No One's Ark

  • 111'
  • Japan
  • 2002
After his debut feature Hazy Life, this new film more than confirms Yamashita's splendid, idiosyncratic talent. He now turns his attention to Japan in the 1990s, the decade of the bubble that burst, and looks at the lives of two wouldbe entrepreneurs. Daisuke and his longterm girlfriend Hisako fail to launch their `healthdrink' Akajiru in the big city, and so they retreat to the country town where Daisuke was born and raised, but here their attempts run aground again. The main obstacle is that everyone who tries the drink thinks it tastes disgusting.This very humorous film is not an earnest examination of What Went Wrong With The Japanese Economy, not even obliquely. Rather, Yamashita stresses, it's about the rhythms and character of smalltown life, and about a particular kind of contemporary relationship, the `sticking together out of habit but with no real intention of marrying and breeding' kind of relationship. The exploration of Daisuke's embarrassment dealing with longunseen relatives and neighbours is exquisitely pointed, and the integration of counterpoints (such as his independentminded childhood friend Madoka who offers 'Fashion Health' massages under the name Veronica) is quite expert.Yamashita is still way ahead of most of his contemporaries in getting to grips with his generation's struggle to find its place in Japan, Inc. Tony Rayns
Director
Yamashita Nobuhiro
Premiere
European premiere
Country of production
Japan
Production Year
2002
Festival Edition
IFFR 2003
Length
111'
Medium
35mm
Language
Japanese
Producers
Planet Bibliotheque de Cinema, Tomioka Kunihiko, Mukai Kosuke, Midnight Child Theater
Sales
Planet Bibliotheque de Cinema
Screenplay
Mukai Kosuke, Yamashita Nobuhiro
Cinematography
Mukai Kosuke