Daitokuji31 | Black Glass | 08/20/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
Similar to Chunking Express, Junk Food consists of four, instead of two, intertwining stories. The first and fourth sections show the morning routine of an blind, old Japanese woman, waking up, buying bread and milk, praying at the family alter; however, it is the second segment where the true story begins.
The segment begins with a pretty woman dressed only in a man's shirt and panties sitting on a floor within the environs of a dilapidated building. After smoking some drugs, the woman makes her way over to a bed where she ties up the man slumbering there. The man believes that they are going to engage in some kinky sex, including asphyxiation with a plastic bag, however, the woman proceeds to strangle the man to death with a cord.
Leaving the ramshackle building, the woman, Miyuki, makes her way to work. Miyuki is quite attractive, but she suffers from a constantly runny nose and her personal demeanor is quite abrasive. Even within the environs of her upscale workplace, Miyuki indulges in her addiction. However, after discovering she has used all of her stash, she at first demands money from her boss, who she slept with in the past, and approaches a number of people to find her drugs, including prostitutes dressed as schoolgirls and a number of other people. She eventually finds someone with the goods, but the price she pays for the drugs is quite high.
The third part, the longest and most convoluted, depicts the lives of several immigrants in Japan: a Chinese-American prostitute, Pakistanis, a Mexican female wrestler, and several individuals of mixed blood. The segment is quite violent, but because of the way it jumps between characters, one is unable to truly feel for or identify with any of the characters. However, Junk Food is important because of its depiction of minorities in Japan, a subject that is more often than not swept under the rug. Yet, I think the film would have been stronger if it focused solely on Miyuki.
Filmed primarily with digital cameras, Junk Food is quite grainy, however, like Anno's Love & Pop and the Okinawa scenes in All About Lily Chou Chou the use of digital cameras gives the film a realistic edge that cannot be found in more polished products. If you get the chance, check out the film. However, if you are truly interested in the depiction of minorities in Japanese film watch Iwai's Swallowtail Butterfly or some of Imamura Shohei's early films.
J. Y. TRASMONTE | S.F. Bay Area | 12/11/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"if u like fallen angels by won kar wai...you probably might like this one...i found out about this movie 2 years ago when i was reading a media japanese magazine..it mentioned that the movie tells the experience of foreigners making a living in tokyo...however the movie is not just all about that, it tells story about infringe individual living in tokyo which is cool..we have the crip gangster, the junky wife, a blind old women, and the cool ragged guy whos planning to go back to kyoto. The shot of the movie is crisp and clear showing the city of tokyo. I enjoy seeing the movie showing troubled people living in the big city. the movie was made in 1997 and it seems that the movie have not gotten old with its style and subtleness Go watch the film if u want to see the dark side of tokyo...highly recommended for people who like fallen angels.."