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Tony Takitani


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Product Details

  • Actors: Issei Ogata, Rie Miyazawa, Shinohara Takahumi, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Yumi Endô
  • Directors: Jun Ichikawa
  • Writers: Jun Ichikawa, Haruki Murakami
  • Producers: Michio Koshikawa, Motoki Ishida, Naoki Hashimoto, Yonezawa Keiko
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, Subtitled
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Strand Releasing
  • DVD Release Date: January 10, 2006
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000BQ7JXO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,542 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Tony Takitani" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A man who has lived a life of emotional isolation discovers the dark side of falling in love in this drama from Japanese filmmaker Jun Ichikawa. Tony Takitani (Issey Ogata) is the son of a Japanese musician with a passion for jazz who spent most of World War II in Shanghai, and was later sentenced to a stretch in prison following the war. Tony was named in honor of an American serviceman who befriended his father, but his name also earned him the suspicion of his classmates, and he had few close friends as a child, a situation aggravated by the death of his mother. While Tony displayed great technical skill as an artist, his work lacked feeling, and he ended up pursuing a successful career as a technical illustrator. One day, Tony meets Eiko Konuma (Rie Miyazawa), a beautiful woman working with one of his clients, and he is immediately entranced. Feeling as if he's found his soul mate, Tony becomes fully inspired for the first time in his life, and soon asks Eiko for her hand in marriage. Eiko accepts, but before long Tony discovers she has a financially ruinous fondness for expensive designer clothes. When Tony asks Eiko to cut back on her shopping sprees, it triggers a series of events which show Eiko isn't all Tony imagined her to be, and throws his new satisfaction with life into turmoil. Tony Takitani received its North American premiere at the 2004 Vancouver Film Festival, and was also screened as part of the World Cinema series at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Amazon.com

Sound and visuals are what movies are made of, yet in Tony Takitani, director Jun Ichikawa somehow communicates primarily through feeling. This is a work of profound, aching sadness, made exquisite more by what isn't heard and seen than what is, as Ichikawa brings writer Haruki Murakami's short story to the screen with a sense of restraint, apparent in every aspect of the process (storytelling, acting, music, cinematography), that transforms the usual cinematic experience into something much closer to a prolonged meditation. Issei Ogata plays the title character, son of a jazz musician who gave Tony his strange, Americanized name. Like his father, who is no more fit to be a dad than Tony is to be a son, Tony lives a life of total solitude. But solitude isn't the same as loneliness, as the middle-aged man learns when he meets and marries the much younger Eiko (Rie Miyazawa). At that point, as we're told in voice-over (a wonderfully low key performance by Hidetoshi Nishijima, who actually does more talking than the characters themselves), the newly-content Tony now is beset by feelings of terror and dread as he imagines what life would be like without her. But Eiko is no more connected to the real world than Tony, and her addiction to designer clothes ("they fill up what's missing inside me") eventually leads to tragedy. That happens in a sequence that might be amusing, in a black kind of way, in any other film, but not in this one. As it is, it triggers some rather strange behavior on Tony's part, as well as his return to a state of impenetrable, ineffable melancholy. Tony Takitani is not a warm experience. The dialogue is spare, the scenery severe, the colors muted, and Ichikawa's directing, though masterful, keeps us at arm's length. But there is greatness in this beautifully-rendered, 75-minute movie. --Sam Graham

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A. C. Walter on November 14, 2005
Format: DVD
This film, minimalist in the best possible sense, is a lyrical study of isolation and loss. Tony Takitani (Issei Ogata) grows up the loner kid of a jazz-playing, loner father. Like his father, Tony masters an art, drawing, and eventually becomes very successful. Early in his adulthood Tony has a few failed romances but never considers marriage until, in middle age, he meets a woman fifteen years his junior, the sight of whom for the first time adds an unshakable pain to his profound solitude.

A long sequence of aged Japanese photographs acts as a prelude to the film, telling in a few minutes the story of Tony's father. This section of plot takes up a much greater portion of Haruki Murakami's original short story, and Jun Ichikawa made a wise decision in reducing it, though utmost respect for the source material is in evidence throughout the film.

And then Tony's story itself begins, and if you are going to fall for this film, you do it then. From start to finish, really, the film is an episodic accumulation of small, deeply-touching scenes tied together by very simple yet evocative piano music and the enchanting voice of a narrator (Hidetoshi Nishijima) whose warm, thoughtful delivery makes one think of some poet of a bygone era.

Tony's courtship of Eiko and his subsequent troubles draw us closer and closer to this sad, beautiful soul until his loneliness finally becomes absolute. Ichikawa solidifies these intense layers of feeling with wonderfully basic techniques: stirring skylines and skyscapes used as backdrops; lovely, tangible environments; and discrete, minimalist camera angles--key conversations shot from behind the characters, over the shoulder, for instance.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By The Concise Critic: on September 19, 2007
Format: DVD
He was lonely; she was beautiful; and, for a while, it really, really worked.
The story is flawed. (But who am I to pass such judgment? This movie will be remembered.)
It will be remembered (aside from the remarkable cinematography) because the viewer feels the loneliness, the temporary joy, and the loss central to this movie.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ernest Jagger on September 23, 2007
Format: DVD
In the film "Tony Takitani," director Jun Ichikawa gives the viewer a sense of isolation and loneliness that one does not find with too many other directors. I have not read the short story that the film is based on, but one does not need to. With a third person narrative, and a minimal use of the actors' interaction, the film makes you feel very lonely. Which I am sure is exactly what the director was aiming for. The cinematography is beautiful, and at the same time, compliments the film, as Ichikawa's use of the camera gives you a feeling of the same loneliness that the protagonist, Tony Takitani (Issey Ogata) is going through. In fact, Tony Takitani wears his loneliness on his face. And every shot of him in the film is permeated with a sense of loneliness. You can sense it, and feel it.

I really liked the beginning of the film, where we see Tony Takitani's father, (also portrayed by Ogata) lying in a prison cell. The war has just come to an end, and the isolation of being imprisoned, alone and without the contact of others, is a great introduction to the film. As it is this films opening scene that gives the viewer a prelude to what the films main protagonist feels: A sense of isolation and loneliness. The third person narrative also works well by incorporating a dialogue between the viewer and the film, where we are further removed from the films protagonist--as we sense his self-isolation from those around him. This in turn, gives the film an even greater sense of loneliness: The very sense of isolation and being cut off from others that Tony Takitani himself feels.

The film is slow paced, and is only 75 minutes long. Tony Takitani is an illustrator who has always been alone. However, he meets a woman who will change his life.
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Format: DVD
A wonderfully quiet, almost meditative, look at a man's life and that of his father. Film is complemented by a gentle piano score from Ryuichi Sakamoto and totally original photographic compositions from cinematographer Taishi Hirokawa.

Film opens with a somewhat long montage (with stills and narration) of Tony's early years with his father. Left alone most of the time Tony develops a passion for drawing which leads to his career as an illustrator. It is only as a middle-aged man that he meets the perfect woman, though her one 'fatal' flaw is an addiction to shopping which provides a good deal of humor to the somewhat sad, isolated story of Tony's life.

Can't say more without spoiling the plot, but if you treasure personal films without explosions, car chases, and profanity then this is your movie for the summer!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ed Uyeshima HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on January 17, 2006
Format: DVD
Director Jun Ichikawa demonstrates a uniquely idiosyncratic filmmaking style somewhat reminiscent of Yasujiro Ozu's work in his constant use of lengthy medium shots shot at waist level, as well as a certain narrative sensibility that focuses on elliptical episodes to unfold a story in a subtly uneventful manner. Unlike Ozu, however, Ichikawa verges somewhat toward contrivance in unspooling his tale, one that feels more like a paean to Alfred Hitchcock's "Vertigo". However, the Freudian subtext and Baroque melodrama of that classic have been submerged in favor of glacial pacing and implied emotionalism.

The title character with the staccato name is the only son of a renowned jazz trombonist. He grows up to become a lonely technical illustrator who obsesses over his work and remains content in his solitude. He finally meets Eiko, a beautiful, demure woman with an even greater obsession - an uncontrollable desire for designer clothes. Upon his insistence, they marry and live happily for a time, so much so that he realizes he can never live without her. True to Murphy's law, tragedy strikes, and the plot turns on what Tony does next to fill the void in his existence. Based on a short story by popular writer Haruki Murakami (who wrote the intriguingly surreal "Kafka on the Shore" released last year in the US), the 2005 movie effectively captures the author's highly stylized world, in particular, Tony's solitude in a series of lingering silences and mundane activities punctuated by acts of quirky behavior.

The beautifully muted cinematography is by Taishi Hirokawa, and it reminds me of Gordon Willis's work on Woody Allen's "Interiors".
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