95 AND 6 TO GO
Directed by Kimi Takesue
Official Selection, 2017 Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema
Special Jury Award, North American Documentary Feature, 2017 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
Official Selection, 2017 Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival
Recent widower Tom Takesue shares his Honolulu home with visiting daughter Kimi, who happens to be working on a new screenplay. We learn about Kimi’s upcoming film as Tom reads the script, gives feedback, and answers her inquiries about the characters. Their relationship feels warm enough that Kimi would probably show it to her grandfather anyway. But this script, a romance about a Japanese man coping with the death of a daughter and encountering new avenues for love, is loaded with gentle, fond parallels with the man who is now reading it, and we soon discover that this extraordinary personal documentary, shot over several years in Tom’s old home as he reads the lines, is the perfect incarnation of the script itself.
When talking about the script, Tom asks for more “fat” to the story. Kimi delivers with charming casual conversations – grandpa chiding Kimi for the f-words in her films, Kimi chiding back about grandpa’s coupon-cutting. Some of the most darling scenes are of Tom’s diligence over taking care of his body, once used to carry mail, and often used to dance the foxtrot with his late wife. Kimi punctuates sequences with pillow shots of Hawaii’s shores and strains of old Japanese and American ballads that ground her story, and Tom’s life, in hallowed cultural milieus and a land of love and opportunity.
Gorgeously detailed – Tom’s house is itself a palimpsest of an abundant life – and layered with rich, loving, and unpretentious self-reflexivity, 95 AND 6 TO GO is as light as a Nat King Cole song, but just as open to universes of feeling and memory. As Tom suggests pop songs, film titles, and happy endings for Kimi’s project, we feel the rare, adoring embrace of the film subject giving a thumbs-up, flashing a toothy smile as he sets his granddaughter up for the punt. 95 AND 6 TO GO is a winner. –Brian Hu
Co-Presented by: Giving Back Magazine
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Precedes: 95 AND 6 TO GO