a page of madness

film writing by nicholas vroman

A Song I Remember / ひとつの歌 / Hitosu no uta

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Kyoshi Sugita’s A Song I Remember shows the sure hand of a young cinematic minimalist. The simple story feels like something Antonioni would make, but with a slightly sentimental streak. Takeshi (Takenori Kaneko), a gardener, in his off time tracks stranger with his SX70, trying to capture perfect moments. Following one woman he freezes her image shortly before her falling (or being pushed?) to her death on the train tracks. He follows the man who may have killed her. He later (by chance or design?) meets the woman’s daughter, Toko (Yuri Ishizaka) and a relationship develops. In the meantime his life as a gardener intersects with the widow who’s hired him. The film ends with Takeshi revealing the last photo he took of Toko’s mother in a moving denouement. Sugita pushes whatever drama there may be offscreen. What’s left is life. His use of space, sound and time are remarkable, suspending the moments, creating a world imbued with mystery. He’s a master of subtle, but strong and moving movie space – a talent to watch.

Originally published in EL Magazine, Sept. 2012.


Written by Nicholas Vroman

September 3, 2012 at 4:25 am

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