Photographer and filmmaker Shingo Wakagi adapts Banana Yoshimoto’s story from her 1989 compilation of the same name in a spare and elegant style reminiscent of Jun Ichikawa’s Tony Takitani. Sakura Ando shines as Terako, a young woman having an affair with middle-aged Iwanaga (Arata Iura), whose wife is in a coma following a traffic accident. Caught in a depressive dreamlike stasis, Terako sleeps excessively waiting for Iwanaga’s calls following the suicide of her friend (Mitsuki Tanimura), who had the unconventional livelihood of accompanying sleeping strangers in bed for money without sex. An aesthetic delight, Asleep pushes on our understanding of intimacy and pleasure, nudging us to wake up.
(Synopsis from Japan Cuts)
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