JAPAN / 2001 / Japanese / Color / Video / 78 min
Director, Photography, Editing, Sound: Takashi Toshiko
Script, Narrator: Takahashi Akiyo
Producer: Fujioka Asako
Production, Source: Scarlet
1-18-10 Kamisaginomiya, Nakano-ku, Tokyo JAPAN
Toshiko spent ten years of her childhood in Nishitengachaya, a lower-income Osaka neighborhood of tiny alleys and back streets. When she visits her old home, a wooden shack, after 30 years, she finds two women over 70, still living there together just as they did all those years ago. Toshiko, though shaken, manages to film her visit...
Toshiko’s lover Sakura performs on stage in a strip club. In between shows at a theater in Nishitengachaya, she decides to look for the apartment. But the building is now deserted. Where are the two old women...? Toshiko and Sakura’s intertwining emotions, the old women’s history, the nostalgic alleys, the neon lights of the theater, the passing scenery from the bullet train window... Longing and desire are packed into this personal film.
[Directors Statement] Blessed starts when I revisit the couple who appeared in Oishi Apartments, Nishi Tengachaya, my last film, four years later.
I had initially intended to take a 24-hour snapshot of “unfulfilled hope.” However, as love unexpectedly blossomed and the film progressed, the emotions of one day were deepened and revitalized, eventually changing the film itself. While the keyword, “Blessed,” helped keep me on track, it was a strange feeling to sit back and watch as the movie took shape.
I believe that like smells and the feel of the skin, “watching” falls into the realm of personal sensation (experience). I would like to think that the emotions of those who watch this movie are not just projected onto the surface of the characters, but go beyond the images on screen, before returning to the hearts of their original owners.
While watching cinema, even I catch glimpses of myself that I don’t usually see.
Born in 1952 in Osaka. Assistant Director of Fukuda Katsuhiko’s Higashi-Kurume, a Living Town (1990). Director of the Tokyo Lesbian and Gay Film Festival in 1992 and 1993. Since then, has worked as a film and music critic for magazines and a cinematographer for independent films. Ode I (1998) and Oishi Apartments, Nishi Tengachaya (1998) were screened in the Japanese Panorama at YIDFF ’99.