qathet film festival 2024
Sat Mar 2 — 7 pm
Perfect Days lingers on life’s fleeting moments of splendour and is a poem of extraordinary subtlety and beauty. It’s a sublime validation of the ordinary, a film replete with grace, harmony, and hope that overwhelms and engulfs you in its humane world. Director Wim Wenders is in bracing, uncomplicated form: It hasn’t the ecstatic spiritualist philosophy of Wings of Desire or the penetrating poetry of human and cultural desolation that marked Paris, Texas. But the new film’s humane, hopeful embrace of everyday blessings is enough to make it Wenders’ freshest, most rewarding and arthouse-friendly fiction feature in close on 30 years.
Distinguished screen veteran Koji Yakusho plays a middle-aged Tokyo man who has pared down his life to a routine of service and small pleasures in this delicate character study. The film follows this ritualistic existence, one day at a time — Hirayama watering his plants, buying a vending machine coffee outside of his apartment and getting in his van, grabbing a bite at the same spots — the routine keeping him grounded and content. While at first each day appears the same, variations stand out from the constants.
Like the art it holds so dear, Perfect Days captures the awe, contentment, curiosity, delight and melancholy of existing that stretch out over a lifetime, but that can be evoked instantly when distilled into a song or image. Art and a life pursuing it, in big or small ways, is the driver of Perfect Days, which acts as a love letter to dreamers who chase the unknown and then wake up to do it all over again. Throughout the film, Hirayama tries to capture the ephemeral among the daily minutiae, refining his own art, while being a great appreciator of the works of others.