Canary (Kanaria) [2005] • Japan

Another film by Akihiko Shiota, director of Harmful Insect. It had some moments but nothing special for me. I'm not sure what to think of Shiota at this point. I appreciate what he is trying to explore: disaffected, abused and neglected youth and all that, but I'm not convinced he's good at it yet. Harmful Insect would have been a lot less interesting without Aoi Miyazaki. I think Mitsuki Tanimura does a good job in Canary, Hoshi Ishida not so much but his character was the brooding, doesn't-say-much type, which is difficult for a teenager to pull off (unless you're Aoi Miyazaki).

I confess that many of the cultural pointers were lost on me ... so there's that, I mean, if they were supposed to be specific. Cultural historians and professional film critics (and Japanese folks) might enjoy this film more than I did. I liked the vibe, not sure about the story.


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