Films: Hospitalite

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Japan, 2010, 95 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Comedy, Drama, Family Issues, Japan
Programs: Contemporary World Cinema, Focus on Japanese Cinema, Art, & Culture
Language: Japanese English Subtitles

DIRECTOR: Koji Fukada
Producer: Kiki Sugino, Koji Fukada
Editor: Koji Fukada
Screenwriter: Koji Fukada
Cinematographer: Kenichi Negishi
Principal Cast: Kenji Yamauchi, Kiki Sugino, Kanji Furutachi, Bryerly Long, Eriko Ono, Kumi Hyodo, Tatsuya Kawamura

In the opening scenes of Koji Fukada’s Hospitalité, life appears to be pleasant—if a little mundane—for Mikio Kobayashi (Kenji Yamauchi) and his family, who live in a cozy downtown Tokyo duplex where the search for a lost parakeet is a matter for unusual excitement. Enter Kagawa (Kanji Furutachi), who arrives claiming to have spotted the lost bird—then returns the next day to help out in the Kobayashis’ print shop downstairs. Impressed with his ability to work the machines, Mikio hires him—and then allows him to move in upstairs. Shortly thereafter, Mikio and his wife come home to find a tall, blond woman in their kitchen wearing nothing more than a towel. As it turns out, this is Kagawa’s Bosnian (or is she Brazilian?) “wife”; before the Kobayashis have a chance to protest, she has moved in as well.

The comedy of errors only gets more outrageous from there, as more and more of Kagawa’s friends drop in and he quickly takes over the household from its owners, who are horrified but too polite to object. As a result, they lose control of their once quiet, predictable life and are swept up the whirlwind of Kagawa’s impulses. As much societal critique as delightful farce, Hospitalité smartly explores the themes of Japanese xenophobia and repression.

Sponsored by Sponsored by Asian Art Coordinating Council, Consulate General of Japan at Denver, The Japan Foundation, University of Colorado—Denver's College of Arts & Media

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