Perfect Days

Perfect Days
Date: 18/06/2024 Times: 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Wim Wenders (Wings of Desire, Paris Texas) has mainly been making documentaries for twenty years and it has been a while since he directed a feature film but he has returned with something quite outstanding, a meditation on what makes a life happy. He found the perfect actor to play the lead, Hirayama, in Koji Yakusho, who won Best Actor at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival for his performance as a Tokyo toilet cleaner who seems happy, in spite of his menial occupation. Outside of his very structured everyday routine he enjoys his passion for music and for books. He loves trees and takes photos of them.

Equally important in our understanding of Hirayama’s journey through the world is the choice of music. He listens to 60s and 70s American and British rock – the Velvet Underground, the Kinks, Otis Redding, Patti Smith – and Japanese folk from the same period. The song choices, in particular the Lou Reed track that gives the film its title and Nina Simone’s Feeling Good, are windows into his soul at any given moment. Hirayama has found harmony, although there are suggestions of a previous, more privileged life, in which this was not the case. This sense of peace and equanimity is a rare thing in the central character of a film; cinema, after all, thrives on conflict and discord. But this is a deeply moving and poetic reflection on finding beauty in the everyday world around us.

Perfect Days

Year: 2023

Country: Japan

Cert: PG

Duration: 124 mins

Dir: Wim Wenders

'The beauty of the everyday.'

Venue: William Loveless Hall