Drive In Gamo / ドライブイン蒲生
Longtime cinematographer, Masaki Tamura (Tampopo) makes his directorial debut with Drive In Gamo, a character study of young folk growing up with no rebellion or cause. Tamura paints a fairly convincing picture of a kind of dead end ennui that comes of living in the hinterlands, but fails to bring much tension, let alone narrative to really engage viewers. Sure, there’s the ex-yakuza dad (Masatoshi Nagase), who’s prone to general asshole-ness, brother Toshi (Shota Sometani), who’s kinda along for the ride most of the time, and Saki (Mei Kurokawa), the central figure, who at least manages to accidently get pregnant. A fine set of actors all. But nothing quite gels. The moments of revelation and/or climax fall into a clichéd coolness. Kurokawa brings a languid sexuality to her high school Saki and certain drive to single mother Saki, but seems to be left hanging high and dry by the movie’s end. And for a career cinematographer, Tamura, who also lensed Drive In Gamo, seems to have phoned it in, leaving a slew of unmemorable images.
Originally published in EL Magazine, August 2014.