Sunday, March 29, 2009

Kou Honekawa takes us on a dream quest with his film "Empty Blue"

by Chris MaGee

There has to be some kind of special clause written into production deals for films in Japan, namely that every fifth film or so has to feature the music of Claude Debussy. I can't tell you the number of times I've heard the late the early 20th-century composer's "Claire de Lune" in a Japanese film. The two that really stick out for me are Shunji Iwai's "All About Lily Chou- Chou" and Kiyoshi Kurosawa's "Tokyo Sonata". Now it looks like 36-year-old indie director Kou Honekawa will continue in this tradition by including "Claire de Lune" in his upcoming film "Empty Blue". Of course this isn't simply a running news story about who's going to include Debussy into their film next. This is about a film that looks pretty darn intriguing.

"Empty Blue" tells the story of a 26-year-old named Takashi (Hideaki Hata) who's having a real struggle finding his way in life. His quest for some kind of meaning in his day to day life is crystallized into a recurring dream in which he follows a young woman up a flight of stone stairs. Will he be able to reach her, and what effect does this dream have on his waking life?

Kevin Ouellette, the man with the trailers at Nippon Cinema has tracked down the trailer for "Empty Blue" with a bit of help from the ubiquitous Logboy. You can check it out here and if you've brushed up on your Japanese you can get more details about the film at its official site here. Then after all that why not give yourself a break, pour a cup of chamomile tea and give Debussy's full "Clair de Lune" a listen.

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