Previously at the ICA - Films
20 Oct 2008 – 21 Oct 2008
One of the most startling debuts of the year, Satoko Yokohama's exuberant movie centres on an indomitable female misfit. Sixteenyear- old Yoshiko (nicknamed 'Gorilla Man' after a manga character by her boss) has lived alone since her parents divorced; her mother is now dead and her father is in hospital. She works as a gardener's assistant alongside a young German guy, and is determined to make it as a singer-songwriter. There are not many options open to a girl like Yoshiko in a small town like this, so she starts giving recorder lessons to three primary-school boys, one of whom wants to be a girl. She enters a singing contest but sends in her friend's photo, thinking the judges will be put off by her looks. She discovers that a local paedophile has propositioned two of her pupils and decides to take action: emasculation or extermination! In the event, she settles for hush money and buys everyone treats at the convenience store... Other Japanese movies (even a few by women directors like Yokohama) have touched on serious issues like broken families, social ostracism and child abuse. But none has a heroine like Yoshiko.
LFF programme text by Tony Rayns.
Dir-Scr Satoko Yokohama, with Yoshimi Nozaki, Suzune Fujioka, and Michio Hisauchi, Japan 2007, 72 mins