Wednesday, 7 July 2010
A few days ago, I watched a film that I've been wanting to see since I came to Japan. Being able to find a subtitled copy proved to be difficult until I finally found a website that allows you to stream it.
Wool 100% (2006 dir. Mai Tomangi)is about two elderly sisters, Ume-san and Kame-san. Ume-san and Kame-san are the human equivalent of magpies; they spend their days rooting through neighbourhood rubbish to find bits and pieces that others have thrown away; old futons, toys, cutlery, televisions. The sisters carefully catalogue their finds in a book. One day, Ume-san and Kame-san come across a ball of red wool, which marks the arrival of a mysterious girl at their house....
I loved this film so much. It looks to be just another contrived,twee, indie film, but I found there to be an implicitly unsettling feel to it, which surfaced often throughout.
The director, Mai Tomangi is an animator, and this was really noticeable in Wool. Every frame was a visual feast; there was so much to look at, both in the forefront and background. Even the house itself, filled with precarious looking piles of the sisters' treasures looked very cartoonish.
The things I liked most about Wool were the odd music (listen out for the funny sheep and apple song at the beginning), the breakfast scenes, and watching all kinds of inanimate objects acquire an almost life like character; the cuckoo clock chimes wake the sisters up each morning and the futon snores and shudders as it envelopes its sleeper. The sisters have such love for the treasures, and I liked how they documented them in the big illustrated book in such a way that seemingly useless things acquired a kind of desirable appeal (well, for me anyway!)
I highly recommend Wool 100% :-) You can watch it here