Xavierpop Does @Shinsedai_Fest – Louis Reviews ‘From the Great White North: Yubari Fanta Special’
Yubari Fanta is short for The Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival. The town of Yubari had a coal mine in operation starting in the 1800’s, in 1990, it closed. To keep the city afloat, the local politicians chose to mount a film festival as a way to help revitalize the economy. In 2007, the city that had been paying for the event filed bankruptcy. As a result of this, the citizens sought to revive it through private financing and in 2008 the Festival reopened and continues on today. This particular program is a series of three shorts from the festival. Included are, Hole and Pole, The Student Wrestler and Mrs. Akko and Her Husband.
Hole and Pole is an amusing tale about alternative martial arts. A high school student conceives of a new type of martial arts. She recruits other students to train with her and plays silly word games with her best friend. Only, her and her friend are followed by a boy on a bike as they travel to and from school each day. All he wants is a date, but the girls aren’t interested.
The Student Wrestler is a mini documentary about, well, student wrestlers. These socially awkward boys have chosen to emulate pro style wrestling as an outlet for their frustration. It follows them as they train and put on matches, allowing them to express their thoughts on why they do it, as well as giving insight to the process.
Mrs. Akko and Her Husband is a tragic tale of a man caught in a marriage with a unkind woman. Lazy and thoughtless, Mrs. Akko treats her husband more as a servant than a partner. His attempt at infidelity is met with the same obstacles that the rest of his life seems to hold, bad luck mixed with bad timing. His resulting attempts to do something about the apathy in his marriage are as equally frustrating.
The three films are all well done, with Mrs. Akko and Her Husband standing out. Although different in tone and subject, they give fine examples of the quality and depth the festival in Yubari has. All three are adult oriented, and with the exception of Hole and Pole, contain nudity. Hole and Pole, on the other hand, contains strong adult sexual themes.