a page of madness

film writing by nicholas vroman

Since Then / あれから

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161440_1The disaster of 3.11 not only destroyed much of northeastern Japan, but threw the nation into days and weeks of fear, uncertainty and introspection. Working with students at the Film School of Tokyo, Makoto Shinozaki has crafted a gentle and touching film of one woman’s struggle with coming to terms with the tragedy in days immediately after it. Shoko (Aya Takekou) works in an orthopedic shoe store somewhere in Tokyo. After the earthquake, she attempts to get back into normalcy. But things have changed, particularly the fact that her estranged boyfriend has disappeared somewhere in Tohoku. Her mixed feelings and anxious stasis make up the subtle tension that holds the delicate movie together. When the payoffs come they’re simple and profound. Makoto and crew found the right mix of chemistry, leitmotifs and magical moments that take an otherwise simple sketch and turn it into not just a character study, but a document of a time and an exploration into what possibilities may lay ahead for those who may make only the simplest of steps forward.

Originally published in EL Magazine, March 2013.

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Written by Nicholas Vroman

March 1, 2013 at 12:57 am

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