FRI    |   24. 9.   |   18:00

RANDEN |  嵐電

director: Takuji Suzuki   |   screen play: Hiroshi Asari, Takuji Suzuki   |   staring: Arata Iura, Satoko Abe, Ayaka Ónishi, Hiroto Kanai, Kenta Ishida, Tamaki Kubose   |   music: Agata Ringyo   |    production: Migrant Birds, Ômuro, Kyoto University of the Arts, Shool of Art and Design

“Take a ride through the memory of our city on board a spirit tram tonight”, says this feature film’s slogan. It is a playful film within a film with the plot unravelling in Kyoto, near the romantic Randen single-track line, which is just 7kilometres long. It connects the old northwest part of Kyoto with monasteries from the boarding station at Shijo Ómiya through the Tenjin River (Tenjigawa eki) station to the Togetsukyo Bridge terminal underneath the Thunder Hill (Arashiyama). The ancient “spirit line” from 1910, on which the reincarnate fox and badger characters ride after midnight and trap people into oblivion, frames episodes from the lives of several strange individuals, directed by a student film crew between dreaming and reality. In parallel, we watch a reclusive writer (Arata Iura) who lost his wife (Satoko Abe) on the line, a budding love affair between a shy local girl (Ayaka Onishi) and a free-spirit film star from Tokyo (Hiroto Kanai), a young man obsessed with filming the various models of vintage tram cars (Kenta Ishida) and his persistent admirer (Tamaki Kubose). A kind coffeehouse owner, who films everyday life in the area and brings together old local patrons and young crazy film directors during his screenings, brings unexpected excitement to a conservative neighbourhood and plays the role of destiny. The film captures a nostalgic atmosphere of old times and the mindset of the citizens in this quarter, so rife with glorious past, along the Randen line in Japan’s former capital.

(c) Migrant Birds / Omuro / Kyoto University of Art and Design