Tokyo comes to L.A. on March 20

This three-part anthology, set in the titular city, opens in the Nuart Theatre in West Los Angeles and the Edwards Westpark 8 on March 20. With episodes directed by Bong Joon-Ho (THE HOST), Michael Gondry (ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND), and Leox Carax THE LOVERS ON THE BRIDGE), the film presents a surreal "fantasy in three movements," consisting of "rhapsody, psychogeorgraphy, urban valentine, freak show, mindwalk, and many other things," per the press release. The film infringes on genre territory, especially in its second episode, "Merde," about a mysterious creature that rises from the sewer to spread panic in the streets of Tokyo.

SYNOPSIS:

  • INTERIOR DESIGN (Michel Gondry): A young couple tries to set themselves up in Tokyo. The young man's ambition is clear — to become a film director. His girlfriend, far more indecisive, cannot escape the vague feeling that she's losing control of her life. Directionless, both are beginning to go under in this vast city until the young woman, utterly alone, becomes the object of a bizarre transformation...
  • MERDE (Leos Carax): A mysterious creature spreads panic in the streets of Tokyo by means of his provocative and destructive behavior. This man, dubbed "The Creature of the Sewers" by the media, arouses both passion and repulsion...until the moment he is captured...
  • SHAKING TOKYO (Bong Joon-Ho): For more than 10 years, he's been a hikikomori. He lives shut up in his apartment, strictly limiting all contact with the outside world to an absolute minimum. When a pizza delivery girl faints in his home during an earthquake, the unthinkable happens — he falls in love. Shortly after, he learns that the girl has in turn become a hikikomori. Will he dare cross the threshold that separates his apartment from the rest of the world?

PRODUCERS STATEMENT: MASA SAWADA AND MICHIKO YOSHITAKE

The Greek word “rhapsody” designates “a work composed of several pieces presented one after the other.” Our project is a fantasy in three movements, three directors interpreting a single motif: TOKYO! It doesn’t matter whether each piece seems at odds with the others — when they are put together, they form a unique work. A “TOKYO! rhapsody,” to be precise.

All cities evolve. But whereas Paris or New York have managed to maintain a balance between tradition and evolution, TOKYO! is destined to develop endlessly. Economic growth has seen the city change at an exponential rate. This enormous metropolis is a film set in itself. Neither quiet nor calm, the city overflows with dizzying energy. Seen from abroad, Tokyo has grown from an exotic city to “TOKYO!,” an endlessly complex and fantasized-about assemblage emanating from an imminent future…

Our desire to produce a composite film rather than a single, full-length story was absolutely dictated by the nature of the city and its inhabitants; by the urban landscape that appears and disappears suddenly, in completely unexpected fashion; by the extraordinary behavior of people no longer really astonished by anything. There is something of the absurd in TOKYO! These three directors, each endowed with a rich and fertile sensibility, each so different from the others, capture the true spirit of TOKYO!