Perfect Days with Koji Yakusho (talent) + his interpreter – David Neptune, Wim Wenders (dir), Takuma Takasaki (co-writer/producer)
After several years away from the silver screen, Wim Wenders is back with Perfect Days, a poignant character study and emotionally charged journey into the soul of Tokyo. Radiating charm and embracing all his best work, this unique mix of fiction and ordinary life finds an unusual, poetic angle to guide us: the architectural marvels of some of Tokyo’s public toilets.
Kôji Yakusho, in one of his best performances to date, plays Hirayama, a cleaner of these toilets. (He is named after the protagonist of Yasujiro Ozu’s last film, An Autumn Afternoon — a quiet tribute to the great master of Japanese cinema, an auteur beloved by Wenders.) Hirayama lives alone in a small house full of plants, his days going by according to quiet rhythms that never seem to change. His is a neighbourhood of tiny cafés frequented by the same people, of bookshops that sell works by Patricia Highsmith or young, contemporary Japanese writers. Hirayama speaks very little and has a great passion for music, books, and the trees he loves to photograph. He drives to work in his minivan, fully equipped with his cleaning gear, while The Rolling Stones, Patti Smith, or Lou Reed ring in ageless, husky hums from a tape player.
As if in search of a new cinema on the road, Wenders follows his protagonist and instead discovers new places of the heart. Through Yakusho/Hirayama, Wenders captures the poetry of the everyday with intimacy and stunning simplicity.