TONI TAKITANI – 13 March, The Hoxton

Japan 2004

Introduced by Alessandra Vaccari.

Jun Ichikawa’s adaptation of a short story by Haruki Murakami is an exquisitely stylish and poignant meditation on emotional attachment and loss. Set against the background of postwar and modern-day Japan, the plot follows the life of Tony Takitani and Eiko, the young woman he marries. Eiko’s obsession with designer clothes and accessories is so powerful that it ends up consuming her and even threatens to undo her. Yet her preoccupation is never treated as evidence of moral decline or superficiality; rather, it is an opportunity to probe complex human emotions such as pleasure and fulfilment, intimacy, isolation, longing and letting go.

Japan 2004. Dir. Jun Ichikawa. With Issei Ogata, Rie Miyazawa, Shinohara Takahumi. Art direction Yoshikazu Ichida.

Alessandra Vaccari is a fashion historian and theorist based at IUAV University of Venice. Her books include Wig Wag: The Flags of Fashion (2006) and, with Mario Lupano, Fashion at the Time of Fascism: Italian Modernist Lifestyle 1922-1943, (2009).