In part, programming for the Japan Cuts shortfilm documentary premiere of Nebiro Hashimoto’s Tokyo Girl describes it as “a maximum-speed, sonic-visual collage…”. Its not everyday there’s an eight-minute documentary of this kind, and yet the pace at which its delivered is more than properly suited.
Mako Hiragi is the subject of Hashimoto’s choppy and frenetic first person narrative of a girl on the verge of turning 21. She lets you know that for the duration of the film, she’s going to talk about herself and only herself, setting up an almost chaotic coming-of-age medley of thoughts and ideas that strike her young mind, firstly equating herself to that of a pebble inside of a shoe, and later, elucidating many of the things that make her tick, from her sex life to her eating, sleeping and drinking habits.
These are only a smidget of what she divulges as she delivers her dialogue at rapid-fire momentum, on cue with nearly every image of her in her day-to-day life, quickly edited amidst sprawling cuts of footage of Japan’s cityscapes, resulting in a frenzied allure. By the end of the documentary, the crux of our whispery-toned narrator’s interpersonal message deals inherently in wanting to be understood, amidst purposefully-crafted manic millieu.
It almost inclines you to wonder how many young women and girls living in Tokyo share her thought process… or if the type of exploration Hiragi exhibits stretches beyond the Far East. It certainly speaks to something possibly universal about Tokyo Girl, and with a documentary that’s almost as coltish as it is contemplative.