Sometani Shota: Top 10 Project: #7 Intermission

July 2012, Japanese cinephiles were shocked with the news that the famous Ginza Shinepatosu would be closed down. Known for its underground location the old movie theatre screened both independent Japanese and foreign films. However in the aftermath of the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami the theatre shut down due to growing concerns of structure damage and radiation. Higuchi’s The Intermission (2013) is a tribute to the theatre, and all that happened within its walls, particularly during the intermission.

The Intermission Film Poster

Movie: The Intermission
Romaji: Intoremishison
Japanese: インターミッション
Director: Higuchi Naofumi
Release Date: February 23, 2013
Runtime: 152 min.
Genre: Comedy / Drama
Starring: Kumiko Akiyoshi, Shota Sometani, Kyoko Kagawa, Akiko Koyama, Kumi Mizuno, Naoto Takenaka, Shiro Sano, and more….

The Storyline

Husband and wife team Shota (Sometani) and Kumiko (Akiyoshi) work together, Kumiko the manager of  Ginza Shinepatsu.  However, with growing safety concerns following the Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011, the movie theatre is to be closed (based on real events). So, as the final day approaches, several vignettes of stories are told about the characters that occupied Ginza Shinepatosu (jumping time periods, and film stock).

Sometani’s role…

int

Sometani plays the character with the same name, Shota, and probably not a stretch too far from his own personality. Shota is the very-much younger husband of Kumiko, Ginza Shinepatosu manager, he works in the background of the theatre, although mostly you see him drinking, smoking and sleeping. He has an immature personality, loves movies and has a disheveled appearance in contrast to Kumiko, who is prim and professional.

As the story progresses Kumiko and Shota talk about the closure of the Ginza Shinepatosu and any fears about Earthquakes and radiation. Shota dismisses his wifes antics, laughing, before she is called away. Once left alone in the theatre a women stares at him with a strange look, which unnerves Shota a little.

The next time we see Shota is when he attacks the young protectionist Eita in the theatre lobby, after his wife is almost kissed by a suave English-Japanese speaking man.

Shota is then later seen drinking in the projection room, where a woman comes on to him, but he rejects. As she plays with his blonde hair she speaks about the Ginza Shinepatosu,  radiation and ill about Kumiko. Shota reacts. But suddenly she holds up a while orb and her eyes are white, Shota screams. Only to wake up discovering its a nightmare. But then she reappears and Shota screams again and once more is woken from his drunk-fused nightmare.

The second last time we see Shota is just before the film is about to start. The same woman from before freaks out on him and pulls a pair of scissors, threatening to kill him as she chases him around the theatre and corners him. SPOILER  However, It’s all an illusion. 

Then suddenly an Earthquake happens. Shota to Kumiko’s rescue.

In Shota’s final scenes we see him in the empty theatre with Kumiko, who is cleaning, as he walks and jumps over the seats. Kumiko than thanks him before dismissing him.

 Opinion

To be written

3.5_out_of_5_stars

The countdown continues ….

#6 Yuriko's Aroma 
#7 The Intermission
#8 Strawberry Night and Lesson of the Evil
#9 Tokyo Koen
#10 Love Sickness 
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