Cleveland International Film Festival } April 7 – April 18, 2021 } Playhouse Square

SHALL WE DANCE?

 

Year: 1996
Country: Japan
Run Time: 117 minutes

A surprise delight of the 17th CIFF (1993) was Masayuki Suo's "Sumo Do, Sumo Don't," a farce about the delicate art of sumo wrestling. Now he's back, with a not-dissimilar subject (at least for some practitioners), ballroom dancing. Tired salaryman Sugiyama is on the evening tram bound for his heavily mortgaged suburban home when he loks up and loses his heart. There in the window of the Kishikawa School of Dancing is a lovely young lady, gazing out. Shyly, Sugiyama enrolls in the beginner's class, stumbling to master the quick-step and the quarter-turn, and joining a secret society of Japanese who lead double lives, concealing their terpischorean habit from disapproving relatives and scornful co-workers, to unwind by night on the dance floor. The girl he glimpsed is a champion dancer who's just broken up with her partner, and the Eastern Amateur ballroom competition is coming up . . . Meanwhile, Mrs. Sugiyama grows uneasy at her husband's later-than-usual hours - and the fresh spring in his step. Crowd-pleasing and unabashedly sweet-spirited, SHALL WE DANCE? is a sincere invitation to all. In Japanese with English subtitles.

- Charles Cassady

Screenplay
Masayuki Suo

Director
Masayuki Suo

Producer
Hiroyuki Kato, Seiji Urushido, Shigeru Ohno, Kazuhiro Igarashi, Tetsuya Ikeda, Shoji Masui, Yuji Ogata

Cinematography
Naoki Kayano

Editing
Jun'ichi Kikuchi

Principal Cast
Koji Yakusyo, Tamiyo Kusakari, Naoto Takenaka, Eriko Watanabe

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