8am Tue August 11 Japanese Film Festival - 日本映画祭 上映作品の御案内
２００９年８月７日から１１日まで フィリピン バギオ市で開催される 「日本映画祭」での上映作品の御案内です。 このイベントは マニラの国際交流基金が、バギオ・センター･モール･シネマ、バギオ１００年祭委員会、及び 北ルソン日本人会（ＪＡＮＬ）の協力を得て、バギオ市制１００年祭を記念して 開催するものです。
Japanese Film Festival will be held at Baguio Center Mall Cinema during August 7 to 11, 2009, to celebrtate Baguio Centennial This event is done by Japan Foundation Manila, in cooperation with Baguio Center Mall Cinema, Baguio Centennial Commission and Japanese Association in Northern Luzon, Inc.(JANL)..
The below movie will be shown at 8:00am, Tuesday, August 11, 2009.
Kamome shokudo (かもめ食堂)
Color / Vista / 2006 / 102 min / Nippon TV, VAP, Gentosha, Chat Chat Corporation, Paradise Cafe,
Director: Ogigami Naoko
Script: Ogigami Naoko
Based on the novel by: Mure Yoko
Cinematography: Tuomo Virtanen
Art Direction: Annika Bjorkman
Music: Kondo Tatsuro
Executive Producers: Okuda Seiji Oshima Mitsuru Ishihara Masayasu Komuro Shuichi Kobata Kumi
Producers: Maekawa Enma Amano Mayumi Kasumizawa Hanako
Sachie: Kobayashi Satomi Midori: Katagiri Hairi Masako: Motai Masako Tommi Hiltunen: Jarkko Niemi Liisa: Tarja Markus Matti: Markku Peltola
Setting: Present-day Helsinki
On a side street in Helsinki, Finland, a Japanese woman named Sachie runs a small eatery called Kamome (Seagull) Diner (“ruokala lokki”). A simple and sparsely decorated eating joint, it offers a simple menu, the main entree being Japanese rice balls. The proprietor of the diner, Sachie, hopes to provide an open space where people can relax, a place that offers uncomplicated Japanese food to Finns, and not solely to Japanese tourists.
However, most passersby seem reluctant to enter an unfamiliar eatery run by an unknown woman. She may catch the occasional curiosity seeker peeking through the window, but the Kamome Diner is empty for most part of the day. Nevertheless, Sachie, almost religiously, maintains a daily routine: she arrives early at her shop every day; she keeps its spotlessly clean; every night, she goes swimming at a local pool; and then returns to her small apartment to prepare dinner. It is as though she hopes that her hard work will eventually bring in customers.
One day, Sachie gets her first real customer?Tommi, a young Finn and a big fan of Japanese anime. He asks her to sing the theme song of the TV anime series Gatchaman, but she can only remember the first verse. The same evening, at the local cafe, Sachie encounters a Japanese woman named Midori, who is trying to read one of Tove Jansson’s Moomin books. On the spur of the moment, Sachie asks her if she knows the Gatchaman theme song, to which Midori answers that she does. Upon learning that she had just arrived in Finland?with her fate decided by closing her eyes and randomly pointing to a spot on a map?Sachie invites Midori to stay at her apartment.
Soon after, Midori begins helping out at the Kamome Diner, creatively adding some cartoons to the menu. A few days later, a middle-aged man suddenly enters the diner and orders coffee. Acting a bit impulsively, he starts showing Sachie how to make a delicious cup of coffee, after which he leaves. As the days go by, with Tommi remaining the diner’s sole customer?who, by the way, gets his coffee for free because he was the first customer?Sachie and Midori try new kinds of food like reindeer rice balls. However, these don’t quite do the trick. Next, they try cinnamon rolls, which finally lure three local women who had always looked in on the shop but never entered.
Gradually but surely, new customers begin to visit the diner, although some of the rare coffee Mattie had given her,on many days, Midori spots a Finnish woman who stares at them through the window but never enters. One day, Sachie and Midori notice another woman with her?Masako, a Japanese woman, whose luggage was lost by the airline with which she had recently traveled. A few days later, Masako visits again sporting brand-new clothes. Finally, at this point, the Finnish woman who so often stared through the window comes in and orders hard liquor. She offers a drink to Sachie and Midori, but both refuse. Masako, however, accepts the drink.
The Finnish woman orders another drink and then collapses. The three women, along with Tommi, carry her back to her place. As Sachie and Midori wait on the porch, the Finnish woman, Liisa, explains to Masako that her husband had left her. Masako, who does not understand a word of Finnish, seems to understand. If Masako appears to be skilled at nursing, it is because she took care of her ill parents for 20 years. After seeing the portrayal of Finland on TV as a calm and laid-back country, she decided to come to the country to do nothing, but finds it hard to do. Tommi suggests that she go visit the forest. After her trip to the forest, Masako returns to the diner and orders rice balls.
Everyone at the diner, who has ordered other dishes, stares at her as she eats these strange confections. A few days later, Liisa returns to the diner and asks the Japanese women about Japanese voodoo for placing a curse on someone. Sachie tells her about a curse performed by driving a nail into a straw doll. Liisa gives it a try, and in some place in Finland, an old man clutches his heart. Celebrating her freedom, Liisa takes the three friends to a vacation spa. They then return to the diner only to find it in the midst of a break-in. Sachie uses her Aikido skills to overpower him and is surprised to find that the burglar is the same man who had taught her to make the delicious coffee. It turns out that the man, whose name is Matti, used to run an eatery here and has only come to take the coffee grinder that he had left behind. His wife and child, it seems, had left him.
Sachie suddenly declares that she is hungry and prepares rice balls for everyone, calling it Japanese “soul food.” Sachie lets Matti have the grinder and sends him away. The following day, when they are sharing some of the rare coffee Matti gave her, Sachie explains as to why she had decided to keep rice balls as the diner’s main dish. Having lost her mother at an early age, it was she who cooked for the family. The only time she ate food prepared by her father was when he made rice balls for her school events. Rice balls, she says, are more delectable when prepared by another person.
One day, Masako comes in to report that her luggage has been found and that she has decided to return to Japan. In her hotel room, she opens her bags and finds all the mushrooms that she had collected but lost in the forest. While she calls the airline from a pier by the port to enquire about this strange incident, a man mysteriously gives her a cat. Now that she has a cat, Masako declares to Sachie and Midori that she cannot return to Japan. Another day dawns at the Kamome diner with many customers?old and new?coming to eat. One of them is Liisa, who comes in and happily reports that her husband has returned home. Later, in the swimming pool, Sachie tells herself that the Kamome Diner is now full. However, she finds that she is not alone; everyone in the pool applauds for her.
Kamome Diner is by no means the first Japanese film to be shot abroad?quite a few have been made, for instance, in North America, East Asia, and Australia. However, it is probably the first film to be shot in Finland (with a largely Finnish crew). Finland is a country that is known in Japan mostly for Tove Jansson’s Moomin characters, and thus, for an image of a land that is relaxed, natural, and just a bit magical.
Director Ogigame Naoko uses this image, while also playing with it, as she explores the encounter between Japanese food and Finnish palates. In general, her films, such as Yoshino’s Barber Shop (“Baba Yoshino,” 2003) or Megane (2007), have portrayed, though not disapprovingly, the formation and maintenance of ritually bonded, if not cultish communities. In the face of this, Kamome Diner somewhat refreshingly advocates that individuals pursue their own wishes, although it too in the end imagines a global community founded through the overlapping of simple Japaneseness and mystical Finnishness.
Its lightly eccentric, feel-good tone made it a small box office hit in Japan, leading to TV commercials for bread featuring Kobayashi Satomi’s character (Sachie) and the diner as well as to Megane, a film with different characters, but which brings back the dynamics among Ogigami, Kobayashi, and Motai.
For more information, please visit JANL web site.