Away with Words
|Away With Words|
DVD cover of film from its release in India.
|Directed by||Christopher Doyle|
|Produced by||Hiro Tokimori
|Written by||Christopher Doyle
|Edited by||Anne Goursaud|
|7 August 1999|
Away with Words (known also by its Chinese title 三條人, roughly translated as Three Life-stories, and its Japanese title 孔雀, translated as Peacock) is a 1999 auteur trilingual (Japanese, English, Cantonese) film by Christopher Doyle co-scripted by Doyle and Tony Rayns and starring Tadanobu Asano and Mavis Xu.
The film, shot in a jazzy, free-wheeling style and featuring Doyle's signature hyper-kinetic, oversaturated photography and eccentric humor, focuses on a trip of Asano's character to Hong Kong and his encounters with off-beat personalities populating the metropolitan landscape (among them, a beer-drinking amnesiac gay bar owner portrayed by Kevin Sherlock). Another narrative thread relies on flashbacks into Asano's character's childhood in Okinawa. The protagonist suffers from overbearing excesses of his memory, mnemonic associations and synesthesia. The emerging human attachments provide an emotional center and a source of serenity to offset the rampage of the protagonist's mind and tame the lavish disarray of urban imagery.
The film credits Borges (presumably Funes the Memorious) and Luria for inspiration. Many aspects of Asano's character (memory excess, profound synesthesia, arranging memories visually along roads, wordplay, struggling with an onslaught of associations, comments about restaurant music and its effect on food taste, the waking-for-school scene) are directly borrowed from Luria's real life case study of Solomon Shereshevskii, The Mind of a Mnemonist.
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