Japan | 112 MINUTES | Japanese |
Japanese auteur Yukihiko Tsutsumi uses still photography and the moving image to full effect, creating a hybrid format with an almost surreal tone to frame his quirky, dreamlike trans-Pacific love mystery Love Collage. Makoto is a commercial photographer who stands by his artistry instead of kowtowing to his clients' wants. After a physically disastrous photo shoot, he returns home to find a letter from his ex-girlfriend, Shizuru, who had moved to New York City. Suddenly he is taken back to his college days when they met, moved in together, and embarked on a magical relationship. He teaches her photography only to discover that she is more talented than he. When she wins a photo competition, his ego gets the better of him, leading to arguments and misunderstandings. Unable to reconcile, she leaves for New York, but not before making Makoto promise to come get her once he becomes a successful photographer. Three years later with the letter in his hand and the emotions of their relationship racing back, he goes to New York to find her. Tsutsumi's use of multiple formats such as Polaroids, 8, 16, and 35mm, video, and digital photos, color and black & white, artfully captures the vivid moments of the mysterious and at times strange love story. Tsutsumi is able not only to present a powerfully rich visual style and guide the natural performances of the actors, but also to express the hardships of love and loss without geographic boundaries or language barriers.