setting of a film, Shimokitazawa is a trendy little district in western Tokyo that lies in the shadow of Shibuya and Shinjuku. Home to independent shops, theatres, cinemas, live music venues, bars, and restaurants, the place vibes with youthful energy as students, actors, second-hand booksellers, and bar owners, all with a seemingly average age of 20-something, engage in artistic revelry and nights of frolicking. It is also a place constantly changing as commercial redevelopment is ongoing – when I last visited, a new station and an adjacent department store were being constructed – and it has its quiet parts. It is a slice of Tokyo different from everywhere else in the city.

Using Shimokitazawa as his sandbox, director Rikiya Imaizumi brings us Over the Town, his latest film and his second in 2021, which is full of characters and locations you would encounter in real life.

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