Waking to the Monday morning weather report, salaryman Koichi Takagi finds himself in an empty hotel room. He cannot remember where he has been or how he got here and he is suffering from an intense hangover. Reaching into his pocket, he begins to remove items that trigger his memory, slowly unravelling the events of the past few nights: an explosion at a bizarre funeral, a hysterically dull conversation with his girlfriend, accidentally falling in with the Yakuza…the more he recalls, the more sinister his circumstances prove to be. Bouncing back and forth across moments in time in order to make sense of the present, director Sabu playfully confuses reality, emphasizing the instability and re-writability of history.
Shinichi Tsutsumi’s turn as the hapless salaryman should also be applauded, both for his nuanced, endearing performance of a man scrambling to reorder his life and for his jaw-dropping dance moves in a sequence that should be recognized among the great cinematic dances of all time.
Monday is crafted with knife-sharp wit, astute social satire and a hypnotic cinematography that diffuses the film with an air of surrealism. Such qualities can be found in Sabu’s previous efforts, but in Monday they have been honed to perfection.
–Eric Cazdyn and Peter Kuplowsky
Sabu (Hiroyuki Tanaka)
Shinichi Tsustsumi, Naomi Nishida, Yuko Kirishima, Akira Yamamoto, Susumu Terajima
Sabu was born in 1964 as Hiroyuki Tanaka. He began his film career as an actor. His performance in Katsuhiro Otomo’s World Apartment Horror (1991) won him an award at the Yokohama Film Festival and he went on to work under Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Hideo Nakata and Takashi Miike. He made his writing/directing debut with D.A.N.G.A.N. Runner (1996). Sabu’s inventive and humorous storytelling has made him a highly regarded director in both Japan and overseas, particularly in Europe.
Don Quixote Prize and FIPRESCI Prize, Berlin International Film Festival 2000