Toronto Japanese Film Festival 2018: Our Review of ‘Night Is Short, Walk On Girl’

Toronto Japanese Film Festival 2018: Our Review of ‘Night Is Short, Walk On Girl’

Night is Short, Walk On Girl rivals any crazy night any audience has ever seen on cinema. Or any night that any member of that audience might have ever had. Even my wild nights seem tame in comparison.

The characters that Masaaki Yuasa’s movie focus on are having varying degrees of enjoyment. Otome (Kana Hanazawa) inadvertently finds herself as the night’s ringleader. She goes from one end of the town to another, searching of alcohol.

On the other hand there’s Senpai (Gen Hoshino), who, in pursuit of Otome, gets himself in a lot of trouble. There’s a specific gag where he gets his pants dirty on more than one occasion. It’s hilarious.

There’s also a nighttime book fair, an impromptu musical theater troupe, and an epidemic all in this insane night. And the animation keeps up with the plot’s zaniness. It even highlights it, bringing dimensional life to its set pieces.

And of course, the characters involve themselves in these separate groups. Otome, specifically, becomes a marks woman and an actress and singer in the span of hours. She’s a Mary Sue, and I love Mary Sues.

This is also the most irreverent depiction not just of drinking in cinema. But also it’s a positive portrayal of anything that human beings can consume, even something like the arts. Guilt doesn’t exist in this world.

The tonal shift between the insane night and the epidemic shouldn’t work well but it does. It has the ‘joke a minute’ approach that reminiscent of Hawks and the Coens. However, it keeps the movie culturally specific through aesthetics.

The film’s approach to colour and shapes is deep and full, evoking Matisse, who himself borrowed from Japanese woodblocks. It conveys that here, in a film shorter than 90 minutes but makes people laugh in new ways.

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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watch movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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