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Foreign Film - Japan - Who's Camus Anyway ?


Who's Camus Anyway?
Directed by Mitsuo Yanagimachi
Film Movement 2006
115 minutes

No doubt art house fans will appreciate the foreign film DVD Who's Camus Anyway more than us mortals who just like to be entertained and watch the moving pictures go by. This Film Movement Japanese motion picture about students making a flick is full of cinematic references (Welles, Altman, Truffaut, --no Bergman though-- etc) and artistic camera shots that will delight the true cinema buff who has probably noticed the number of picture show synonyms used in this paragraph. Much like Who's Camus Anyway? director Mitsuo Yanagimachi, I too can have a fancy opening shot.

Who's Camus Anyway? is a movie about the difficulties a group of Japanese students face when they embark on a film project. It follows the various characters involved in making The Bored Murderer and the professor whose class they are making it for. Like all ensemble, multi-character films, this one requires concentration and a clear idea of who's who, especially since there are a couple of secondary characters too many.

You probably have to like movies about movies or have been involved in a student film -though I have and it didn't help-- to really enjoy this foreign film DVD. I sort of lost interest with all the cinematic tricks like the camera shooting a camera or the shots that are there just because they look good like the shot of the musicians in the student building and scenes that are there for no real reason like the dance number or the mime -and everybody hates mimes. The rather slow progress of the project and thus the film itself does not help.

This Japanese film becomes too self referential and self indulgent to sustain interest in even a patient viewer who eventually starts playing film editor. I also failed to get the point in the end.

DVD wise a weak point in Who's Camus Anyway? is that at the beginning of the film the dialogue subtitles and credits subtitles play at the same time and it becomes a bit messy.

Film Movement's Who's Camus Anyway? comes with a South Korea short by Sejong Park titled Birthday Boy. This is an excellent animated short film about a young boy who likes to play army and is totally unaware of the cost of war.

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