Tokyo!

Director: Leos Carax, Michel Gondry and Bong Joon-ho
Year Released: 2008
Rating: 2.0

Three filmmakers - two French, one South Korean, all of varying degrees of critical acclaim - jump into the whole 'omnibus' trend that has been inexplicably popular for the last few years and each craft a (roughly) forty-minute film set in Tokyo. None of the three are especially strong, but the Gondry (Interior Design) is by far the least interesting - a tale of lovers bickering when moving to the big city ends in a droll fashion with the female turning (literally) into a wooden chair (somehow everything Gondry does turns into an adorable novelty, which is why he's so proficient at music videos but little else). The Carax piece has a mutant (Denis Lavant, embracing the rhythm of the night) emerging from the sewer dressed like a leprechaun to spread chaos in Tokyo, like a mini-monster with grenades - it's only when it becomes a court-trial with dada language that it loses much of its vile energy and becomes stupid instead of a form of inspired silliness. The Bong short has two shut-ins making a love connection amidst natural disasters (earthquakes) and psychological turmoil (the man has trouble looking people in the eye and leaving the house), but the notion that love conquers (literally) all is naïve and the ending is too pat. Now if only all women had buttons so easily located and activated ("Coma," "Make Matt Chicken Noodle Soup") it would be a brighter, sunnier world to live in. [Interior Design: ½*, Merde: **, Shaking Tokyo: **]