On paper, one could describe Tenamonya Connection as being about an amiable Hong Kong fisherman who gets stranded in Japan, befriends a plucky young Japanese woman and an irascible homeless woman, and returns to Hong Kong with his new comrades to help his family thwart a scheming landshark. Yet this synopsis does not adequately describe the loopy, cheerfully bizarre texture of this film. Director Masashi Yamamoto routinely breaks the film's loose narrative for thematic or stylistic effect. At one point, the movie suddenly turns into a documentary about Osaka's transient population. At another point, a hand puppet mysteriously pokes its head into the top of the picture frame and stares at the audience. The result is a movie brimming with grubby vitality rarely seen outside of Seijun Suzuki's most whacked-out films. When this film debuted, the filmmaker had a special temporary theater, which was a work of art unto itself, built on a construction site in Tokyo's ultra-hip Shibuya district.
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