Cast: Kosuke Fujita, Makoto Kikuchi
There are two simple rules. Rule #1: Stay out of each other’s lives. Rule #2: Don’t lie in Japanese. Easy enough right?
Masaya Tsutsumi helps us escape the dreadful doom of a never-ending pandemic with a charming romantic comedy filled with lies and… practicing English? Finding ways to live outside of the boredom and repetition of social distancing in Japan, two people develop a bond over inventing identities in English language meet-ups. Navigating the lack of clarity and stability during COVID, these two find comfort in each other’s fabrications and the lives they wish they could live with each other. In a time when meeting other people seems impossible, Miki and Kenji agree to be one another’s escape, playing the dangerous game of “getting to know the person I’m pretending to be.”
Never shying away from the ghost of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the disasters of a global pandemic, this clever film asks a question we’ve all had on our minds: Is it okay to still laugh and dream in a time like this? Yes. There will be personal reinvention and embracing the rare slivers of pandemic happiness. And for that reason, maybe, Rule #1 won’t be so easy to follow after all.
After France goes into lockdown, an animation student decides to return to China. There she encounters a different kind of lockdown: the quarantine hotel. A playful and award-winning mix of the video diary, stop motion animation, and even the rom-com.