It's Boring Here, Pick Me Up
Koko wa Taikutsu Mukae ni Kite
Gateway | Gateway
While passing through the hometown she couldn’t wait to escape from 10 years before, Tokyo-based freelancer "I" (Hashimoto Ai from Beautiful Star and Attack on Titan) decides to look up Shiina (Narita Ryo), the poster boy she had a hopeless crush on in high school. She is not alone. "Me" (Mugi Kadowaki from Close Knit), who actually dated Shiina, still hasn’t gotten over him. Stuck in the small town she was too scared to leave, she wallows in nostalgia and regret. In their unreliable memories, Shiina shines—he was the handsome, nonchalant jock everyone gravitated to. His charmed circle spent carefree days lounging by the pool, visiting the arcade or speeding down empty highways. So what has Shiina been up to all this time? The truth may be too cruel for "I" to handle.
This is not your typical Japanese teen-crush-coming-of-age drama. It’s adapted from the novel by Yamauchi Mariko, who’s been hailed as the spiky new voice of Japanese literature. Hiroki Ryuichi juggles three romantic strands and crisscrossing timelines, pulling it all together in a knockout revelatory ending. Hiroki, who’s been a guest at VIFF since early in his career, shuttles between shooting commercial hits and edgy, personal projects like Vibrator and Kabukicho Love Hotel. This is one of the latter. With his signature masterful long takes, mellow score and crisp cinematography, Hiroki infuses every scene with a throbbing sensuality.