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Fine, Totally Fine

(Zenzen Daijobu)
Sponsored by: Pepsi Canada

Canadian Premiere

  • Japan 2008
  • 110 min
  • 35mm
  • Japanese with English subtitles
WINNER: Audience Award, New York Asian Film Festival 2008
WINNER: Nippon Cinema Award, Nippon Connection 2008
Official Selection, Raindance Film Festival 2008
Official Selection, Hong Kong International Film Festival 2008

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"Fujita's comic timing is impeccable. There's not one moment when he doesn't have the audience completely eating out of his hand" — Jasper Sharp, MIDNIGHT EYE


Director: Yosuke Fujita
Screenplay: Yosuke Fujita
Cast: Yoshiyoshi Arakawa, Yoshimo Kimura, Yoshinori Okada
Producers: Naoko Arai
Distributor: Style Jam


Is your life’s ambition to make the ultimate haunted house? Are you obsessed with horror films—and your ego—to the point that you have your own customized deluxe action figure? Can you blow mighty gum bubbles that knock people down? This summarizes Teruo (SURVIVE STYLE 5+’s Yoshiyoshi Arakawa), a 29-year-old bona fide loser whose “career” is split between tree-cutting and his father’s used book store. His buddy Hisanobu (Yoshinori Okada), another outsider of similar magnitude, works at a hospital. Both are hopelessly in love with Akari (Yoshimo Kimura), a cute and artistically talented gal with a weakness for high-calorie fish sausage and a pronounced clumsiness—to the point that she’ll slip and break her finger while going for the elevator. Crazy moments, wild pranks and, just maybe, a chance to snatch their dreams lie ahead for this trio of misfits.

A very quirky, undeniably charming comedy, FINE, TOTALLY FINE is a bizarre golden egg from studios of Style Jam, who brought us ADRIFT IN TOKYO, with a strong debt to classic silent comedy (Keaton and Tati come to mind). Director Yosuke Fujita makes a very welcome feature debut after 20 years of award-winning shorts (JELLYFISH FISHING is one) and stage work with comedy ensemble Otona Keikaku Theatre Group. Fujita directs with a brilliant sense of comic timing as he coaxes the sympathetic craziness and twisted humour out of the characters, and weaves a strong tale, something absent from so many modern comedies. Fantasia fans will instantly recognize Yoshiyoshi Arakawa (SURVIVE STYLE 5+ and KAMIKAZE GIRLS), usually used in supporting roles for comic relief, now a graduate to lead-actor status. The production values are top-notch, including the extraordinary detail for Teruo’s action figures (not dolls!) and props which are worth the price of admission alone. After winning favourable audience reactions and awards abroad, including the audience prize at Nippon Connection in Frankfurt and at the New York Asian Film Festival, FINE, TOTALLY FINE is now here!

—King-Wei Chu

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