Ping Pong

October 25, 20078:30pm

A comedy drama about two boys obsessed with ping pong not an obvious first film choice for a director but the result is an exhilarating, manga-influenced film, as much about Japanese society, winning, losing and teenage friendship as table tennis. Peco (Kubozuka) and Smile (Arata) play two chalk and cheese friends who enter the same tournament will the friendship survive the contest?

Sori confidently directed the young actors and develops the relationship between the eccentric characters with maturity. Of all the young acting talent on display, Shido Nakamura walked away with the awards for the role of Dragon. Pacy action scenes, surreal camera work and technical tricks lift Ping Pong way above the other tales young sporting endeavour and adversity. Probably the best film about Ping Pong ever made.

Part The Matrix, part The Karate Kid, and completely ping pong bonkers, its full of zany flights of fantasy. Jamies Russell, BBCi Film Reviews.

Suri, a first time director, shows off a very sure directorial style, and the movie strikes a perfect balance of comedy, charm, maturity, and enthusiasm.

Sori makes the games visually thrilling and communicates the athletic nirvana of high-level competition where nothing else exists but players, table and ball in a ping pong heaven. Sean Axmaker, Seattle Post

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Film Information
Release year: 2002
Running time:   114 mins
Directed by: Fumihoko Sori
Language: Japanese (English subtitles)
Country: Japan
Classification: 12A
Genre: Comedy
Starring: Yosuke Kubozuka,
Sam Lee,
Shido Nakamura

Yokohama Film Festival:
Festival Prize & Best New Director,
Japanese Academy Awards:
Newcomer of the Year

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