Official Selection 2022
Yukinori Kurokawa

NIWA NO SUNABA
GARDEN SANDBOX

Japan / 2022 / Colour / 70’
World Premiere

After some misunderstanding, Sakaguchi is hired to make a tourist guide video on Tobako (a fictitious name for Kawaguchi) in the outskirts of Tokyo. This element in the script sparks off a fanciful wandering strewn with unexpected meetings. First with Kitagawa, thanks to whom Sakaguchi landed the job. Then with a seamstress, and then with Yoshino, with whom a half-hearted romance emerges. Thus the narrative unfolds, in halts and swerves, espousing unexpected meetings, and offering the strolling character an opportunity for displacements from one place to the next. The deserted town has come to a standstill – the shooting took place during the lockdown – and this acts as a metaphor for the idleness of the characters. Garden Sandbox is light and nimble, whereas its main character hasa limp. Her demeanour and her stiff body exude a peculiar quality, somewhat comically at odds with the setting. Apathetically playing along, the young woman gleans from each character some pieces of information about the town and, then, touch by touch she delineates its picture: ultimately, the place comes acrossas a post-industrial locale whose foundries are now obsolete. Sakaguchi’s very meanderings lead her to a rich family’s house for a sewing lesson. In this pivotal scene, the lady of the house invites her to don an upper-class wedding dress. Through a gesture both radical and powerful, which itself informs the dynamic of the film as a whole, a gleeful snip of the scissors transforms the item of clothing into the ultimate chic of haute-couture design. What weaves together this truant escape whose motifs and fabric seem inspired by Jacques Rozier’s films, a crumbling industrial heritage and the transforming of a traditional wedding dress? With Garden Sandbox, whose title is a reference to the type of sand used in the foundries, joyfully and playfully, Yukinori Kurokawa interrogates the concepts of mutation and (re)use as sources of boundless possibilities. (Claire Lasolle)

Technical sheet

Original version : japanese
Subtitles : english
Script : Yukinori Kurokawa, Ikuhiro Yamagata, Emi Kobayashi
Photography : Yasutaka Watanabe
Editing : Kunihiko Ukai
Sound : Gen Takahashi
Casting : Marino Kawashima, Kazuki Niiya, Yukino Murakami

Production & distribution : Yumiko Kurokawa (KINOKOYA)

Filmography :
Village on the village, 2016
Aru shikai no ijyouna ai, 2010
Yoru no thaigokyoushitsu, 2009
Hoteru shimai, 2008
Inran seiho no onna, 1997.

Director

Yukinori Kurokawa - Japon

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