Neil Young’s Film Lounge – Ramblers

Published on: March 23rd, 2004

RAMBLERS

5?/10

Lializumu no yado aka Realism no yado : Japan 2003 : NOBUHIRO Yamashita : 83 mins

[…] from the 2004 Edinburgh Film Festival catalogue:

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Japanese dialogue with English subtitles / Colour / 35mm / 1:1.85 / 83min

Scriptwriters : Kosuke Mukai, Nobuhiro Yamashita

Editors : Nobuhiro Yamashita, Yukibumi Josha

DoP : Ryuto Kondo

Production Designer : Takashi Uyama

Sound : Masashi Furuya

Music : Quruli

Based on the story by : Yoshiharu Tsuge

Cast : Keishi Nagatsuka, Hiroshi Yamamoto, Machiko Ono […]

Production Company / International Sales Agent : Bitters End Inc, 302, 10-13 Sakuragaoka, Shibuya-kyu, 150-0031 Tokyo, Japan. tel: +81 3 34 62 03 45 fax: 81 34 62 06 21 email: sadai@bitters.co.jp

[…]

Ramblers

Summoned to a wintertime resort town by a famous actor […] phone call establishes that he has “overslept” […] their own devices […] mystery girl Atsuko […] one can detect traces of Kitano and Kaurismaki […] “I simply can’t afford audacious camera movements” […] he has succeeded brilliantly […] the actor’s non-appearance is symptomatic […]What options are left?

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"the main character of my films is always me" -NobuhiroApologies. I found it very hard to stay awake during Ramblers. It was a late screening, I’d had a long day, I was starting to succumb to “festival fatigue”, the cinema was a little bit too warm. And not a great deal happened in the film to sustain my attention. I don’t have a great record with the films of Nobuhrio, who it’s apparently compulsory to refer to as “the Japanese Jim Jarmusch” (just as it’s seemingly unlawful to mention Suzuki, the novelist behind Ring and Dark Water, without tacking on the words “the Japanese Stephen King.”) In Rotterdam 03 I ended up walking out of Nobuhiro’s No One’s Ark – not because it was such a terrible picture, but because (again) it was late, I’d seen enough, etc. I did consider making a premature exit during Ramblers at more than one juncture, but instead I stayed where I was, nodding off occasionally, just about following the “plot”, then all of a sudden it was over.

Later, when I tried to jot down some notes that might eventually take shape as a “review”, I didn’t get very far. If memory serves, the film is about two men – one in his early twenties, one in his mid-thirties – who travel to a remote village to scout film locations. They’re supposed to meet up with a third bloke, some kind of film star, but the rendezvous doesn’t take place. So the two protagonists wander – or rather “ramble” – around, having various mildly comic encounters with the locals as they do so. They end up on a beach (I think) while, back at the rendezvous, the film star eventually turns up. Something like that. Not sure.

Here are the notes in full, which make about as much sense as anything else I’ve written so far.

Late night Nobuhiro! Fest circuit only! Cult-following? Acquired taste? low impact workout

gentle? quirky-wry sly laconic
static         
silences deadpan      
buddy-pic woman : mysterious      
characters environments      
slow observational loose   
picaresque BECKETT Jarmusch?   
laid-back geeky      
uninflected tracking-shots      
small-scale slight      
existence         
ARK : sleepy         
“narrow” humour (as opposed to “broad”)         
detail conversations not “rambling” at all : minimalist      
nor do they fell-walk         
laughs modulated      
enigmatic sparing      
sex alone 2gether      

James Young Simpson, actuallyPrinces St, Edinburgh : statue to James Simpson Younger – “Pioneer of Anaesthesia”

[…]

16th September, 2004
(seen 26th August : UGC Edinburgh : public show – Edinburgh Film Festival)

click HERE for our full coverage of the 2004 Edinburgh Film Festival

by Neil Young