YXIMALLOO is a slow paced, observational styled, documentary by Tadhg O’Sullivan and Feargal Ward about the humble reality of a Japanese musician, Naofumi Yximalloo Ishimaru, an obscure cult musician in his late ’50s.
Ishimaru is a very quirky and unique character: his music definitely represents him well. Although Yximalloo does not appreciate his music being categorized as experimental, there is simply no other way to describe his work. While I try to consider myself a fan of all types of music, some of Yximalloo’s work is simply out of this world, in an ambiguous way. I wasn’t sure if his work was either insane or brilliant. However, whatever you might think of his music, as the documentary progresses and you are introduced to more of his work, there is an overwhelming sense of wonder and fascination about him and his productions.
Following him around for about a year, we get a glimpse of this introverted artist who, even after 10 years of living with his S.O. in Ireland, still can’t seem to fit in. We see him reminisce about Tokyo, struggle to make an earning, seek solitude and find something to do with his free time. All of this while trying to care and remain close to his S.O., Gerard, who is suffering of Multiple Sclerosis.
Yes, it is a somewhat sad documentary. Interesting to watch nonetheless. I was pulled by the meditative lifestyle of Ishimaru, juxtaposed with his remarkable performances in New York City’s underground scene. I found the pace of the film fitting because of how it felt as if we were going through the film at the same pace as how Ishimaru was living his daily life. It was slow and we are submerged in his music, same way he seems to quietly sit in front of his computer and listen to his recordings. He also has a really charming and interesting personality, you never get tired of observing him and admiring his quirky mannerism.
What I really enjoyed about the film is its introspection of the matured love between him and his partner while trying to stay true to himself and his goals/needs. How much he has given up for his partner and has he made the right decisions in life? Is he happy with where he is? Does he feel satisfied, has he achieved enough of what he has wanted to achieve his whole life, a successful artist?
It was a good watch.
If you like portrait styled documentaries,
or if you’re an artist that knows how to sympathize with others,
I definitely recommend this film.
Next screening for the film at FNC will be
Wednesday Oct. 15 5:30pm
at Cinema du Parc 3