February 2-8, 2024
One week limited screening
Theater Image Forum
from December 2, 2023
The human desires that come to light
when living with others are endlessly heartbreaking.
This ensemble drama depicts human desires that arise from living with “others,” and people who begin to search for their true place after experiencing friction with “others.” The story garnered significant empathy in the theater world and was finally adapted into a film.
The director is the up-and-coming Tsutomu Yagihashi, an extraordinary playwright who makes his feature film debut. This movie, which is based on a play from the third performance of the theater group Orewamita, written and directed by Yagihashi in 2015, will be shown with English subtitles for release in Japan, where diverse individuals with different nationalities and races coexist.
A distorted ensemble drama of men and women,
where desires and pride intertwine.
Riko, a budding hairstylist, and Tsuyoshi, a struggling actor, are a couple who have just started dating. A childhood friend, Shinji, and an unemployed middle-aged senior, Iwabuchi, live in their respective homes as freeloaders.
Growing suspicious of Riko and Shinji’s relationship and becoming irritated by Iwabuchi’s money-grubbing habits, Tsuyoshi decides to kick out the two men and take the leap to live with Riko.
Around the same time, Otsuki, a middle-aged company CEO who has acquired a lavish lifestyle through his solar panel sales agency, was having trouble with his new wife, who is 26 years younger than him and had just remarried six months ago. There is not even the slightest sign that she will move into the luxurious mansion he bought for her.
Tsuyoshi’s feelings for Riko grows stronger, as they start living together. In contrast, Riko starts coming home late and even spends a night out without notice. Meanwhile, Otsuki goes to great lengths to lure his new wife, such as buying a villa. However, the situation with her remains unchanged. As if to add insult to injury, the solar energy bubble comes to an end. The lives of Otsuki and Tsuyoshi intersect at one point, and the time to decide comes to them and everyone around them.
“What the heck is this?” I groaned at first. Characters are too arresting to be merely called scumbags. This is the most down-to-earth, the most grassroots, and the most humane film set in the aftermath of the Great Earthquake. Above all, the intense presence of the protagonist clings to my skin and won’t let me go. It is a bizarre gem that doesn’t remind me of anything else; truly a masterpiece.
People who aren’t doing well.
People who end up faltering.
A world that’s fallen apart.
Director Yagihashi looks at them closely,
and continues to express them in a matter-of-fact way.
It’s been a long time since I watched a movie that made me break out in such a cold sweat. The world unfolding on the screen seamlessly connects to my everyday life. I want to hug every single one of the characters in this movie.
Yagihashi often structures his plays, produced by his own theater group, in such a way that the stage is divided into three or four sections by vague boundaries, allowing different scenes to be showcased simultaneously. The fact that he named his theater group “Orewamita (I saw it)” rather than “I watched it” is superb. As a result, the audience, almost unintentionally, gazes beyond the space where the actors speak their lines, to the depths, or even the adjacent areas where other characters reside.
Why employ such a directional approach that could distract the audience? Perhaps this is because Yagihashi is trying to suggest that even seemingly unrelated individuals and events are interconnected, and ripples in distant places cause major issues at the main location, like a subliminal effect, in his own subtle but vivid way.
Although the film “Living with Others” doesn’t employ such effect, there is an ever-present entity from afar that constantly influences its characters— the Great East Japan Earthquake. Love, work, friendship, marriage, divorce, comebacks, and failures—all are under the gravitational pull of the disaster.
At first glance, it seems like a story filled with people who make you want to say, “The reason your life doesn’t go well is because of you.” But if you step back a little and look at it, it is actually a movie about a massive disaster. I’m astounded by Director Yagihashi, who accomplished this movie with a tempo that might feel clumsy.
Born in Fukuoka prefecture in 1965. He thrived as a stage director and actor in the 1990s. He formed the underwater performance group “Tritones” with the former Japanese breaststroke record-holder, Hisashi Fuwa in 1999. They performed at pools across Japan and several overseas. He directed and appeared in his masterpiece “Water Boys Show” on Fuji TV’s Odaiba Adventure King. “Living with Others” marks his first return to acting after 20 years.
Since 2011, she has been active as a solo singer under the name “bomi” and made her major debut in 2012. While pursuing her musical career, she developed an interest in acting. In 2015, she won through the audition with a competitive ratio of about 70 times to secure a role in the play “Tenkosei”（Transfer Student）, a project by PARCO aimed at discovering actresses for the 21st century. The following year, she was selected as the heroine in a film directed by Isao Yukisada. Since then, she has appeared in various works, mainly films. In recent years, she has also appeared in numerous commercials.
Born in 1971. He spent his college years in Denver, Colorado, the U.S. where he deeply immersed himself in music. After returning to Japan, he engaged in theatrical activities in small theaters and various musical pursuits, leading to the start of his solo project “Blues No More!!!” He released a full album in 2018 and a mini album in 2019. As a musician, ｈe is primarily active in the Tokyo area. His signature song, “Mayonaka No Taiyo” (Midnight Sun), is the ending theme for “Living with Others.” The film marks his debut appearance.
Born in Aomori Prefecture in 1988. After studying oil painting at Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts, he moved to Tokyo to start his acting career. Major acting credits include the play “Newtown no Kage” presented by the theater group Orewamita (written and directed by Tsutomu Yagihashi) and “Shinjyuten no Amiji” presented by Kinoshita Kabuki (directed by Yukinosuke Itoi). The paintings in this movie are his own creations.
Born in Tottori Prefecture in September 1989. While running a cafe gallery in Matsue City, she is also involved in promoting local culture. She is active in
various fields, including advertising, fashion shows, and film appearances, without limiting herself to a specific field. Her signature dish at the cafe gallery is spicy curry.
Born in Kanagawa Prefecture in 1963. Since 1986, he belonged to the theater company Gekidan Suiyoza for 14 years. He has appeared in over 100 plays at small theaters. His recent appearances include the play “Newtown no Kage” and “Bokura no Shiro” presented by the theater group Orewamita (written and directed by Tsutomu Yagihashi).
Director & Screenwriter:
Born in May 1969 in Miyagi Prefecture. He began his acting career in 1997. The major film appearances include “Zentai” and “Lovers” (both directed by Ryosuke Hashiguchi). Following his acting career, he ventured into roles as a playwright and director, setting up the theater group Orewamita.
in 2013. He portrays individuals struggling to understand others in a diversifying modern society through ensemble drama.In 2022, the fifth performance of Orewamita, “Bokura no Shiro,” was selected as a finalist for the 28th Playwrights Association’s Best New Talent Play Award. Starting December 2023, his first feature film, “Living with Others,” will premiere in Japan.
After living in France since 1990, he returned to Japan in 2000. He then began his career as a freelance photographer in Tokyo. He has shot for magazines, advertisements, musicians, actress photo books, and more. Simultaneously, he started working as a video creator in 2013,
In May 2012, alongside the release of the photo book, “Mayuko 1/4,” featuring actress Mayuko Iwasa, published by Wani Books, he held his first photo exhibition in Harajuku. In June 2017, he shot the music video “I’m Waiting for You” for musician Sho Nakamura. In recent years, he has been focusing on producing documentary works. He took on the cinematography for this film as his first feature film project.
Director / Screenwriter/ Editor
2023 | Japan | 106 minutes | Japanese | Color | American Vista | Stereo | DCP | Cinematographer: Yasuyuki Ishii | Sound Recorder: Daisuke Endo | Sound Mixer: Daisuke Komazawa | Colorist: Yusuke Ohchi | English Subtitle Translator: Yuriko Kishi | Distributor: Gunzo |
“Mayonaka no Taiyo” by BLUES NO MORE!!!
Composition: BLUES NO MORE!!!