Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Bright Future

I've mentioned this film before, but I feel I have a bit more to say about it now. I got the Japanese version for Christmas. Which has an extra 30 minutes in it. I think Bright Future has become one of my favorite existential Asian movies ever. So I was pretty excited to see them. I would say that the extra thirty minutes do not really elicit any breakthroughs or new interpretations of the movie. However, they do serve to highlight far more clearly the central theme of the movie which is stasis or motion. Waiting or moving forward.

I really like aimless youth movies. The movie focuses around two people, Nimura and Arita. Like many people in their twenties, they're in dead end jobs but feeling the pressure to either shape up and develop a "normal" life or continue on in their boring dead end jobs. On the surface, Arita, the more inscrutable calmer one, is able to conform more on the surface. While Nimura is younger and far angrier. This isn't really an ordinary drama though. Neither character is an everyman type of character. Nimura has dreams of the future, and Arita is raising a deadly jellyfish.

The jellyfish is extremely important to the story. Although perhaps its meaning is something that I haven't grasped, even after seeing this movie three times. It represents the future, I seem to remember a critic saying. And it embodies the ambiguities and deadliness of the future. Although whether it promises hope and new beginnings or death is left ambiguous up until the end.

Another theme is the conflict between the old and the young. The future that young people envision is portrayed as being fundamentally toxic to the previous generation.

Anyway, I don't think that my thoughts as I've set out here are all that profound or well thought out, but they've been rattling around for some time now, so I feel I should at least set them down.

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