Do you know when your mind shifts? Yes, when you find yourself thinking over and over the same thing in an endless and reinforcing loop which feels depressing and unescapable, and then the magic: at one precise but undefinable moment your thoughts have nothing to do with the thoughts of the moment before. The loop is behind you, and before is a whole world of opportunities.
Now, who follows me at No Fat Clips!!! knows it: I often indulge in introducing the movies I post with passages quite unrelated to the film itself, while more connected with my feelings while watching it. And so it seems like I’m doing it again. But maybe not.
After all, Tokyo/Glow is, in a sense, about self discovery: a glitch occurs in the reality continuum (well, not really), and the traffic light man, the green one that tells people it’s time to walk, comes out of the box where he supposedly spent all his life since then, embarking in a voyage that brings new experience to him and wonderful imagery to us. Of course, I was hearing Queen’s “Innuendo” in my head while watching the short for the second time; you know, the part about surrendering your ego and being free with your tempo, which might have influenced this interpretation.
Directed by Jonathan Bensimon and produced at Canada’s Industry Films, Tokyo/Glow is actually a branded short film for shoe designer The Generic Man, even though I didn’t even realize it was sponsored by anything until I read it on ‘boards.
Tempo I was saying. Time and rhythm are perhaps the real protagonist of this short. The short uses the technique of the timelapse photography. But the light man is actually free with his tempo, slowly making his way in the city while the night life of Tokyo flows with its crazy speed all around him, aimlessly and purposelessly. Our illuminated friend, instead, seems to know exactly what to do, when and where to go.
The use of the light suit deserves a word on its own. While serving both the narrative (our hero was/is a light sign) and the concept of illumination (my interpretation, at least…), it is also a perfect visual device, allowing us to spot the man while he’s surrounded by thousands of other persons, and then inviting us to get ahold of that light ourselves, to stay focused on ourselves. To shine.
Or maybe I’m just reading too much into a commercial. Maybe you should just watch it yourself. And whatever will be, will be.
(Many thanks to Davide for the tip!)