A sleepy Los Angeles exurb and its shiftless young residents are seen through the eyes of two Japanese tourists in this intimate evocation of a small town in Southern California where everyone’s talking but no one really understands.
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This is one of the reasons why I love mubi. Mike Ott's Antelope Valley Trilogy is a true revelation and I would have never seen it anywhere else. The real story here is about the forced relocation of Japanese-American citizens in concentration camps during WWII, but Ott avoids the trap of didacticism (unlike Barry Atkins in Medicine for Melancholy, e.g. the visit at the Museum of the Diaspora). Powerful, yet sweet.
Atsuko, also the film's co-writer, delivers a wonderful, mostly nonverbal performance. Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai briefly flashed into my consciousness, but mostly I was reminded that the heart is a lonely hunter. There's a constant push and pull between reality as experienced and reality and desired.
(weaning myself off of a too heavy saturated Hollywood diet)...only a (pretty, pretty good) indie movie like this could get away with portraying so intimately the palpable pain of disconnection (even the moments of connection crackle uncomfortably)...the decision to leave much of the foreign (to me) speech
untranslated was an inspired
choice...afterthought....i'm definitely the Cory in this story....
A good little movie! It is shot really well with some good characters and performances. It was a bit strange that the storyline involving Cory wasn't resolved, and quite miraculous that he escaped being beaten up but nevertheless a heartfelt and enjoyable meditation on identity and belonging.
A powerful, moving film about the kinds of what if stories we tell about ourselves. Our pasts. Our futures. A movie about nostalgia for a life we never lived. And the brutality of the present, the life we cannot escape except by way of these dreams and fantasies of other lives and other futures in other places. Small, yeah, but kinda like a small finger pointed at something big. At least, that's how I read it.