By Eleonora Mignoli
Movies that show the filmmaking process have always held a certain charm. In “The Woodsman and the Rain” we follow the meeting between Katsu (Koji Yakusho),... more
a 60 year-old lumberjack, and Koichi (Shun Oguri), a young and insecure director. At first annoyed by the disarray the film production causes to him and the small mountain village he lives in, Katsu is slowly lured in by the cinematic world, first as a reluctant production assistant, then as an extra and finally as an irreplaceable connection between the film crew and the villagers, who come on board as characters in the movie. Katsu’s enthusiastic and positive personality manages to draw Koichi out of his shell and mend his sense of self-esteem. At the same time Katsu is invigorated by the experience, which also draws him closer to his own estranged son.
With this award-winning comedy, Shuichi Okita succeeds in effortlessly describing that convergence of worlds (the rural mountain community and the fast-paced city crew) which creates fertile unions. Punctuated by amusing moments, the film gets smiles both for its sweetness and for its melancholy. The Japanese way of life is rich in little rituals and the emotions are communicated more through silence rather than words, qualities appreciated especially in contrast with western movies. “The Woodsman and the Rain” is a truly enjoyable film, which keeps up its pace and intrigues us with “a movie inside a movie” magic.
DIRECTOR: Shûichi Okita
SCREENPLAY: Fumio Moriya and Shûichi Okita
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