While the Women Are Sleeping | Onna ga nemuru toki | 2016 Seattle International Film Festival
Japan | 2016 | 103 minutes | Wayne Wang
The latest from Wayne Wang (The Joy Luck Club, Smoke) is a suspenseful psychological thriller in which a novelist stumbles upon a twisted plot when he makes fast friends with an aging voyeur (Beat Takeshi).
While vacationing at a luxury resort, novelist Kenji struggles with finding inspiration for his new book. His wife Aya does her best to coax him to begin the writing process but with little result. However, inspiration is waiting on the other side of the pool, where they first notice the odd couple Sahara (the 68-year-old Beat Takeshi) and his stunning 19-year old girlfriend Miki. It's obsession at first sight for Kenji, and he soon finds himself shadowing the couple around town. A complicit relationship develops when Sahara shows Kenji secret tapes he's made of Miki while she's asleep, and the men begin a routine of deep (and dark) discussion each night after the women have retired for bed. Sahara confesses to Kenji that he knows Miki will betray him, and when that happens he'll have to kill her. Thus begins their journey into twisted but fascinating places, real as well as imagined. Chinese-American director Wayne Wang, working from the eponymous short story by Spanish writer Javier Marías, delivers a suspenseful psychological thriller on the nature of sexual obsession and voyeurism.
Born in Hong Kong, Wayne Wang was sent to California for medical school by his parents at age 17. But plans changed after being turned on to the world cinema and so Wang studied Film and Television at the California College of Arts and Crafts. His filmography spans four decades earning him international festival awards and adoration.
Sponsored by W Seattle Hotel, Japan Foundation, Los Angeles
Director: Wayne Wang
Principal Cast: Beat Takeshi, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Shioli Kutsuna, Sayuri Oyamada, Lily Franky, Hirofumi Arai, Makiko Watanabe
Premier Status: North American Premiere