Monday, June 25, 2012

Short Cut

A Wowow produced Mitani Koki directed dorama special starring Nakai Kiichi (Saigo Kara Nibanme no Koi) and Suzuki Kyoka (Karei Naru Ichizoku)!!!!! Why hasn't this been subbed? I had to watch it. How could it possibly fail?

Short Cut is a huge experiment in film making. Its a 2 hour story shot continuously with one camera. In other words, its a stage play with no cutting or editing. Mitani Koki movies are sort of like plays with extravagant sets but one movie that could have been done in one cut would be Kisaragi which was basically a play set in a room with 5 people trying to solve a mystery. Could have bloody sworn I wrote a review of Kisaragi. I'll definitely get around to it.

Short Cut is the 2 hour period where a husband and wife decide to take a short cut through the forest when they car breaks down on the way back from a funeral. Nakai Kiichi is his usual whiny self and Suzuki Kyoka is the wife who grew up in the wild, so to speak. The camera follows them for two hours as they argue can stumble their way through the short cut.

I spent more time thinking how much rehearsals they had to do and how they had to time and place the cameraman who I'm assuming is Mitani Koki at certain spots for each part. There are no breakdown of scenes. Its one continuous shot so the cameraman has to be able to walk along with them without interrupting anything.

Its an impressive and praiseworthy attempt except that there's no bloody story there to keep my interest. Lots of whining and bitching by Nakai Kiichi and Suzuki Kyoka going 'look at that' every few steps in the forest looking for something to interact with so she can be a jungle girl. Its like those plays/movie where it takes place in one room like Kisaragi. There was to be a story/discussion that can keep the audience enthralled. Unfortunately there is none.

By the time the third person shows up, I've completely any admiration for the camera that had been continuously shooting. There are so many contrived situations in this dorama special to pad up the running time. I couldn't be stuffed watching the second half. Ambitious idea but Short Cut is a one shot dorama without a decent script to back it up.


Jesus Christ Supercop said...

You should check out Russian Ark, if you haven't already. It's 96 minutes long and consists of only one Steadicam shot, with hundreds of actors in full period costume, many locations, and very complicated sequences. The filming technique even seems integral to the story, instead of being a gimmick or experiment.

Akiramike said...

Thanks for the tip JC. Managed to find it on the interwebs.