Film Review: Yureru (Sway)

I’ve just finished watching a Japanese film on the World Movies channel called Sway. It’s an odd film what begins as Takeru Hayakawa leaves Tokyo to go to his home town for his mothers funeral leads to series of twists and turns that will change the his life and the life of his brother Minouru forever.

On getting home there is obvious resentment between him and his father, he’s abandoned the family business and gone to Tokyo to pursue a career as a photographer, in doing so he’s left behind his Minouru and thier childhood friend Chieko.

The first half of the film mainly covers Takero’s fathers resentment for him and his lifestyle choice, his father runs a petrol station which Chieko and Minouru work at and it seems that Takero’s father is mad at him for abandoning the family business.

You get the usual City Kid coming home to a small town stoy, and a love triangle between Takero, Minouru and Chieko. A incidet on a ricketty suspension bridge leads to Minoru being on trial for the murder of Chieko. What unfurls are various versions of what happened on the bridge, as the evidence unfolds.

In the meantime the relationsip between Takero and his father evolves, all in all this is a very down to earth film, the character development is well paced and you can sympathise with them even if you don’t quite understand their reasonning for what they do.

Odd Film: Ikinai

I just watched the 2nd half of a Japanese film which “World Movies” was calling “Cant Live” Took me most of the film to find it’s actual name.

The Film is really called Ikinai which my rather rudimentary Japanese translated to don’t go although it’s possible that it’s a homonym for can’t live.

The film is a black comedy about mass suicide… That says it all really, What I missed at the start was a bunch of suicidal Japanese people organising a bus trip to a place which is well known for accidents with the intention of faking an accident so that their families can still collect on their life insurance insurance.

I gather that someone gets on the bus witha ticket originally purchased for her uncle, I don’t know why he’s not on the bus, I guess he died of natural causes.

Anyway this is their story.

I’m not going to say much more about the film because I have no idea what it’s about. But the ending was interesting or at least I liked it.

If you want to catch it it’s on World Movies Channel (Sky 331) on the following dates and times:
September 16th at 5:05pm
September 18th at 3:25pm
September 21st at 5:25pm
September 23rd at 3:30am
September 23rd at 5:05pm

Book Review: Company (Max Barry)

I’ve been trying to get a hold of this book for some time. The only Max Barry book that appears to be readilly available in the uk is his best selling Jennifer Government. I’ve managed to hunt down his other two books Syrup and now company on amazon but i’ve yet to see either in book shops. Which is a shame…
This is Max Barry’s third book, he specializes in corporate Satire, his first book “Syrup” was about a guy getting screwed over by the marketting practices of the Cola industry, his 2nd book Jennifer Government was about a a near future where corporations ruled the world.

Company looks at management practices, The main character Jones is a graduate recruit at Zephyr Holdings Ltd, he’s eager to to work his way up the corporate ladder and when he joins the corporate sales team he finds they are in the midst of a crisis of monumental proportions. Somone has had two doughnuts leaving none for Roger.

Jones tries hard to fit into the company who’s strange pratices and crazy bureaucracy confuse him, it takes him a while to ask the question “What does the company actually do” and when he asks it no one seems to know. His investigation and what leads on from that form the rest of the book which I can’t really tell you much about without ruining it for you. The scary thing is I can believe that it could be true.

Company is a really easy to read book, I’m normally a slow reader (My record for reading one book was 6 years) but I read Company in 2 Days, and thats only because I had to go to work. My one criticism is that having read Barry’s other books I’m noticing some similarities in the characters, I think that Jones is really similar to the main character in Syrup, and the I’m-your-friend-but-you-have-to-watch-your-back-because-I’m-in-this-for-me-but-I-love-you-really antagonist/protagonist/love interest reminds me an aweful lot of the character who played the same role in Syrup. That not to say that they are bad characters, just they are awefully similar.

I’d recommend company to anyone who’s ever worked in a company, or taken a management course, it’s a good story with interesting (if predictable) twists and turns, and it covers novel subject matter.