Tatsuo “Fuku-chan” Fukuda (Miyuki Oshima) is a 32-year-old painter living in a charmingly decrepit apartment complex called Fukufuku Flats. Since moving to Tokyo from rural Tochigi Prefecture, Fuku-chan has held a steady job at a small construction firm where he spends his days channeling a longtime dream of becoming an artist into painting buildings. His lonely evenings are spent mediating disputes between the oddball denizens of Fukufuku Flats, which include a panty thief, a slack-jawed reptile enthusiast, and an aspiring enka singer.
Fuku-chan is kind, generous, and well-liked by everyone around him. Romantically, however, his shyness around women has rendered him a disaster—until one day, a stranger turns up at Fukufuku Flats. She is Chiho Sugiura (Asami Mizukawa), Fuku-chan’s first love from junior high school 20 years earlier and the person responsible for the traumatizing incident that led to his fear of women.
This new film from Yosuke Fujita delivers all the idiosyncratic humour we can expect from a Fujita film, with an added layer of pathos and emotional complexity. The film’s real revelation is Miyuki Oshima, a popular television comedienne who plays a male character in the lead role. Her miraculous performance as Fuku-chan—deadpan hilarious with heart-rending emotional underpinnings—earned her the Cheval Noir Best Actress Award at the 2014 Fantasia International Film Festival. Oshima is ably supported by other Fujita favourites: Yoshiyoshi Arakawa, Miyuki Oshima and Asami Mizukawa. — JH
Miyuki Oshima, Asami Mizukawa
Yosuke Fujita began making films in university and won the Grand Prize at the Torino Film Festival in 1987 for his short film A Terrible Tiger. He then won the Image Forum Festival’s Special Jury Prize for Kurage Tsuri in 1990. Fujita made his commercial feature directorial debut in 2008 with Fine, Totally Fine, which won acclaim and numerous awards at festivals around the world, including the Nippon Cinema Award (Grand Prize) at Nippon Connection in Germany and audience awards at New York Asian Film Festival and Far East Film Festival in Udine, Italy. Fujita’s other directorial works television drama Saba (2008), starring Yoshiyoshi Arakawa; Mimizu Hime (2009), and Cheer Girls, part of the omnibus film Quirky Guys and Girls (2012).
Fantasia Film Festival 2014
Okinawa International Film Festival 2014
Best Actress – Fantasia Film Festival 2014
Reviews & Interviews
“A sweet and funny film, it’s a delight to spend time in the company of Fuku-chan and the quirky outsiders he collects around him.” – Christopher O’Keeffe, TWITCHFILM
“Makes the most of the comedy talents of its leads with its mixture of slapstick humour and pathos working delightfully” – Mark Adams, SCREEN DAILY