Experience usurps narrative perspective in Night is Short, Walk on Girl

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Night is Short, Walk on Girl (2017)
Dir. Masaaki Yuasa

Bends digital to its imperfect will and tempers its own durational and physical elation to drag, Yuasa fills the night with saints and little monsters, its twee (campus-centric) rivalries are blown out to private warfare, cute but for serious conspiracy. It feels like the best night because we understand intuitively that things could go any way, the possibilities are endless, and that every alley, every boardwalk is occupied by someone who also can’t help marching forward, like a dumb little train, similarly wired to make something of it, to roll with it no matter what.

It’s no secret that senpai’s a terrible perspective- Yuasa’s move is taking his story but grounding it in the world as it appears to kouhai, attributing the source of the narration to him but delivering it through her sensorial imagination. (Which in such an expressive work accounts for everything). This does shift after the wonderfully fatigue-inducing musical number, at which point the director uses every visual trick at his disposal to keep the film worthwhile. I’m not going to hold what it had to do against it, it’s just that the more senpai suffers in the background the more free kouhai and as a consequence, the film’s horizons.

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