This weekend I went to see Tokyo! a set of 3 short films by 3 directors connected by the theme of living in Tokyo. The first segment, Interior Design, happened to be directed by Michel Gondry, who I've already gushed about. I love how he collaborates with other artists, for example, the soft sculptures and fabric art of Lauri Faggioni in Science of Sleep...she deserves her a whole post to herself!....or, in this case, Interior Design was actually based off a graphic novel by the wonderful Gabrielle Bell called Cecil and Jordan in New York. Obviously not set in Tokyo, but lends itself quite well to the new location. Bell and Gondry worked together on the writing of the script, the shooting in Tokyo, and Bell even directed a hilarious film within the short! They seem to have a wonderful working rapore, as seen in these NY Mag and Reverse Shot interviews. Wikipedia says, "Bell and Gondry also collaborated on Kuruma Tohrimasu, a collection of drawings and photographs made during the production of Interior Design. Conceived of as a thank-you gift for the film's cast and crew, Kuruma Tohrimasu is published as part of Drawn and Quarterly’s Petits Livres series." Unfortunately it was a tiny edition and Amazon doesn't have it but I'd love to see what all is in this book!Gabrielle Bell (Picture via drawnandquarterly)
Gabrielle's Interior Design poster (via Director-file)
Cecil and Jordan in New york cover (Picture via drawnandquarterly)
A woman and her boyfriend move in to a tiny studio with an old classmate while trying to find jobs and an apartment to start their future in Tokyo. I adore Hiroko, she's the creative, aimless and overlooked girlfriend of a filmmaker, trying to find her own inspiration and path. My heart breaks when her friend, complaining about the couple still being at her apartment where they've quickly overstayed their welcome, says, "She's the problem, she just sits around all day cutting up my magazines!!" Hiroko sadly crumples up the charming collages shes been making (see photos above couch in press picture, below,) and starts turning into something very different. Anyway, I won't say more, but it's wonderful, all 3 shorts are great, go see it/rent it and pick up Gabrielle Bell's work asap!
Photo via (tokyothemovie) (L-R) Ryo Kase as Akira, Ayako Fujitani as Hiroko (who is actually Steven Seagal's daughter!) , Satoshi Tsumabuki as Takeshi, and Ayumi Ito as Akemi in TOKYO!