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Flowergirl (1999)

  Directed by: Cate Shortland
Written by: Cate Shortland
Starring: Toshiyuki Chiba, Mikiko Ooka
Links: Flowergirl on the IMDb
Genre: Short

This movie gets: 8.00 (1 rating)
nofreelist.com Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

Flowergirl (1999) is also mentioned in pearly's review of Somersault (2004).

"Worlds colliding" - a review by pearly

Flowergirl is a short film about a young man, Dai (Toshiyuki Chiba) living in Australia, but due to head back to his hometown of Osaka, Japan, to work in his father's business as a butcher. Dai has grown to love Australia, and he is a vegetarian, so he is filled with trepidation about leaving. Furthermore, he has a bit of an obsession with Hana (Mikiko Ooka), his flatmate, and the flowergirl referred to in the film's title (hana being Japanese for flower).

Cate Shortland wrote and directed Flowergirl, and what's interesting is that the film is Japanese language, although Shortland does not speak it. It was written in English, with the intention of having it translated, and then Shortland collaborated with her lead actors to produce the Japanese language version of her words (along with whatever changes the actors thought would make it more authentic). This seems to be quite a fascinating process. Shortland apparently came to the idea to write such a story when there was lots of media about Pauline Hanson, and she wanted to portray a different, more multicultural view of Australia.

Along with the Japanese characters in her film, Shortland has played around a bit with colouring the film in unusual ways (sorta hyper-real colours, where the face might have a pink tinge, the room blue, and the window to the outside red, etc.), a technique which Shortland discovered in some Asian films she had seen shortly before beginning work on Flowergirl. However, this technique was used only sparingly.

I quite liked this film - I thought the subject matter was quite interesting, and Shortland's right, it is nice to see another view of Australia, even if it's (hopefully) not as necessary now as it was when the film was made.

pearly gives this movie 8 out of 10.
Review created on Mon 2 Aug 2004

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