Japanese director Keiichi Kobayashi’s debut film, which won Japanese Eyes Best Picture Award in Tokyo International Film Festival 2011 and was invited to the Sundance Film Festival 2012…
What is it about About the Pink Sky that attracts me?
About the Pink Sky has everything that’s important in an entertainment film: proper development of new and original characters. Izumi, a high school girl who reviews newspaper articles, has the quality of those teenagers in films like Shunji Iwai’s Hana to Alice or Typhoon Club by Shinji Somai. I was engaged by the character. Some would say the story is mundane; no fascinating events happen in the film. However, in this film the story is not so important — nor is black and white. New character is what’s necessary, such as in John Ford’s films, where peculiarity creates character.
The film succeeds with its portrayal of the teenager. Family and teachers disappear, similar to Iwai and Somai’s style. The story begins when Izumi finds a wallet with 300,000 yen inside on the road. She decides not to return it. She lends money to an acquaintance, then spends more for her friends in a cafe. One day, her friend Akemi notes that the wallet’s owner, Sato, is actually a cool guy, so she is obligated to return the wallet as soon as possible. Her purpose is then to see Sato. Izumi is now involved with her friend and Sato.
About the Pink Sky indulges into the insight of a Japanese director. He destroys stereotypes with fascinating characters. For example, why do Japanese ask “How old are you?” for the first time? To understand “your position:” if you’re 28 years old, you’re a salesman, not a university student. In other words, assumptions are important. You listen carefully to what Izumi says, and then you have to listen carefully for the answer. Izumi brings hope for future directors in Japan. There are some other hopefuls presently. Keichi also tries to destroy stereotypes through new characters. This is through a style of entertainment that doesn’t use force.
Why are we impressed by Jaws, Back to the Future, or Batman? What did we get from those films? They all have a dark present and hopeful future. About the Pink Sky is the same. I’m excited to see the truth of entertainment films appearing in Japan.