Our 30-Minute Sessions | JFF Plus: Online Festival 2020 Review

After loving the musical comedy Lady Maiko (2014), the next film I watched that day was Our 30-Minute Sessions (2020). Just a little context, I usually do not read the synopsis or watch trailers. Well, in this case, maybe I have seen a short presentation during the JFF Plus press briefing. But I did not know which film it was.

Having that said, I was continuously surprised by each film, one of which is Our 30-Minute Sessions (2020).

OUR 30-MINUTE SESSIONS (2020)

Sayonara made no 30-bun (original title)

Director Kentarô Hagiwara – Drama, Fantasy, Music

Synopsis – Teen music romance featuring singing and instrumental scenes with a fresh cast of young actors. College student Sota picks up a cassette tape left behind by musician Aki when he died a year ago. When the tape is played back, Aki takes over Sota’s body for just 30 minutes. They share the same body and rush to reunite a band that split up and bring a smile to Aki’s girlfriend Kana’s face.

THE REVIEW

Though there are drama and fantasy, the film is pure in its core. All emotions the story wants you to feel are all here. That and great pieces of music made me cherish this film.

It’s also worth to mention, everything presented on the screen is well-though-out. Sure, the story is touching plus, the actors are great. But the transition from one scene to another; not to mention, to a different emotion and season as time pass by is breathtaking.

A perfect example is, the shadow formed when our main character Kubota Sota played by Kitamura Takumi handed the tape to Murase Kana played by Kubota Sayu at night.

I truly love that one and some other shots. Everything about this film made me look back at my college days. Which reminds me, I NEED A SPOTIFY PLAYLIST! (Do you know all the songs featured in the film as well as in Lady Maiko? I want to listen to all!)

If you get the chance to catch Our 30-Minute Sessions (2020), please do watch it. Though the storyline of possessing a body to interact with the people you left is not new, I can guarantee this film gives you more than an unfinished business that needs to be solved. 

Our 30-Minute Sessions (2020) is not only about moving on but also about having aspiration and finding inspiration.

DON’T YOU THINK MUSIC MAKES TIME UNEVEN? When I can communicate through sound, time is so much richer and deeper. I feel alive.

– Miyata Aki played by Mackenyu

SIDE NOTE: A tape only has 30 minutes each side. Aki uses only one cassette tape to record new tunes. It means everything gets erased when he continues to record new ones after finishing. But there was a scene when it automatically records a new one – Kana and Takumi were playing the piano.
I think this means its time to make new memories and let go of the past. It’s time for the memories in the tape to be overwritten.

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