Tuesday 6 December 2016

NISHIKAWA Miwa - Michael Campi draws attention to a new talent from Japan

Nishikawa Miwa
If you haven't already done so, try to see some works by the Japanese director Nishikawa Miwa. After working with Kore-eda Hirokazu through the late 1990s, she has now directed five features and provided episodes for portmanteau short story films. Last weekend in Melbourne  the Japanese FF  concluded with her latest, THE LONG EXCUSE, which is an exceptionally nuanced drama about dealing with the expected grief that normally follows the accidental death of a partner. But here we can see that love on both sides has completely eroded in the exquisitely developed opening scene.

A successful writer has arranged a tryst with his girlfriend on the night that his wife goes away on a holiday with a lady friend and their bus has a tragic accident. The writer discovers that tending to the more urgent needs of the other bereaved man and his two children can be so fulfilling.
The Long Excuse
Superficially like Kore-eda perhaps but it has a very different tone. Developing the script from her own novel may explain the intensity of character development. Performances including the two children are flawless.  Her films SWAY and DREAMS FOR SALE have done festival trails. I believe all the previous features are available with English subtitles from the usual sources of Asian films like YesAsia and

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