With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013
With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

Saturday, June 02, 2012

ACF 1487: UGUISU in short film program at Asia Society NY

Directed by Kosuke Furukawa
USA, 2009, 22 minutes
Japan CineFest: Short Film Program
When: Friday, June 8, 2012, 6:30 PM
Where: Asia Society and Museum
725 Park Avenue at 70th Street, NYC
Map here

Alex (Kelsey Seipser) is a harried waitress in a Brooklyn diner. Her boss is always on her case, even when there's a lull in the customer traffic.

Dennis (left) and Alex

One day Dennis (Trevor Nelson), a young man comes in, sits down at a booth by himself and orders a beer. He's an artist who has started achieving some success and recognition. He draws a lovely Uguisu, a Japanese songbird, on a page of his sketchbook. Alex, who's an aspiring artist herself, compliments David on the drawing.

Sato (Seiji Kakizaki), an older Japanese man, sits at the booth next to David's, their backs to one another. He indicates that he approves of the drawing, but mentions that "something is missing." This infuriates Dennis, who has already evidenced being distraught in some conversations he's been having on his cell phone.

Sato (left) and David discuss the merits of his sketch

Each man gives Alex a gift before they leave: David, his drawing; Sato, a netsuke (at least I'm pretty sure it's a netsuke). But can her encounters with this two dissimilar men truly have any effect on her. Can they free her from the confined, black-and-white life she leads working in the diner?

Uguisu won the awards for Best Short Film and Best Cinematography at the International Film Festival Manhattan.

Click here for information about Uguisu and the other films in the Japan CineFest: Short Film Program, a co-presentation of Asia Society and Mar Creation, Inc.

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