News from the Locarno Festival

Tokyo Koen

Tokyo Koen



Koji, a young photography student, spends his days at the park, taking pictures of unknown people passing by for his portfolio. One day, he’s approached by a man, who asks him to devote his attention to just one subject: a beautiful and mysterious woman and her little daugther on a stroller. He gives no explanation, but he tells Koji that he will update him with her daily walking schedules, which include each different park of Tokyo.

The fact that the student has to give up his Reflex camera and his black and white film stock for a digital pocket camera – easier to hide, and faster to send the final results to his empolyer – is not lost on the audience of Tokyo Koen, the new film by Shinji Aoyama. Like most features on the other characters and storylines (the photographer’s friend who loves horror pictures, his confused relationship with his step-sister, etc.) there always seems to be some sort of cinematic link.

The director himself confessed that, apart from the novel by Yukiya Shoji  on which it’s based, the main inspiration for his latest comes from Quatre nuits d’un reveur by Robert Bresson, which he calls “A simple film of fleeting glances”, a definition that could fit Tokyo Koen as well.

Massimo Benvegnù

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