a page of madness

film writing by nicholas vroman

Household X / 家族X

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Household X opens with a handheld shot of a family photograph – a mother, a father and their son. Perhaps it’s held a little too long in the unsteady gaze of the camera’s lens, but serves as a perfect metaphor for the shaky and unstable foundation that holds this particular Japanese family together. We will only see the family together again in a single frame in the closing shot of the movie. By then, the tragedy of contemporary alienation that director Koki Yoshida has committed so well to the screen will have covered some familiar territory, but with a clear hard eye and technical and emotional finesse. The story follows a few days in the lives of Michiko (Kaho Minami), an obsessive bulimic on the verge of a breakdown, her concerned, yet clueless husband (Taguchi Tomorowo) on the verge of redundancy at work and her angry and uncommunicative son (Tomohiro Kaku), stuck in a world of dead end temp jobs. Yoshida takes a simple family tragedy and brings it to a searing emotional denouement.

Originally published in EL Magazine, October 2011.

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Written by Nicholas Vroman

October 4, 2011 at 1:08 pm

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