Fantasia Film Review: Nowhere Girl

 

(Source: Showgate)

(Source: Showgate)

Once in a while, Fantasia shows me a movie that goes over my head.

There’s a lot of elegance on Mamoru Oshii’s Nowhere Girl. The classical music, the long takes that last lifetimes. The movie does make it plain and simple that the storyline’s tempo is patient and that it will remain slow. The proverbial girl is Ai (Nana Seino), a student with a post traumatic stress disorder that is being given a wide berth by the art academy she studies and lives in. With a creepy teacher and classmates who have no empathy for her situation, she wanders the corridors trying to shut down some unknown event that happened to her.

The big question is, are we really watching what we think we’re watching? Is this what is really going on? Mamoru Oshii is the known creator of anime classic Ghost In The Shell. That, and the fact that the write up for the film mentioned the final act is of a different nature, something I’d rather not spoil for you, were the clues to expect something else… although at the very end.

I don’t want to give it away. However I feel I must warn you about something. Fantasia will usually have one or two rare movies against the traditional Fantasia-type crowd pleasers. This is definitely one of them. There’s something deeper going on here. Whether it’s all in Ai’s head or if it really matters it’s up to you.

Recommended with strict reservations. If you get pissed easily at movies that make you think, skip it. On the other hand, if you’re not above slow and meditative and are willing to put up with slow pace for a big payoff, keep this film in mind. Finally, if you are a fan, you will probably end up watching it anyhow. This is kind of the reverse of a few movies I’ve watched last week. The ending might be where it’s at, but sometimes you do have to put up with a long and lonely road before getting there. Sometimes the journey and the destination don’t have to match.

Coming next!

  • Thursday, July 23: To be announced later.
  • Friday, July 24: To be announced later.
  • Saturday, July 25 – 18:45 – Deadman Inferno (Concordia Hall Theatre)
  • Sunday, July 26 – 14:45 – Monty Python: The Meaning of Live (Concordia Hall Theatre)

That will do for now.

(Sources: Fantasia International Film Festival)

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