Riding Metro『地下鉄(メトロ)に乗って』DVD screenings
In conjunction with
the TOKYO: Before/After photography exhibition
Saturday, July 7, 3:00 P.M.
At The Japan Foundation, Toronto
2 Bloor Street East, above the Royal Bank
Reservations required: 416.966.1600 x229
Based on a novel by Jirō Asada
Directed by Tetsuo Shinohara, 2006
in Japanese with English subtitles, 121 minutes
In the photography exhibition TOKYO Before/After, photographs from the 1930s and 1940s are contrasted with works after 2010. World War II with its destructive air raids marks the boundary between these two groups of photographs. Tokyo has gone through so many pivotal incidents in its urban history. The Meiji Restoration in 1868 and the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923 transformed the city from Edo to Tokyo. Post-war recovery and reconstruction were celebrated with the Tokyo Olympic Games in 1964. The even higher fever of the Bubble economy and its sudden burst transformed the city again at the tail end of the 20th century. What will the upcoming Olympic Games in 2020 do to the city? We all wonder.
Riding Metro is a time-slipping story. Jiro, a lingerie salesman, steps out of a subway station, finding himself in the neighbourhood of 1964, which is the site of his older brother’s mysterious death by a yet-to-be traffic accident. The excitement of the Olympic Games fills the street, and Jiro puts in hopeless efforts to prevent the accident.
The Metro also takes Jiro and his girlfriend to the post-war black market where Jiro’s father started his business from scratch. While the father is critically ill, the subway takes Jiro to different time slots of the past to confront a young man who will eventually be Jiro’s father. Jiro discovers the inevitable destiny of his family, both sad and cruel. The Metro is not only a time machine, but also works as a tool of self-discovery by contrasting the Before/After of the pivotal social changes.