The Cineastes Organization Osaka EX is a vital showcase for the region’s most promising talents from the field of jishu eiga – self-produced indie filmmaking. Raindance presents two of the best from last year’s CO2.
Red Restraint: Incorrigible schmoozer Arai’s work and private life are all but indivisible. Graced with an overbearing charm and good humour, Arai is a hit with everyone in his circles as he flits between clients and girlfriends, but his true intentions remain unfathomable behind his smile. Then fate brings him into the lives of Kenji and Shoko, a newlywed couple whose highly conservative lifestyle of work and washing-up rotas is the very opposite of his. Shoko immediately warms to him as he beguiles his way into their workaday lives, but Kenji remains suspicious and soon the balance in their relationships begins to shift. Director Karatsu plays to the strengths of his material, focussing on character, script and featuring some commanding performances to create a highly compelling drama that is simultaneously engaging, tender and achingly funny. JS