The Letter

Film

Time Out says

An ironic title, perhaps, for a digital-era study of text-message relationships in which, after the first couple of minutes, the camera is trained exclusively on one mobile phone. The challenge Sasaki's one-man DV film sets itself is also its adolescent protagonist's problem. How do you work an intellectual or emotional connection through three inches of silicon circuitry? Mostly we watch him failing in the attempt. Relatively expressive first drafts are deleted and downgraded; hesitancy and standoffishness slide into banalities ('Yeah! Yahoo!'). The boy's tense breathing and reactions insinuate the emotional stakes, as does his needy slight refrain of 'Do you want to talk about anything else?' Almost an abstract of teen frustration, the film makes an intriguing experiment. In the end, though, its understatement is too much - the latter stages drag. For non-Japanese speakers, having to refer to the subtitles beneath the phone screen adds another layer of distance.

Details

Release details

Duration:
74 mins

Cast and crew

Director:
Yusuke Sasaki
Screenwriter:
Yusuke Sasaki
Cast:
Ryoma Takeno
Junya Nagano
Takahiro Fukunaga