Ubisoft Presents Fantasia 2008

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Adrift In Tokyo


Canadian Premiere

WINNER : Best Script, Satoshi Miki, Fantasia Film Festival
SPECIAL JURY MENTION : Jô Odagiri and Tomokazu Miura (for their acting), Fantasia Film Festival

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“Flawlessly written and shot by a man who seems to have figured out exactly what sort of film maker he is and where his strengths lie, ADRIFT IN TOKYO makes it very clear that Miki Satoshi is no longer simply that goofy TV director mucking about on the big screen but that he has become one of the strongest voices in Japanese film. Yes, it’s really that good.” - TWITCH


Director: Satoshi Miki
Screenplay: Satoshi Miki, from Yoshinaga Fujita
Cast: Jô Odagiri, Tomokazu Miura, Kyoko Koizumi, Yuriko Yoshitaka, Ryo Iwamatsu
Producers: Akihiko Yose, Nobuaki Shimohashi, Hideo Tsujihata, Kyoichi Miyazaki, Tetsu Takase
Distributor: Style Jam


Takemura has no friends and no family. He’s a student but he doesn’t have any particular ambitions. In other words, he isn’t going anywhere fast. Were all this not enough, the sorry sad sack has a debt of 800,000 yen. Fukuhara, a surly debt collector with a glorious mullet, is on his case. After roughing Takemura up, he gives him an ultimatum—72 hours to pay up, or else. Takemura barely has his wits about him again when he runs across Fukuhara a second time, and this time the thug has a different proposal—a walk. That’s right, in exchange for a million yen, Takemura must accompany Fukuhara on a walk across the city of Tokyo. Starting in a distant corner of the city, they begin their trek towards downtown, striking up a conversation. It’s at this point that Fukuhara admits that he’s recently killed his wife, and intends to turn himself in at Kasumagaseki police station—because, he says, it’s the finest in town. The pair’s itinerary, however, is hardly a quick and direct one. The disparate duo drift here and there, hanging out and coming across a host of eccentric personalities, creatures of the urban jungle’s various habitats. As their walking, talking and trading truths continues, the arrangement between Takemura and Fukuhara starts to transform into friendship.

A humanist feelgood movie with an appetite (food is omnipresent here), ADRIFT IN TOKYO may well be the surprise of the year at Fantasia. Funny, touching and devilishly smart, this pedestrian road trip reveals another side of Tokyo, like visiting its hidden corners with a local who knows the terrain, and Souhei Tanigawa’s superb direction of photography makes the most of the usually underused urban landscapes of the Japanese capital. For this, his fifth and best film, Satoshi Miki stands back and allows plenty of breathing space for his lead actors Jô Odagiri (SHINOBI) and Miura Tomokazu (ALWAYS: SUNSET ON THIRD STREET 1 and 2), who deliver bravura performances in the roles. His simple script, nonetheless packed with amazing dialogue, casts an eye on urban alienation without cynicism, and underlines the tension between tradition and modernity. After you’ve soaked up BAD BIOLOGY and TOKYO GORE POLICE, ADRIFT IN TOKYO might be just the thing to get your head stabilized!

—Nicolas Archambault (translated by Rupert Bottenberg)