Director: Jun Ichikawa
Year Released: 2004
Melancholy tale based on a short story by Haruki Murakami (who, based on what I've read, doesn't seem to be the easiest author to translate) about a lonely graphic artist who falls in love with a shopaholic (Marc Jacobs and Michael Kors and Yves Saint-Laurent, oh my!) who (predictably) dies. The style - which favors deliberate tracking shots and lots of negative space (the camera is tilted upwards so that only heads and sky fill the frame) - actually works, considering the miniscule running time, but the story never had an effect on me because basic psychology says that the Takitani character actually works to hurt instead of help himself, withdrawing from society, of not trying to make friends, of living in his own depressing little world. He's sad because he wills himself to be sad and does nothing to make his 'world' more filled with people. Moral: Solipsism is good for literature, so-so for the screen.