WOMAN OF THE PHOTOGRAPHS
An unassuming photographer finds himself entangled in influencer Kyoko, who has body dysmorphia. Part fable, part romance, and certainly part body horror. WOMAN OF THE PHOTOGRAPHS is a one-of-a-kind, genre film.
The juxtaposed images of Kai and his pet praying mantis eating are a delight. Hideki Nagai‘s physicality mirrors that of the insect. He is skittish, introverted, and meticulous in his work. Nagai draws you in immediately. Itsuki Otaki is equally captivating as Kyoko. The chemistry of our two leads is endlessly intriguing. I could not take my eyes off their engrossing dynamic.
The score is lighthearted, almost French. The hyper-augmented sound editing draws attention to the fact that Nagai has zero dialogue. Combined with eclectic music like jazz and Jazz and The Nutcracker Suite, it accentuates the playful nature of the film. Kyoko experienced many fantasy sequences as a coping method.
The film utilizes classic devices. Mirrors and reflection play a dual role. Reds and fuchsias feature prominently in the form of nail polish, shoes, a toothbrush, Kyoko’s blouse, a robe, and phone case, and most importantly, the scar. I can see why this was such a hit on the festival circuit. WOMAN OF THE PHOTOGRAPHS begs a larger conversation about image and self-worth as dictated by the internet and society.
WOMAN IN THE PHOTOGRAPHS in Select Theaters on February 3rd and On Demand everywhere on February 7th.