The Banana Guide to Asian Entertainment: It’s All About Japan: Part I
That One Movie
Not knowing anything about Asian entertainment or where to find stuff, I ended up on a website that had just posted this gorgeous poster on their front page:
All About Lily Chou Chou (リリィ・シュシュのすべて) is an incredibly difficult film to watch. It’s slow and terribly depressing, but has unquestionably haunting qualities. First of all, it deals with so many issues of modern society — youth that can’t find a way to connect other than through virtual methods. Loneliness, peer pressure and desperation. It escalates through horrible HORRIBLE acts performed by all these young people that may disgust its audience, all overlaid on top of a gorgeously evoking soundtrack that will move the depths of your inner being thanks to Salyu’s soaring vocals in the part of Lily Chou Chou.
I take a deep breath, and I understand what Lily means.
Then there’s the striking cinematography, creating almost a dreamlike feeling in the form of escapism from all this horror. The freeing nature of the sky shots and the heartbreaking peace of those shots hovering over the stunning green rice paddy fields create a beautiful theme of opposing forces that you can’t help but go back to again and again.
You may not get what all the fuss All About Lily Chou Chou is about, I rated it on IMDB at an easy 7/10, but the movie stuck with me and gets better and better as these few years have passed. I didn’t know it then, but there was an obvious genius element in the chemistry between writer/director Shunji Iwai and his cinematographer Noboru Shinoda, who sadly passed away in 2004. They created cinematic magic together.