Excellent Days | Movie Assessment


“Only a excellent day
Drink Sangria within the park
Then later, when it will get darkish
We go dwelling

“Only a excellent day
Feed animals within the zoo,
Then later, a film too
After which dwelling

“Oh, it is such an ideal day
I am glad I spent it with you
Oh only a excellent day
You simply maintain me hanging on
You simply maintain me hanging on”
— “Excellent Day” by Lou Reed

What would an ideal day be like for you? Would you go on an journey? Would you spend it with a particular particular person? Would you be at work or at dwelling? Would you do one thing new or belongings you all the time do?

That is the query on the coronary heart of Excellent Days, a drama directed by German filmmaker Wim Wenders (Wings of Want) from a script written by Wenders and Takuma Takasaki. The movie competed on the 2023 Cannes Movie Competition the place it received the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury (the movie that finest touches the religious dimension of our existence) and the Finest Actor Award for Koji Kakusho’s luminous efficiency. It has been nominated for Finest Worldwide Movie within the 2024 Academy Awards.

Because the world opened up once more after the pandemic, Wenders was invited to Japan to see the Tokyo Bathroom Undertaking, wherein Japanese public bogs had been redesigned in 17 areas with the assistance of 16 creators invited from world wide. The producers envisioned that Wenders would make a brief movie about every facility. However he noticed one thing else within the challenge – a chance to inform the story of one of many workers, unusually unseen and unacknowledged, who work in public areas.

His focus within the ensuing drama is Hirayama (Koji Yakusho), a cleaner of public bogs. His 14 “excellent days” are stuffed with easy routines. Upon awakening, he folds up his mattress and places it away. He brushes his enamel, trims his mustache, shaves, washes his face, and mists his crops. He attire in a jumpsuit with The Tokyo Bathroom on the again. Opening the door from his small condominium, he smiles on the sky. Then he will get some espresso from a dispenser. In his equipment-laden van, he performs a cassette music tape.

Throughout his shift at a number of bogs, his work is meticulous. He washes down all of the fixtures and makes use of slightly mirror to verify that he has gotten any grime from beneath the bathroom. If somebody is available in, he steps out and patiently waits for them to complete.

At lunchtime, he goes to a park the place he takes an image of the glowing leaves of a favourite tree. Later, we study he has containers of those footage, all labeled by yr. He finds a small sapling and digs it up so as to add to his plant assortment at dwelling. He acknowledges a homeless man hugging timber.

After work he rides his bike to a bathhouse. After that respite, he goes to a favourite restaurant for dinner. At dwelling he reads earlier than falling asleep.

“Somebody as soon as requested His Holiness the Dalai Lama, ‘In the event you solely had one phrase to explain the key of happiness, and of dwelling a satisfying and significant life, what would that be?’ With out hesitating the Dalai Lama replied, ‘Routines.’ “
— Marc Lesser in Much less

Days are separated from different days by a sequence of summary dream photographs, capturing key moments he has simply skilled. (These had been created by Donata Wenders.)

Most days Hirayama has to take care of a younger and irresponsible colleague (Tokio Emoto) who desires him to promote his cassettes so he can have the cash to woo a lady (Aoi Yamada). She is extra all in favour of his tape of Patti Smith’s music than the boy. In the future he visits a shrine. One other day he goes to a second-hand bookstore so as to add to his massive assortment of paperbacks.

“Benefit from the little issues, for sooner or later you might look again and understand they had been the massive issues.”
— Robert Brault, American author

Hirayama’s routine modifications when his niece Niko (Arisa Nakano) reveals up; {the teenager} has run away from dwelling. She goes to work with him and confides a few of her emotions. Using their bikes over a bridge, he reminds her that “Subsequent time is subsequent time. Now could be now.” She makes the phrases right into a chant.

Arisa Nakano as Niko and Koji Yakusho as Hirayama

That chant captures loads about Hirayama. He’s all about being current. Along with his small Buddha-like smile, he acknowledged the whole lot round him – his crops, the sky, the timber, the visitors, the patrons of the bogs, slightly boy who’s misplaced within the park, acquaintances at a restaurant, his books. We study from an end-card on the movie, that when he takes his tree footage, he capturing “Komorebi, the shimmering of sunshine and shadow that’s created by leaves swaying within the wind. It solely exists as soon as, at that second.”

“The way in which of the small instructs us to personal our smallness by maintaining our eyes on the celebs however our toes on the bottom.”
— Michael Gellert in The Approach of the Small

In different methods as effectively, Hirayama is an exemplar of on a regular basis spirituality, particularly within the some ways he focuses on the small and little issues that give life which means. He pays consideration to the main points of his cleansing work, his crops, and his condominium. Every little thing has its place. He appreciates magnificence, particularly within the timber, but in addition within the melodies and lyrics of the music he loves. He’s form. Discovering slightly boy in one of many bogs, he takes him to his mom. On the bathhouse on a scorching day, he followers an previous man sleeping within the ready room. He clearly loves his niece and, regardless of being a person of few phrases, he enjoys her firm. He nurtures himself with music and books and Niko by listening to her considerations. And he performs. He performs tic-tac-toe with an nameless customer to one of many bogs. He meets a person with most cancers they usually have interaction in a sport of Shadow Tag.

In comparison with “motion motion pictures” or “relationship trauma” movies, not a lot occurs in “Excellent Days.” And that’s simply excellent. In the previous few minutes, Hirayama is driving to his first job of the day. Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good” is enjoying from the tape deck. In an performing tour de pressure that invitations your individual participation, the digital camera focuses on his face and the numerous feelings he’s feeling. “It’s a brand new daybreak” . . . sure . . . “It’s a brand new day” . . . sure . . . “It’s a brand new life for me” . . . sure . . . “And I’m feeling good” . . . YES!

Attempt a religious observe on chores.


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