Features Live Action Movies

Love Life

Director – Koji Fukada – 2022 – Japan, France – Cert. 12a – 123m


A tragedy involving a woman’s six-year-old child, abandoned by his birth father, wreaks havoc on her already strained relationship with the husband she has recently married – out in UK cinemas on Friday, September 15th

A terrific drama about family relationships.

Recently married, young couple Jiro (Kento Nagayama from Villain, Lee Sang-il, 2010) and Taeko (Fumino Kimura) have a six-year-old, deaf boy Keita (Tetta Shimada), a national champion at the board game Othello, which he plays constantly with his mother or with players online. Several of his trophies are displayed in the family’s typical, small, apartment. Jiro’s parents Makoto (Tomoro Taguchi from Fukushima 50, Setsuro Wakamatsu, 2020; Dead Or Alive, Takashi Miike, 1999; Tetsuo: The Iron Man, Shinya Tsukamoto, 1989) and Akie (Misuzu Kanno from 37 Seconds, Hikari, 2019) live in a nearby apartment five or so minutes away across a park and a car park.

Jiro and Taeko invite them over, ostensibly to celebrate Keita’s latest victory but actually for a surprise 65th birthday party for Makoto. The relationship with Jiro’s father is strained on account of Keita’s birth father having abandoned Taeko before Jiro knew her, with Makoto describing her during the party as “second hand goods”.… Read the rest

Live Action Movies Shorts


Director – Chan Kam-hei – 2015 – Hong Kong – Cert. N/C 15+ – 24m


A schoolgirl pretends to be a boy at home because her mother can’t deal with her being a girl – online and Free To View in the UK in the Fresh Wave short films strand of Focus Hong Kong 2021 from Tuesday, February 9th to Monday, February 15th

Teenager Nam takes off a feminine top and changes into his/her boy’s school uniform. As a boy, s/he calls in on her grandpa to pick up a plate, waiting ’til she’s out of sight of the house to dispose of the contents in a dumpster, then proceeds home to where her mother has turned the apartment upside down ina hunt for earring. Her mother is only interested in her own looks. Does she look okay? He likes me in earrings, she says.

At night, Nam sneaks round to her friend’s, a boy who lets her wash her smalls – bra, knickers – in bowls in his bedsit sink. Only at thisa point does it become clear Nam is a she. She helps him with homework. He jokes, asking her to move I with him or can he walk her home.… Read the rest

Features Live Action Movies

The Chambermaid
(La Camarista)

Director – Lila Avilés – 2018 – Mexico – Cert. 15 – 102m


A woman works long hours within a vast Mexico City hotel complex and rarely sees the world outside – now on BFI Player (extended free trial offer here)

Set inside an unnamed Mexico City hotel (actually the real life Hotel Presidente). Scenes with views of the skyline from glass windows mostly on either the 21st or 42nd floors offer a running gag about lowering the blinds to shut out the amorous window cleaner on his platform outside, ultimately paid off when the title character leaves the blind up, sits on the bed and strips off down to her knickers.

This scene is uncharacteristic of the wider film. Chambermaid Eve (Gabriela Cartol) quietly and dutifully goes about her daily workload tidying, cleaning and replenishing items in guest rooms on the 21st floor for which she is fully responsible. To do this, she must leave her home at 4am to get to the hotel by 6am and take showers at work because her home doesn’t have one… [Read the rest]

Originally published in Watch the film on BFI Player (extended free trial offer here).

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