Section: Sea of Japan
Directed by: Ishii Yuya
Dir.: Yuya Ishii
A schoolgirl, Saeko, looks at the sky and sees two rockets crash into each other. She looks at the event as if she'd seen it happen an infinite number of times before. Then she runs to school like an Olympic champion from Kenya. Everything is ordinary or boring and she hates this world. Her father has a nailfactory and she dreams that the rockets she sees flying include parts made in her father's factory. Although he runs the factory with a hard hand, the father cannot save it from approaching bankruptcy. Back home, he has a very different side: he gets dressed up and puts on make-up. In this way, he tries to be a mother for Saeko, who really cherishes a hearty dislike for her father. She thinks he stinks. Yet one day she decides to save the ailing factory. She leaves her adolescent indifference behind and rolls up her sleeves.
It soon becomes apparent that Saeko is not just an ordinary schoolgirl. And equally soon it's apparent this isn't an ordinary film. It looks like the ordinary world, but on the other hand it's not. Girl Sparks is made in a light-hearted yet very personal style. Ishii links in an almost matter-of-fact way everyday realism to a suddenly fantastic and absurd approach. He clearly worked with actors who are not yet known, but Ayuko Ikawa, the actress playing Saeko certainly has everything it takes to become a great actress.
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