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Shiki-Jitsu (2000)

Shiki-Jitsu (2000)

Shunji IwaiAyako FujitaniJun MurakamiShinobu Ôtake
Hideaki Anno


Shiki-Jitsu (2000) is a Japanese movie. Hideaki Anno has directed this movie. Shunji Iwai,Ayako Fujitani,Jun Murakami,Shinobu Ôtake are the starring of this movie. It was released in 2000. Shiki-Jitsu (2000) is considered one of the best Drama movie in India and around the world.

A disillusioned filmmaker has an encounter with a young girl who has a ritual of repeating "Tomorrow is my birthday" everyday. He tries to communicate with her through his video camera.

Shiki-Jitsu (2000) Reviews

  • Wow.


    I must say, I was really not expecting this film... I gave this film a view without any idea of the plot or basic info to back it up and I finished the film with an uncomfortable feeling. From a personal perspective I can assure you this isn't simply the story of a "crazy" girl and a washed out filmmaker...this is the story of a profoundly sorrowed girl and exploring how she deals with this sorrow in her day to day life. The reason she may not have jumped that ledge on the roof may very well be due to those lies she kept telling herself and her whole "ritual", she only needed someone to appreciate her and stay with her and teach her life isn't as painful as she was brought up thinking it was. I can't believe how well fujitani played this role...As someone else mentioned, why hasn't she done more film? She was even TOO convincing in her role...I could have filled a litre of water with my tears. The uber-emotional plot and performances aside, the visuals were equally wonderful, especially her "secret" basement filled with red umbrellas, water, and her bathtub. I haven't seen such unique and beautiful set designs for a while. I'll wrap this up...AMAZING movie 10/10 getting a DVD copy soon, i HAVE to. You definitely HAVE to watch this movie.

  • Tomorrow is my birthday


    For international fans I believe that there are two main reasons why one would be interested in viewing this film. First, the film is directed by Anno Hideaki the director of _Neon Genesis Evangelion_ and _Love & Pop_ and second Iwai Shunji debuts in his, so far, only acting role. As for myself, having watched eight of Iwai's films in the last couple of month, I was curious to hear the voice of the long haired spectacled director and see if his performance in front of the camera compared to his remarkable work behind it. Even if his acting does not reach these lofty heights, he does a fine job and cuts quite a striking Caleb Carr-esquire figure. However, the true star of the film is Fujitani Ayako, daughter of Steven Seagal and the writer of the novel upon which this movie was based. She is cute and has an adorable smile, but she is also quite capable of portraying an individual who is in the grips of insanity. One of the interesting aspects of this film is that the action is performed by primarily two individuals, Iwai and Fujitani, in a worn down, but, in its way, picturesque industrial town. Iwai plays the role of an animation director who bored with his line of work flees Tokyo to his hometown. There he encounters a young girl on the train tracks wearing flashy clothing and whose face is caked in make up. This initial meeting eventually culminates into Iwai's nameless character visiting the girl each day until she becomes comfortable enough to invite him into her home which appears to be an abandoned factory building. Iwai's character, who is nicknamed "Director" by the girl knows little about the girl, but is eventually able to peace together that the girl lives in a world of fantasy and denial, but also a world in which she is utterly alone. The girl becomes quite attached to the Director, but when he does not reciprocate her feelings in the way she believes he should or even if he steps out to the store, she is terrified of being abandoned. These points in the film make for some scenes that grips the viewer's heart. Check this film out if you get the chance.

  • Madness has rarely been this beautiful


    (contains MINOR spoilers) Thunderous clank of industrial machines, the very heartbeat of the city, opens the film. City moans, crashes and rustles like some metallic yet living creature. Fumes of smoke rise to sky, everything is ragged, worn and so, so gray. Opening shots of Hideaki Anno's Shiki Jitsu open our eyes to harsh beauty of polluted, urban landscapes like few films have. And then, on railroad tracks, Girl meets Director and Director meets Girl, setting the plot and starting the careful, subtle character studies of Girl and (to lesser extent) Director, Anno's alter ego just as much as Shinji ever was. Discounting main characters, strange man with bandage and Girl's mysterious, somewhat threatening Mother (who is always looming just beyond act of answering phone) there is no other characters in this movie. Ayako Fujitani contributes one of all time greatest portrayals of creeping madness and loneliness. Her magnificent performance and sheer charisma born out of mix of talent and very personal nature of her character* is one of best virtually unknown performances in history of cinema. Legendary indie director Shunji Iwai debuts as actor in role of (surprise surprise) Director and does mighty good job that is sadly out shined by Fujitani's brilliance. But then again, focus of movie is Girl and she gets most of characterization. (*after all Shiki Jitsu is heavily modified version of short novella she wrote based on her experiences of alienation as multicultural child in L.A) Compared to characters (which embody themes oh so similar to those of us who have seen Anno's magnum opus Neon Genesis Evangelion) plot is secondary, something that just happens half accidentally alongside with character interactions instead of it propelling the movie. Plot is merely background canvas for all that takes place, yet it IS there and is quite complex affair. And of course interest of more plot oriented viewers is sustained by Anno's trademark titles. They don't just introduce each new day, they also count days to... what exactly? Girl's suicide? End of their short acquaintance? Something more? Something less? With plot out of focus great part of film relies on great performances and character interaction, but even more on movie's undiminishable highpoint: It is brilliantly directed and features top notch formalism and cinematography. Anno's framing, camera-work and cinematography are absolutely wonderful with healthy doze of motifs and his trademark fish-eye lens thrown in for good measure. Brilliant pacing and rhyming of shots and scenes is deeply interwoven with wondrous colour schema of red, blue and white. Some long shots are worthy of Tarkovsky and the defining moments of film - such as when Director finally "takes action" near end of film in Girl's basement - stand among most beautiful, best shot photography ever put on film and among my all time favourite scenes. Framing brings forth constant feeling of entrapment and together with the magnificent set design - the abandonded apartment house (or some such) Girl lives in - with its dazzling peculiarities and ever present ominous staircases come to form very physical and very living metaphor for Girl's psyche out of the very mise en scene. When Director enters "the secret basement" for the first time he literally walks among darkest and deepest forming structures of her mind. The way Anno blends normal movie camera and hand-held camera is absolutely brilliant and for this film Anno perfected the use of cinema verité camera-work, adding just enough counterpoint for perfectly build shots that create main bulk of movie. Exceptionally effective is the scene in which Director is having party with his old acquintances and friends. Director's nervousness, uneasiness and anxiety among old friends and their high moods is brilliantly evocated by film material that could've been filmed by your neighbor in last new year's eve. Anno has always had eye for such small defining moments of human contact and failures of it. Shiki Jitsu isn't perfect however; Occasionally Girl's inner world is depicted in blend of live action footage and animation; one of these scenes work really well, one is OK, but unfortunately biggest one of them was just stupid. Luckily this is very minor flaw when looking at grand picture. The Wall continues to be only movie that has brilliantly mixed together animation and live film I fear... Voice-over narrative either isn't the best thing in world, but mostly it works well and is occasionally even crucial and interesting. But then again just as often it's just needless underlining of characters, something Anno skillfully avoided in NGE days. Despite these flaws this film is firmly rooted in my Top Twenty, over dozen of "perfect" films including likes of Godfather. Emotional heights of performances and brilliance of audiovisual storytelling in this film are really hard to match. Shiki Jitsu is (sadly) unknown masterpiece of cinema and is whole heartily recommended. You can get DVD with English subtitles from Amazon Japan 10/10

  • A truly beautiful film from the plot to the cinematography.


    I'd been waiting to see this film for nearly three years and finally I had the chance to see it. Luckily, I was not disappointed. This is truly one of the most profound films I've ever had the pleasure to watch. The plot, which I refuse to spoil, delves deeply into the human psyche and it's fragility. It's impossible to not be changed or indeliably marked after watching this true work of cinematic art. Anno's deeply psychological 'Evangelion' runs parallel to this work. Anno is intrigued and infatuated with the fragility of the human mind and the power of belonging and love. 'Ritual' shows the frailness of the human mind and how easy it is to be detached from reality. This is truly a must see film, for lovers of true cinema and lovers of life. Don't let the first 20 minutes deter you from committing to watching the movie, take it all in and the motif will begin to seep into your soul. As far as the cinematography goes, one can't help but notice Anno's attention to detail in his construction of the motif of entrapment. Pay close attention to the use of frames and barriers; frames within frames, tunnels, mazes, labyrinths, spiral staircases all ripe for deep analysis. This film truly renders what it is to be human. Beautiful and Essential.

  • A visually spectacular indie/arty bag of ennui


    One thing is for sure, this film has some of the most gloriously thought out and constructed set designs ever. A lot of the film takes place in the young girl's "apartment" which is about the size of an average K-Mart. Each room is like a different department but it doesn't seem strange once you give in to the world Hideaki Anno has created. Anno comes from years working in Anime so his visual imagination works on a different level than most. Why not have the girl sleep in a bathtub in a big empty basement that's constantly and willfully flooded? This is a beautiful film with lots of stunning photography. When the couple are outside they're usually hanging out on or near railroad tracks, creating all kinds of wonderful lines and framing. The cinematography may not be something that grabs you but the composition of shots will. On the downside, the story is standard "crazy free-spirited girl captivates man" stuff with a little "here's what happens to victims of abuse (real or imagined)" thrown in. The dialog and philosophy get a little precious from time to time, neither of the two can really act—they're just supposed to be attractive cool people (they are)—but Anno makes the best of their limitations. It's fairly easy to spot the scenes where the girl, Ayako Fujitani, (who wrote the original novella the film is based on, co-wrote the screenplay, AND is Steven Seagal's daughter!) is left to her own devices to be charmingly a little off kilter versus the ones where she is supposed to act a scripted point of story or character development. I don't mean to dis her too hard because she is an interesting soul to spend a couple hours with. No doubt. Shunji Iwai (real life director of a number of highly rated Japanese disaffected youth films, most notably All About Lily Chou-Chou), who plays the guy, a film director (!), isn't given too much to do or say. He's just intrigued by the girl so he hangs around all intrigued and artistically stressed. He's less of an actor than Fujitani but equally as cool and worth spending a couple hours with. This is definitely an indie/arty bag of ennui, but it does do some interesting things and even goes all Dogma 95 for a scene at the end.


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