Based on a prize-winning novel by Hoshino Tomoyuki
Satoshi Miki's unique fantasy It's Me, It's Me is opening in select US theaters - including NYC's Cinema Village - today, Friday, November 8th. The movie had its North American premiere at Japan Society on July 13, 2013, as a joint presentation of the New York Asian Film Festival and Japan Cuts: The New York Festival of Contemporary Japanese Cinema. (Yet another example of why -- as I've repeatedly written -- reading about these two festivals is a great way to gain an early heads-up on many upcoming theatrical and DVD releases of Asian films.)
|Hitoshi Nagano (Kazuya Kamenashi) at work (This image is a cropped screen capture)|
Hitoshi Nagano (played by Kazuya Kamenashi of the pop band KAT-TUN, in one of several roles in the film) is a seemingly average twenty-eight year old. Though talented, he's given up on being a professional photographer and works in a huge appliance store selling the kinds of equipment he once used. While eating at a fast food restaurant, the cell phone of a young man named Daiki, who's sitting to his right, slides unnoticed by Daiki onto Hitoshi's tray. Hitoshi surreptitiously walks off with it and uses it in a phone scam to bilk Daiki's mother out of 900,000 yen.
This sets off a truly bizarre train of events that leads to Hitoshi's encountering not one but two other "Hitoshi's." As they say to one another, "We're all me." Soon many more "me's" are found in a surrealistic and seemingly endless proliferation of doppelgangers. But duplications lead to "bad copies" who suffer from "generation loss" and these bad copies must be "deleted."
|Sayaka (Yuki Uchida)|
There's also an incredibly sexy married woman named Sayaka (Yuki Uchida) who lives in a huge white loft and who hires the original Hitoshi to take photographs of the front and back of a house. When Hitoshi asks her if she's in real estate, she replies, "Kind of." She's enigmatic, to say the least.
Who is who? Which "me" is the real "me"? And who will survive and who will be deleted? These are the kinds of questions relating to individual identity that arise in this one-of-a-kind film.
If straightforward narrative is your thing, you may not enjoy this movie.
But if an unreal, surreal, and absurdest black comedy appeals to you, It's Me, It's Me will satisfy you in spades.