Archive of films Tony Takitani / Tony Takitani

2004, 75 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2005

Director Jun Ichikawa’s delicate emotive film demonstrates that motion pictures can still be consummate works of art embracing literature, the fine arts and music. The title character is depicted from his sad childhood to his no less solemn maturity, in which the lovely Eiko unexpectedly appears. But after marrying, the young woman’s passion for designer clothes turns into an obsession.


Since he was a kid, Tony Takitani has had trouble because of his "American" name, given to him by his jazz trombonist father. As a result, the boy’s childhood taught him something about solitude. Now a grown man, he lives decently as a technical illustrator. He falls in love with Eiko and they marry. His wife has one overriding passion: she loves designer clothes. But an expensive hobby soon turns into an obsession.... Screenwriter and director Jun Ichikawa has shot an unusually pure minimalist film based on the novel of the same name by Haruki Murakami. He demonstrates that film is a complementary art, combining literature, image and music. In slow, perfectly composed shots, accompanied by the sparse music of Ryuichi Sakamoto, he tells an emotive story which follows the strange and withdrawn life of an isolated man from childhood to maturity. The narrator’s role here is substantial. An interesting note: acclaimed lead actors take on double roles:  Issey Ogata plays Tony and his father, Rie Miyazawa plays Eiko and her look-alike Hisako.

About the director

Jun Ichikawa (b. 1948, Tokyo) graduated in fine art. He got his start at an ad agency and later moved on to successfully directing commercials. In 1985-87 he earned awards at the prestigious Cannes International Advertising Festival. He debuted in features in 1978 with the film Bu su. Since then he has made 16 movies, of which the most highly honoured are Tokyo Lullaby (Tokyo yakyoku, 1997, Best Director ex aequo at the 1997 Montreal IFF), The Tokyo Siblings (Tokyo kyodai, 1995, FIPRESCI Prize at the 1995 Berlinale) and Tony Takitani (2004, Special Jury Prize and the FIPRESCI Prize at the 2004 Locarno IFF). His work is clearly inspired by that of the masterful Yasujiro Ozu but differs in key ways which even allow for naturalism. Selected filmography: the drama Tugumi (1990), the meditation on death entitled Dying at a Hospital (Byoin de shinu to iu koto, 1993) and Zawa-zawa Shimokita-sawa (2000), which was awarded in his native country.


Celluloid Dreams
2, rue Turgot, 75009, Paris
Tel: +33 149 700 370

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Horizons
Director: Jun Ichikawa
Screenplay: Jun Ichikawa
Dir. of Photography: Taishi Hirokawa
Music: Ryuichi Sakamoto
Editor: Sanjyo Tomoo
Producer: Ishida Motoki
Production: Wilco Co. Ltd.
Cast: Ogata Issey, Rie Miyazawa, Takahumi Shinohara, Hidetoshi Nishijima
Contact: Celluloid Dreams


Sébastien Chesneau

Distributor, Sales Agent


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