Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tokyo! and the lost art of the portmanteau film

the portmanteau film is an anthology of short films all around a similar theme by different directors. the wiki entry is HERE. they were really popular in the 60s and 70s and the french new wave and the italian neorealists embraced them and created some very interesting works like 'Six in Paris' and 'Il Baccaccio.' In fact, Truffaut's follow-up to the 400 Blows and Antoine Doniel's second film was a short in one of these omnibus films (Antoine and Collette). lately, they have been making a bit of comeback due to the success of excellent Paris, Je T'aime and its most likely successfully follow-up New York I Love You.

TOKYO! is probably the most unique portmanteau film to be released since the french new wave. the 3 directors are michel gondry (you know him, hes a genius), leos carax (lovers on the bridge), and joon-ho bong (korean director of the host and the excellent memories of murder). each of them have a unique and quirky style and have made some fascinatingly unique films and each of their shorts combine to create a sometimes bleak, funny, and critical view of humanity, japan, and life in a big city. i dont feel like going into the plots right now because im waching mad men and its a good episode but trust me, this is a definite need-to-watch is only for the last few minutes of gondry's entry.

on another note, its really nice to see leos carax direct another film. he made an amazing movie called les amants en le pont neuf which starred juliette binoche. it was a dazzling and quirky anti-love story among homeless people. it FLOORED me. then he made a controversial film called pola x and that was it for 9 years. he needs to make more movies. this is a nice start.

btw, TOKYO! is coming to netflix instant on october 1st so make sure to watch it then if not sooner!