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titre anglais Aria


réalisateur TSUBOKAWA Takushi
interprète SHIONOYA Masayuki

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Since his wife died, piano tuner Ota has maintained a stony taciturnity save for the rare cutting remark and threats to "tune" a bartender’s head. Even before his wife’s death, he avoided conversation. When she prophetically mentioned her impending death, he refused to look at the photo of the remote beach where she wanted him to scatter her ashes. One day an old puppeteer appears with an eerily realistic female mannequin named Aria. The ailing puppeteer asks Ota to find the piano on which his late wife used to accompany his performances. Despite the puppeteer’s death, Ota continues the errand, if only to also find the beach that was so important to his wife. Just as he is about to set off, a mysterious young woman claiming to be the puppeteer’s daughter joins him and the puppeteer’s apprentice on the trip. Thus begins an eccentric and gently humorous road movie through picturesque seaside Hokkaido, a capacious landscape apparently abandoned by the younger generation in favor of the city. An old restaurateur provides a clue to the piano and a map to the beach, an old hitchhiker from a previous century sings a meaningful song about the sea, and a shrinekeeper lends sage advice. When the young woman is drawn to fox statues at the shrine, the story seemingly enters the supernatural. Is she a dangerous fox spirit, like beautiful, mysterious women often are in Japanese stories? Or is she the spirit of Ota’s dead wife, "tuning" him back into life among the living and the musical?

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