The trailer for Rent-a-Cat (レンタネコ) written and directed by Naoko Ogigami, starring Mikako Ichikawa, is out. In it, Ichikawa plays a cat lady named Sayoko who walks along the riverbank shouting about her cat rental service, which is supposed to help with people’s loneliness problems.
The thing is, Sayoko is better with cats than with people, so a lot of sad and funny stuff happens in the movie. Or at least that’s what usually happens in Naoko Ogigami stories. Unless you get to attend decent Japanese film festivals, one would need to wait for a DVD release to get to watch any Naoko Ogigami film.
From what I’ve been able to watch in Kamome Diner (かもめ食堂) — in which a Japanese woman opens a diner in Finland, and a lot of sad and funny stuff happens — and Megane (めがね) — where a lot more funny stuff happens — I would like to see more.
The mood of her films are also quite particular. They’re very minimalistic, visually and sound-wise, and tend to be really slow-paced. She’s definitely not for everyone, but the work I’ve seen has charm. Plus, I also like Mikako Ichikawa a lot.
Rent-a-Cat — or RENTANEKO — was released at the Berlin International Film Festival on February 14th, and it’s being released in Japan on May 12th 2012.