Unfortunately, due to inclement weather, we have cancelled this screening of The Actor.
Yokohama (Bare Essence of Life) signals herself as an up-and-coming young director to keep an eye on with The Actor, an often hilarious, spirited, yet down-to-earth look into a reality of film production in Japan. Ken Yasuda (best known for doing Studio Ghibli voice work) plays Takuji Kameoka, a bit player who seems to prefer drinking anonymously to working his (underwhelming) roles. Azumi Murota (Kumiko Asô, Love & Peace) runs an izakaya where Ken regularly plants himself; as the two grow closer through a subtly shared feeling about life’s misfortunes and minor victories, Ken’s luck looks to be changing as a breakout, starring role in a foreign director’s new work becomes a distinct possibility. A compassionate portrait of a lonely soul just trying to figure it out, The Actor offers “a clear-eyed but also affectionate and humor-tinged understanding of the jobbing actor’s craft, disorienting schedule and creative frustrations. There’s also a nicely understated meld between man and roles, a gradual, sake-fuelled dissolution of borders between what actor Takuji Kameoka plays and what he’s played by, that turns The Actor into an existential drama about the roles life forces us into, and our illusions of control.”—Lee Marshall, Screen Daily. In Japanese with English subtitles.