It's Only Talk

No duo captures the inner emotional world of contemporary Japanese women-or, for that matter, of today's lost generation-quite like director Ryuichi Hiroki and actress Shinobu Terashima. The two swept through the festival circuit with their award-winning Vibrator (2003), but It's Only Talk may be even better, as unassuming as it is honest and deeply, hauntingly poignant. Terashima, in an arresting performance, plays Yuko, a manic-depressive woman who moves to a suburban town looking for a low-key life. There, random men provide her company and amusement, ranging from the platonic to the purely sexual: a gentlemanly pervert, a young yakuza suffering from depression, and a former college classmate with erectile dysfunction. A veteran of the erotic “pink” film genre, Hiroki is a master at evoking intimacy, and is drawn to drifters and outsiders on the fringes of society. With a surprisingly light script and fluid cinematography, he infuses the film with a relaxed, almost effortless aura, asking us to let go and allow people to seep into us.

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