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Archive - 7th Five Flavours Film Festival

Paco and the Magical Book

Pako to mahô no ehon
Japonia 2008, 105’
subtitles: Polish and English
director: Tetsuya Nakashima
screenplay: Tetsuya Nakashima, Nobuhiro Monma
cinematography: Shôichi Atô, Atsushi Ozawa
editing: Yoshiyuki Koike
music: Gabriele Roberto
cast: Kôji Yakusho, Ayaka Wilson, Satoshi Tsumabuki, Anna Tsuchiya, Sadao Abe, Ryo Kase, Eiko Koike, Gekidan Hitori, Takaya Yamauchi, Jun Kunimura, Takaya Kamikawa
language: Japanese
colouration: colour

Awards and festivals

Nagrody Japońskiej Akademii 2009 – najlepsza scenografia, najlepszy debiut aktorski; Fant-Asia FF 2009 - L'Écran Fantastique Award

Film description

The 10-year old Paco finds herself in a hospital, which looks like the Mad Hatter's dreams came true. Its colorful rooms are inhabited by the extravagant patients, and an equally unusual staff. One of the nurses has vampiric tendencies, the other – a collection of tattoos. The patients include a gangster, a depressed former teenage idol, an adorable transvestite and a gloomy old man, Onuki.
They all have their dark secrets - the protagonist herself suffers from a grim illness and remembers only the present day. Her stubborn joyfulness and the continuous optimism wins her the hearts of other patients and the audience (this debut role of Ayaka Wilson is breathtaking).

Nakashima plays with the genre of family cinema, but his version of the tale is surprising and far from sentimental. The outcast heroes are not the fluffy weirdoes with the hearts of gold, they are an irritating pack of frustrated, egocentric losers. The sugary story is lined with tragedy, and the startling visual effects do not hide the drama, but rather shed a strong light on it. The real fairy tales - if they are to have any therapeutic value - need to show life in its full complexity and tragicomic quality.

Jagoda Murczyńska

Tetsuya Nakashima

Born in 1959 in Fukuoka. He received numerous awards for his music videos, commercials, and series. Director and screenwriter. After the success of "Kamikaze Girls" and "Memories of Matsuko", he was proclaimed as one of the most original and influential Japanese filmmakers.

Selected filmography:

1997 Beztroskie lato / Natsu jikan no otonatachi / Happy-Go-Lucky
1988 Beautiful Sunday
2004 Kamikaze Girls / Shimotsuma monogatari / Kamikaze Girls
2004 Żywot Matsuko / Kiraware Matsuko no isshō / Memories of Matsuko
2008 Pako i magiczna księga / Pako to mahō no ehon / Paco and the Magic Book
2010 Wyznania / Kokuhaku / Confessions

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