Yû Koyanagi salutes you in Tôkyô Sonata.
Regent Releasing
Yû Koyanagi salutes you in Tôkyô Sonata.


Tôkyô Sonata
Directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Regent Releasing
Opens March 13, Lincoln Plaza and IFC Center

Directed by Naoko Ogigami
March 11 through 16, MOMA

An exceptionally subtle comedy of manners and observation, Megane screened last year at Sundance and New Directors/New Films, but inexplicably remains without a U.S. distributor. (MOMA has booked it for a week-long run as part of the museum's ongoing ContemporAsian film series.) When I saw Ogigiami's film in-flight, I felt almost giddy with joy; revisiting it nine months later, I realized the credit is entirely the movie's and not the unusual circumstances under which I viewed it. The people in Megane do not ask much of one another, content to bask in the pleasure of their own company while listening to the lapping of the waves and watching the sun recede into the horizon. Never do we even learn just who Sakura-san is or where she comes from—she may be a yoga teacher from Tibet or an opera teacher from Prague, or both, or neither. "I wonder," says one character, allowing her wonder to linger, taking pleasure in not knowing. Eventually, spring breezes give way to summer rains, Sakura-san vanishes as quickly as she appeared, and Taeko must contemplate a return to the world of cell phone signals. So, this, too, shall pass, and yet Megane leaves us suffused not with loss but possibility and the feeling of an imminent return—to Hamada or someplace like it.

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