Bradley Rust Gray’s film blood premieres at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Starring Carla Juri and Takeshi Ueno, blood tells the story of the friendship between Chloe and Toshi. Japan is the backdrop where Chloe, a widow, begins to heal and prepare for a second chance at love. It is an artfully crafted film that is rich in direction and cinematography.
Juri plays Chloe, a photographer who travels to Japan for an assignment. She takes advantage of her time in Japan to catch up with her old friend Toshi, a musician played by Ueno. Chloe is a widow and enjoys the time she spends with Toshi and his precocious daughter. Both charming characters, Chloe and Toshi share a quiet chemistry that effortlessly brings them together. As the film progresses, a deeper bond forms between Chloe and Toshi and Chloe and Japan.
Gray’s direction combined with Eric Lin’s cinematography work in tandem to paint a portrait of quiet grieving and friendship. Many of the shots take in the scope of the city while Chloe is featured in the distance. The enormity of the surroundings highlight her solitude, but she never seems lonely.
Chloe is not just a visitor in a foreign country, she is an active participant who makes connections in the city and knows her way around it. The film also features an ongoing motif of wind blowing through delicate spaces such as gardens and wind chimes which makes for some picturesque moments. The setting is often tranquil and is a character in the scenes with Chloe and her memories.
blood is an artistic slice of life film that allows the scenery to create the story. The atmospheric elements combined with strong performances create a unique love story about starting over.
The Sundance Film Festival is online January 20- January 30. Tickets can be purchased and a full lineup can be found here.
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