2004   Japan Girlfriend: Someone Please Stop the World
Girlfriend: Someone Please Stop the World Image Cover
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Director:Ryuichi Hiroki
Writer:Shôtarô Oikawa
IMDb Rating:7.1 (30 votes)
Duration:104 min
Ryuichi Hiroki  ...  (Director)
Shôtarô Oikawa  ...  (Writer)
Kinuwo Yamada  ...  Kyoko
Aoba Kawai  ...  Miho
Tomorowo Taguchi  ...  Miho's father
Kiyohiko Shibukawa  ...  
Aya Sugimoto  ...  
Jason Gray  ...  Miho's roommate
Kazuhiro Suzuki  ...  Cinematographer
Comments: More Ryuichi Hiroki. This one is love story between a young woman photographer, Kyoko, who gets an assignment to pick a woman off the street and take nude photos of her for a men's magazine, and the woman who turns up as the subject of that assignment, Miho. Kiyoko's professional ethos is one of getting to know her subject deeply, be it a fruit plate or a human being, and as she does this she finds her interest in this particular subject, Miho, turning into fondness. The feeling is mutual, but this isn't a gay-themed film per se. There are just no barriers in the way that might prevent these two wandering souls from exploring each other, trying to find a positive relationship in a world they feel disconnected from, saddened by. The two performances are good enough, but not great, while the underlying drama and psychological trauma seem less satisfying.

I'm never quite happy with films that explore a lesbian liaison by setting up one of the participants as frustrated by bad relationships with jerkball men. It doesn't have to be that way. In this case it's Kyoko, but she has the personality of being frustrated by more than her bad boyfriends. She's a bit frustrated with herself and is trying to find a comfortable compromise between photography as art and photography as commerce. She's idealistic and a bit peculiar. When she meets Miho, who is angry about her father who left her family years ago and hasn't been in contact since, she meets someone who's more bummed out with life than she is so she's able to feel a little bit better about herself, and seems genuinely interested in, listening to Miho's stories. It's not unusual to become attracted to someone that makes you feel better about yourself.

Miho agrees to pose nude for Kyoko partly, well, mostly, as a means of getting back at, and getting the attention of, her father. I'm not sure about that as a method or as a solution but she's hurt and angry and she wants her father's attention. Kyoko and Miho are both presented as empathetic outsiders. Following them is a reasonably enjoyable romp in indie ennui but it doesn't wrap itself up into a grand story.

Girlfriend is part of the Love Collection, a loose series of DV shot features from 2004 with the common theme of love. Other entries include Kihatsusei no onna (A Volatile Woman) by Kazuyoshi Kumakiri, OLDK by Masahiro Hara, Nejirin bou by Tadashi Tomioka, Moon and Cherry by Yuki Tanada and Kokoro to karada by Hiroshi Ando.


Summary: Kyoko is a photographer struggling to find a balance between commerce and art. In her hunt for a model, she meets Miho, a young woman who's never confronted the father that left her when she was a child. In their short time together as photographer and subject, they form a strong bond, learning just as much about themselves as they do about each other.

The film is part of the Love Collection, a loose series of DV shot features from 2004 with the common theme of love. Other entries include "Kihatsusei no onna" by Kazuyoshi Kumakiri, "Nejirin bou" by Tadashi Tomioka, "Girlfriend: Someone Please Stop the World" by Ryuichi Hiroki, "Tsuki to Cherry" by Yuki Tanada and "Kokoro to karada" by Hiroshi Ando.

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