22 May 2024
Read Twilight Cinema Blue Review

Film Review – Twilight Cinema Blues (2022)

I have a love of cinema but in particular, I am in love with the theatrical experience. Having a favourite cinema that I always go to and support. This support applies to both massive chains and independent cinemas. So, in 2022, I lost a huge part of my film-going experience and in a way my love of cinema when the Edinburgh Filmhouse shut its doors. I have so many important memories when it comes to that cinema. I saw Persona 3 Film 1 there, I explored the world of international cinema there, and I just lived and breathed cinema there.

You may be wondering why I bring this up when talking about Twilight Cinema Blues. Well, a huge plot line of this film surrounds the love of cinema and the memories we have when it comes to the cinema itself. That plot line is front and centre, but it also deals with rediscovering lost passion, overcoming the trauma of the past and how acts of kindness can bring someone a whole world of joy. It was a film that I found to be truly impactful and resonated with me a lot.

However, it does take a while to get to the stuff I truly love. The film opens around welfare scams and how people in power pray upon the weak. While this is somewhat interesting, I also found it to be lacking the bite that the rest of the film has. Shinji Imaoka penned a solid script that by its ending, the film is truly emotional and impactful.

Seeing our characters overcome their problems and bloom is decent. Do not get me wrong the cast is great. Shohei Uno I feel is the light and soul of the film. However, like the plot, since it takes a while to get going it does take a while before you become invested. What I feel makes everything work is the direction. Hideo Jojo did a great job directing this title and you can see a clear vision and love of both cinema and the importance of kindness throughout the entire film.

It is just a shame I wish I could scream from the heavens how great Twilight Cinema Blues is, but I just felt it was very good. I just wish the beginning was tighter and laid out all its cards earlier as when the ball gets going the film becomes great and memorable. The journey is worth it though and I would recommend this film to others.

★★★1/2

The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2024 takes place in cinemas around the UK from 2 February – 31 March 2024
For further information: https://www.jpf-film.org.uk/ / Keisuke Koide, Mitsuru Fukikoshi, Shohei Uno / Dir: Hideo Jojo / 12A

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