Waltz in Starlight

  • 97'
  • Japan
  • 2007
A first feature by a photographer with an experienced and trained eye. This personal film reconstruct an episode from the childhood of the photographer/film maker, focusing largely on the grandfather he so admired and loved.
The film opens with the homecoming of the young photography student Nobuto, the alter ego of the film maker. The film is as cosy as a home movie. It was shot in the village of Hamamatsu, in and around the house where the maker grew up and his grandfather spent his latter years. The grandfather was what is known as a manzai performer. Manzai is a specific Japanese form of stand-up comedy. For the role of grandfather, a real manzai comedian was cast, who is known locally under the stage name Koishi Kimi (Tsutomu Shinohara). So the old artist is an amateur as a film actor and the other roles were also played by amateurs. For instance two mentally handicapped childhood friends of the maker, Hiro-chan and Ei-chan, also play a role.
All of this gives the film an especially authentic mood. The film maker/photographer was obviously not interested in beautiful images, but in images that could translate his memories to the screen. The film describes the approaching end of Takuji, the manzai name of the grandfather, but does not have a tight narrative line. He shows everyday life in fragments and flashes. Just like life itself. (GjZ)


Director
Shingo Wakagi
Premiere
International premiere
Country of production
Japan
Production Year
2007
Festival Edition
IFFR 2008
Length
97'
Medium
35mm
Original title
Hoshikageno Waltz
Language
Japanese
Producer
Taniguchi Hiroyuki
Production Companies
Youngtree films, Tohokushinsha Film Corporation
Sales
Tohokushinsha Film Corporation
Screenplay
Shingo Wakagi
Cinematography
Shingo Wakagi
Editor
Tamae Ohtsuka
Cast
Koishi Kimi, Nobuto Yamaguchi