(Toyoda Toshiaki, 2005, 113 min, Japan, in Japanese with English subtitles, Color, 35mm)
Enfant terrible of new Japanese cinema, Toyoda Toshiaki investigates the flimsy nature of reality inHanging Garden. By exposing the underlying dynamic of the outwardly cheerful Kyobashi family, he reveals lives that rest upon a structure of secrets, lies and misremembered truths. The film revolves around Eriko Kyobashi (Kyoko Koizumi) a wife and mother obsessed with creating the perfect, happy family. To that end, she insists everyone in the household operate under one strict
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rule: “We never conceal the truth, no subject is taboo. We try to share everything with each other.” On the surface, her social experiment seems to work; the family appears to be quite open with one another. But as the title’s reference to the Hanging Garden of Babylon suggests, this “garden of perfection” may be nothing more than a myth.
DATE: November 14, 2012
LOCATION: Griffith Theater, Bryan Center, Duke