Like a flowing river

Moonlight Shadow, released in Japan on September 10, was chosen to be part of the Nippon Cinema Now selection at the 34th Tokyo International Film Festival, TIFF.

Moonlight Shadow Review

The sound of a bell lingers in my ear. It all started with that bell. This sound represented every single second I spent with Hitoshi. Every single day and night ! Sunny, rainy, cloudy and snowy days. The films we watched together, the books we read. The fights we had, our laughter and tears...” Before a tape recorder, a young woman spells out her grief. This touching scene is the opening sequence of the film; it will be repeated later on, complete and with an even stronger emotional load.

This young woman is Satsuki. The love of her life was killed in a car accident. With him was Yumiko, the girlfriend of Hiiragi, Hitoshi‘s younger brother, who also lost her life. Hiiragi wears Yumiko’s school uniform for mourning. For Satsuki, the process of healing is to run around breathlessly. She barely eats and is losing weight in a frightening way. She looks exhausted. One day, from the bridge where Satsuki and Hitoshi liked to meet, she sees a strange woman all dressed in black. She puts her finger to her lips as if to say ‘shhh’, an invitation to silence, to calm and to mystery.

Malaysian director Edmund Yeo‘s adaptation of Banana Yoshimoto‘s famous short story lives up to its promise. Kong Pahurak‘s photography is superb and the lights enhance the emotions. The soundtrack, composed by Aaken/Ton That An, has the same function, it delicately accompanies the film without intruding. While taking certain liberties in the construction of the narrative and in the introduction or development of secondary characters, the director conveys the very essence of the original work, its message and its tone: mourning, the inevitable passage of time, love and bitter-sweet humor. …

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More light for Moonlight Shadow

Moonlight Shadow hit Japanese theaters on Friday 10, it entered the box-office Top 20 as soon as Monday 13, which is a decent perf as it was a limited release with less than 100 theaters all over Japan.

Not surprisingly opinions are split. On the one hand you have mainstream sites such as or Yahoo where viewers write mixed reviews, on the other hand movie lovers from Film Marks give the film much higher rankings.

Legendary director Shunji Iwai sent the Moolight Shadow team and director words of praise in his own style: “The shadow cast by the moon is light. The things we see, the things we don’t, the sounds that are audible or not. The motions that can correspond, the emotions that connect like a chain. The story goes so tender and mysterious, as if you draw whole notes on the empty score. As you watch this film, you must feel like you get a unique day.

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Moonlight Shadow Stage Greetings

Moonlight Shadow, the screen adaptation of Banana Yoshimoto‘s famous novella is set for a nationwide release in Japan on Friday September 10. On Wednesday September 1, at the Keio Plaza Hotel in Nishi-Shinjuku, Tokyo, there was a press conference.

The two leads, i.e. Nana Komatsu and Hio Miyazawa, and two supporting cast members (Nana Nakahara and Himi Sato) attended in the company of novelist Banana Yoshimoto. Director Edmund Yeo made a surprise screen appearance, live from Malaysia !

Banana Yoshimoto said, among other things, that she was very pleased with the film and praised director Edmund Yeo for the poetry and the visuals as well as Nana Komatsu for her impersonation of Satsuki and heartfelt performance…

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