Critic Consensus: An imaginative, if uneven, love letter to a city that signals a great creative enterprise by its three contributing directors.
as The interpreter
as The Man
as Pizza Delivery Girl
as Public Prosecutor
as Pizzeria Boss
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Critic Reviews for Tokyo!
Paris, New York and even Toronto have all gotten their due in a recent wave of city-centric omnibus films that let world-renowned auteurs run wild in their streets. Yet none of these yielded anything as strange or as idiosyncratic as Tokyo!
Perhaps it is inevitable as three foreign directors train their lenses on that unique island culture of the East that all three are propelled by fantasy or science fiction, and suggest more alienation from Tokyo than affection for the great city.
All three films deal with things hidden, or disappearing, or suppressed. But Tokyo, if anything, becomes more of a mystery after Tokyo! than it was before.
Although each portion of Tokyo! has a distinct flavor, this sampler of undercooked fish stories has a cumulative effect, one that is trippy if not toxic.
Audience Reviews for Tokyo!
Seems like everyone rates these 3 mini-films differently, so my rating is .... Carax one star, Gondry two stars and Bong three stars and none of em worth much jumping up and down about unless your name's Zebedee.
Since Paris has an anthology film on the theme of love, Tokyo gets one on the theme of weirdness, from Michel Gondry, Leos Carax, and Bong Joon-ho. Three segments: the girlfriend of an experimental filmmaker feels useless until she undergoes an inexplicable metamorphosis; a shambling man-creature named Merde rises from the sewers to wreak havoc on Tokyo; a shut-in falls for a girl with buttons tattooed on her body. The best segment by a wide margin is Carax's "Merde": genuinely funny, it's like one of those experimental Saturday Night Live sketches about an uncomfortably strange character who harasses the people around him, except it doesn't grow wearisome after two minutes.
"Tokyo!" is an uneven triptych of short films set in the title city with an emphasis on urban angst, following a thematic progression. All are made by non-natives, Michel Gondry(Interior Design), Leos Carax(Merde) and Bong Joon-ho(Shaking Tokyo). The middle section is the worst and at times unwatchable, and does nothing to change my already negative opinion of Leos Carax. In "Interior Design," Akira(Ryo Kase), a neophyte filmmaker in town to present a film, and his girlfriend Hiroko(Ayako Fujitani), crash at their friend Akemi's(Ayumi Ito) cramped apartment, promising that it will only be until they can find an apartment of their own. That does not turn out to be as easy as it sounds, as they also have to worry about finding jobs and a parking space. And then things get weird. If that is not bad enough, in "Merde," a savage man(Denis Lavant) is a nuisance to pedestrians. Things get worse when he locates a cache of grenades from World War II. At which point, it is perfectly understandable if you just want to stay inside all of the time which a man(Teruyuki Kagawa) has been doing for the past eleven years in "Shaking Tokyo," keeping his garbage very, very tidy. He remains isolated from his fellow human beings until he makes a connection with a pizza delivery girl(Yu Aoi) by pressing some of her buttons.
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