Naoko Ogigami’s "Glasses" and "Rent-A-Cat," screened as part of the "Japanese Female Directors" retrospective at the 9th Five Flavours, took the hearts of our audiences by storm. Now the director comes back with a bitter-sweet family melodrama. A resolute 11-year old girl, Tomo, neglected by her ever-absent mother, grows up much faster than her peers. When she is left alone for too long once again, she finds shelter with her uncle, who works at a bookstore, and his transgender partner,Rinko – a nurse, who takes loving care of the girl.
Ogigami treats her topic, controversial in the Japanese society, with delicateness and tact, but the film is not a social drama, but a touching fairy-tale story about building a relationship, caring for others, and being persistent in overcoming difficulties. The director tells the story in her own style, in between words, through details, small gestures, ordinary activities – like preparing bento, a type of lunch box, which is Rinko’s special talent. She is played by one of the most popular Japanese celebrities, an actor know from films and TV series, Toma Ikuta.
Born in 1972 in the Chiba Prefecture. In 1994, she left for the US where she studied directing at the University of South California. Her sweet and melancholic films, with a characteristic visual style, are enormously popular among the audiences, often appearing at international festivals. "Glasses" and "Rent-a-cat" were shown in the "Japanese Female Directors" retrospective at 9th Five Flavours.
1999 Ayako (short)
2003 Barber Yoshino / Yoshino's Barber Shop
2004 Koi wa go-shichi-go! / Love Is Five, Seven, Five!
2005 Kamome shokudo / Kamome Diner
2007 Okulary / Megane / Glasses
2010 Toiretto / Toilet
2012 Kot do wynajęcia / Rentaneko / Rent-a-Cat
2017 Po nitce do kłębka / Karera ga honki de amu toki wa / Close Knit