A man wants to live his life as he pleases.
Anytime, all the time.
He wants to lead a carefree life with no burden to bear.
Still, he is looking for a place where he can truly relax.
Would that be his house in which he grew up? His own room?
With who? His family? Or all by himself?
That is his everyday life.
"I think life is all about enduring the repetition of boredom."
But his life is turned upside down when his mother dies. He is forced to move into his family's home, which is full of problems. Then the secrets of his family members are revealed\and their closed minds are opened.
What happens to his family members? And to himself? And most of all, to "her"?
-"Grandma always sighs so heavily after she finishes using the bathroom."
Naoko Ogigami, who won both national and international recognition with her two feature films, "Kamome Diner" and "Megane", tells a story revolving around a family. Set in Toronto, it is an offbeat, gleaming and cool story.
"Wash and toilet"--it is a place where one can always feel at ease.
Ray Courtney is a single, 30-something semiconductor engineer in a town somewhere in east coast of North America. His Japanese-American mother passes away, and like the protagonist of Albert Camus' The Stranger he shows little emotion at the funeral. But soon his quiet, solitary life is turned upside-down when he ends up moving in with his older brother Maury, once a brilliant pianist and now a victim of panic disorder who never leaves the house; his younger sister Lisa, a university student who tends to look down her nose at everyone; and his grandmother Baachan, who was called over from Japan by her daughter and speaks no English.
A fire forces Ray to pack his expensive plastic Gundam models and move from his luxurious bachelor pad to a tiny room in his mother's house. His frustration grows as he is repeatedly interrupted at work by his siblings and kicked out of the bathroom by Baachan, who "takes a long time in the mornings." But one little quirk about Baachan drives him crazy: why does she always sigh so heavily after she finishes using the toilet?
Ray's quest to understand Baachan's unusual habit leads him to an enlightening conversation with his coworker Agni about the connection between toilets and world cultures. Meanwhile, Maury finds an old sewing machine in Ray's room that gives him a new outlook on life. Lisa is motivated by a mysterious introvert in her poetry class to take up air guitar. And even the normally solemn Baachan has an adventure of her own while buying food for her cat Sensei. The four characters help and inspire one another as their bonds grow stronger as a family--despite a surprising fact about their history that Ray inadvertently discovers. And though tormented at first, Ray soon feels his cold heart melting as he finds out that he's not a "stranger" in his family after all.
Naoko OGIGAMI Writer, Director
After graduation from Chiba University's Image Science program, Ogigami went to the United States in 1994 to study film at the University of Southern California. During this period, she worked as an assistant for TV commercials, promotional videos, and films, and also created short films of her own. Returned to Japan in 2000. "Yoshino's Barber Shop" (2003) is her feature length film debut. More recently, Ogigami gained both national and international recognition with "Kamome Diner" (2006) and "Megane" (2007).
Filmography (feature films)
2003 Yoshino's Barber Shop
-Special Mention, Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk,
Berlin International Film Festival, 2004
2006 Kamone Diner
-Montreal World Cinema Festival (entry)
-Sundance Film Festival (entry)
-Manfred Salzgeber Prize, Berlin International Film Festival, 2008
-Hong Kong International Film Festival, 2008 (entry)
-San Francisco International Film Festival, 2008 (entry)
-International Thessaloniki Film Festival, 2008 (entry)