Summer Time Machine Blues
Samaa taimu mashin burusu
Back to yesterday… over and over again!
The irrepressible energy of youth collides head on with the theory of relativity in a uniquely exhilarating and uplifting comedy about time travel directed and produced by mega-hit maker, Katsuyuki Motohiro. Shuttling repeatedly between two days in the lives of a group of college students, “Summer Time Machine Blues” is a roller coaster ride of a story filled with plenty of crazy loops and mind-bending curves.
Film Katsuyuki Motohiro continues to solidify his reputation as the hottest director in Japanese cinema with “Summer Time Machine Blues,” his first project serving as both producer and director. In the wake of his phenomenally successful “Bayside Shakedown” series of feature films “Bayside Shakedown 2” (‘03) having become the highest grossing live action film in Japanese history - Motohiro turns his creative talents and hit making magic to a pet project he started nurturing in the summer of 2003, an adaptation of a stage play by theatre troupe Europe Kikaku called, “Summer Time Machine Blues 2003.” So enamored was Motohiro by the play, which drew packed houses during its Tokyo run, that he immediately volunteered to collaborate with the writers to produce a screen adaptation.
It began as just another hot midsummer day… August 19, 2005. Five male members of the “Sci-Fi Research Club” play baseball on a university campus field in the sweltering heat. They are Shunsuke Koizumi (Daijiro Kawaoka), Takuma Komoto (Eita), Yuu Niimi (Yoshiaki Yoza), Daigo Ishimatsu (Tsuyoshi Muro) and Jun Soga (Munenori Nagano). As they hurl wild pitches at each other, mishandle simple grounders and repeatedly whiff at the ball, Yui Itoh (Yoko Maki) of the photography club tries in vain to capture the boys in Pulitzer Prize-quality action photos. Nearby, stray dog and club mascot, Kecha, pokes around the field looking for something to dig up. When an errant baseball goes sailing into the stone statue of a local pagan deity at the edge of the field, the boys decide to call it quits for fear of angering the gods.
The gang returns to their air-conditioned Sci-Fi Research Club, which serves more as a cluttered graveyard for scrapped toys, games and trinkets than a laboratory for “science fiction” research. In the back room, another photography club member, Haruka Shibata (Juri Ueno), busily prepares for the club’s upcoming photo exhibit by developing poorly composed close-up shots of Sci-Fi Research Club faculty advisor and assistant professor, “Jose” Hozumi (Kuranosuke Sasaki). With wash basins and towels in hand, the five young men head to the local public bath. During the course of their ablutions, one of them, Niimi, notices to his horror that someone has stolen his precious Vidal Sassoon shampoo! When the five boys leave the bath house, Niimi continues to stew about his shampoo while Ishimatsu parts with the rest so he can cycle into town and find more fun clutter for the club house. Komoto, too, runs off to buy two advance movie tickets, which he hopes he can use to entice out Haruka, on whom he has a secret crush. But when he returns to the Lab, he finds everybody waiting for him and expecting him to perform a dance… bare naked! “Are you really going through with this?” one of them asks. “This ought to be good!” blurts another. Something strange is going on. As an utterly perplexed Komoto tries hard to fathom the situation, Koizumi swings his arms in excitement only to cause someone behind him to spill cola all over the air conditioner remote. The weirdness is only beginning.