a page of madness

film writing by nicholas vroman

Autumn Adagio / 不惑のアダージョ

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Tsuki Inoue hit the film scene in 2007 with The Woman Who Is Beating the Earth – one of the most singularly original debuts of any filmmaker in Japan. The 22-minute opus was a rich riot grrl punk pop cinemagical slice of life that marked Inoue as a talent to watch. Although still dealing with women’s issues, Autumn Adagio is more of a reflective and considered essay on a 40-something Catholic nun, Sister Maria (Rei Shibakusa) who goes through an emotional and sexual awakening through her meetings with three different men. The striking change of tone from her first short to the current feature shows Inoue as an inquisitive filmmaker willing to take risks. It also shows that by taking risks one courts failure. Autumn Adagio begs a comparison to the cinema of Bresson – channeling his flat acting style, but without his deep Catholic quandaries and questions, nor his stunning use of cinematic space. A certain didacticism scuttlebutts what should be a more emotionally connected and connecting story.  Let’s give her an A for effort.

Originally Published in EL Magazine, December, 2011

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Written by Nicholas Vroman

December 5, 2011 at 1:18 am

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