Orphans’bluesAward Winning: PFF Award 2018 Winners Grand Prix, Hikari TV Award

(Director : Riho Kudo / 2018 / 89 min / PG12 / Japan)

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Professor Yoshio Kakeo

The work was produced by the director, Riho Kudo, as her graduation project of the Kyoto University of Art and Design with her associates at the same university. The film was selected as the Grand Prix at the 40th Pia Film Festival in 2018, following numerous awards at various film festivals that year. Currently the director and her work attract the greatest attention.
Emma (Yukino Murakami) is a young woman selling used books on the road of a seaside town. She takes notes on everything such as customer orders that the walls of her room are covered with such notes. One day, she receives a letter from her childhood friend Yang and visits him, but he already moved.
There, she runs into another childhood friend Van (Takuro Kamikawa) and his girlfriend Yuri (Nagiko Tsuji). The three decide to visit Luka (Tamaki Kubose) who is said to be living with Yang.
It turns out Emma, Yang, and Van all seems to have spent their childhood in the same orphanage and also Emma suffers from an illness of gradually losing her memory. Not only this, more blanks still veiled in mystery are scattered in the movie. This is probably because the story goes along with characters who all have mental lacks. The interpretation of the blanks is left to the audiences. Not a straightforward story.
Although the work is a road movie, which background is the countryside in Japan, Emma seems to be lost in a maze of an unknown street in Asia with her memory fading away. Daily scenery is transformed into the unrealistic world by the way of trimming it. Music, costumes, and art add the effects to the images, which create a world view you have never experienced.
Following traces of Yang, who does not appear, the story develops like a mystery, with Emma's fading memories replaced by new memories in the last scene. There is a hope of the film here. The film will encourage many young generations having problems with harmonizing with the society.
Except for Takuro Kamikawa who played Van, the film was produced by the associates of Kyoto University of Art and Design, but it is a work you cannot think of as just a university graduation project.


This movie reminds us old Asian movies because of its camera technique which shows a humid atmosphere well.
It doesn’t explain too much but it touches inside our hearts by its camera work.
We cannot take our eyes away from this movie because it’s true-to-life performances of actors show us loneliness, egoistic and reality well.
It may take us to a unique and nostalgic world.
This movie show us artistically light and shadow. For example the neon light in chinatown and the deep green scene in summertime and so on - such a beautiful and vivid bright scenes make this movie the one and only.
We can see the cruel but kind moments of imperfect human beings.

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