Ayu Kitaura

Ayu Kitaura

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Wool 100% Review


Excellent
Though it's considered an artform by many, film rarely lives up to such a noble nomenclature. Instead, it's pedestrian or powerful, eliciting all kinds of emotional and aesthetic responses. But is there really the beauty and grace of other mediums to be found on the celluloid canvas? After watching Wool 100%, the inspired film by Japanese animator Mai Tominaga, the answer is a secure "yes." Noted for her profound pen and ink work, this live action first feature is a mesmerizing experience. Arcane and obtuse? Absolutely. Moving and masterful? By all means.

Sisters Ume-san and Kame-san are notorious pack rats. Living in the same house all their lives, daily jaunts to the neighborhood garbage cans have resulted in an overflowing mound of "treasures." Carefully cataloging and illustrating each find, the siblings keep an in-depth inventory over their landfill of a home. When they stumble upon a basket of red yarn, they fail to take into consideration what's attached to the other end. It's Aonamishi, a spectral girl who uses the material to endlessly knit a bulky sweater dress. Upon finishing, she cries about how horrible the outfit is and begins the process all over again. Day and night, week after week, the sisters are tormented by the child. It forces them into a desperate situation. They either change their habits from decades past, or suffer Aonamishi's banshee wails.

Continue reading: Wool 100% Review

Nobody Knows Review


Excellent
Forty-two-year-old Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda has just eight movies to his credit, but he's become an auteur on the most recent three, serving not only as director but also writer, editor, and producer. When you see a Kore-eda movie, you know the vision is entirely his, and in Nobody Knows, that vision is equally bleak and beautiful. This simply told tale of four Tokyo children abandoned by their flighty mother in a cramped Tokyo apartment will haunt you, and the frustration you'll feel by your inability to reach out and help these poor kids will drive you absolutely nuts.

Irresponsible Mom (You) scams her way into a no-young-kids-allowed apartment building by pretending that 12-year-old Akira (Yuuya Yagira) is her only child. Once inside, two other children, daughter Yuki (Momoko Shimizu) and son Shigeru (Heie Kimura) pop out of the suitcases in which they've been hiding. Another daughter, Kyoko (Ayu Kitaura), sneaks in later.

Continue reading: Nobody Knows Review

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Nobody Knows Movie Review

Nobody Knows Movie Review

Forty-two-year-old Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda has just eight movies to his credit, but he's become...

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