Earlier this year, we reviewed Yoshino Takemoto’s Arcadia (2018). As mentioned in our review, Arcadia was going to the fourth short narrative of Takemoto to be screened at this year’s international film festival of Cannes.
And while Takemoto was there, in the southern of France, what else could she have done than to craft another short narrative. The name of her latest (,maybe even her first internationally shot) narrative is Rencontre, the french signifier for the act of meeting.
A guy (Yuki Tomoyama) receives a unexpected letter. The letter is written by his half-sister (Miyuka Shipfer), who was born after his mother divorced and remarried. She bears the same tattoo that marks her as part of the clan. The letter invites him to meet her, because their mother, who has dementia, is missing.
One can easily see that in Recontre Takemoto’s main focus is not the narrative or the act of narrating as such. Instead she is concerned with how to frame a given narrative, with how to narrate by composing shots into a concatenation. This narrative has nevertheless two elements in common with Arcadia: the peripheral reference to dementia and the fundamental dimension of meeting as such. For Takemoto, the framing of the act of meeting is nothing other than a subjective concern.
Takemoto’s focus on framing the act of rencontre in its touching dimension is obviously linked with the cinematography as such. One can see easily that Takemoto, in her cinematographical mix of semi-fixed shaky shots and often impressive following shots, took the time to explore the possibilities of composing shots in concatenation and to experiment with the power the cut – as an element that can enforce the narrative flow. And while this experimentation leads to the creation of a fluid cinematographical flow full of vitality – a sign of Takemoto’s growth as a director, has nevertheless one hiccup. At one time, a shot that seemingly continues a comportment has either to be understood as a jump-cut or as a shot marked by a continuity error.
While those seeking a deep short-narrative might be disappointed, those people would also have missed the point of this narrative. This narrative is to be taken solely as a cinematographical experiment. As such kind of experiment, Rencontre is a success, showing that, instead of stalling, Takemoto is still growing and further enhancing her skills.
If you want to support this talented director and she her coming to full bloom, now is your change to support her and enable her current dream: https://camp-fire.jp/projects/view/94896