a page of madness

film writing by nicholas vroman

Futoko / / 不灯港 / The Dark Harbor

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Naito Takatsugu’s second feature, Foutouku, plays like a Wes Anderson social comedy set in a small Japanese fishing village. The story revolves around Manzo (Shinya Kote) a 40-something taciturn loser, both with his fishing business and at love. A wryly comic opening sets the plot in motion when Manzo and his lovelorn fishing buddies go to a mixer armed with identical suits sold to them by the only local clothier and home-made promotional videos. His video reveals to his own shock and the amusement of everyone else that a homeless woman and her son secretly take over his house when he’s out on fishing runs. The plot rattles through the establishment of a faux family; his life’s desires becoming manifest and his inner intransigence revealed. And finally another left turn leaves him taking on the role of a reluctant single father, ending a convenient melodramatic denouement. Takatsugu’s film sparkles with moments of clever observation and laugh out loud humor but, as a whole, takes on a few too many tropes to do each proper justice.

 

Originally published in EL Magazine, August 2009

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Written by Nicholas Vroman

August 1, 2009 at 12:47 am

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